From furniture to food containers, our everyday lives are filled with chemicals, many of which may be hazardous to our health. PBDEs, BPA, PFCs—just how did this alphabet soup of substances get out there?

It’s natural to assume that the government has safety checks in place for environmental chemicals, but that’s not the case. In 1976, when Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), there were roughly 62,000 substances already in use in the U.S.—all of which were grandfathered in by Congress and presumed to be safe, without testing.

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Since then, another 20,000 chemicals have come on the market, and very few have been tested, thanks to weak regulation, says Philip Landrigan, MD, dean for global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

But you can help make a difference in the fight to keep toxic chemicals out of our bodies and our environment. Congress is currently debating chemical safety reform, with multiple bills under consideration. Now is the time to voice your support for stronger chemical safety protections: Write your members of Congress to say you’re in favor of reforming the TSCA. Learn more about TSCA reform via the Environmental Working Group, and use their tool to write to your senators and President Obama today.

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