What Does the Face of The Chemical Industry Look Like? Meet Joe Chemical
I hope your sitting down for this, preferably not on your couch. Last week I wrote about how I am thankful for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and here is just one more reason why. Recently, they have identified the newest playa' in the chemical industry's battle to keep consumers away from a future with safer chemicals and safer consumer products. His name is Joe Chemical and he is even worse than his older brother Joe Camel.
So Who is This Joe Chemical Guy Anyway?
Well Joe Chemical is the younger brother of the infamous Joe Camel. You know him right? He was the symbol of Big Tobacco’s attempts to delay regulations on smoking and Joe Chemical is using all the same tricks handed down from his older brother like: distorting the science on chemical safety, running the chemical industry’s lobbying efforts and spending millions to back candidates for Congress.
All of this while continuing to find ways to use his toxic, cancer causing chemicals in consumer goods sold to unsuspecting consumers throughout the world.
Are You Sitting Down for This One? You Might Want to Stand Up
Joe Chemical's toxic chemicals have gone unchecked by the U.S. Government because of inefficient, outdated chemical laws from the 70's. Those unchecked, unsafe chemicals are being put into American made products that are being transported into homes all over the world just like yours and into products like that couch you may be sitting on right now.
But wait, It Seems That Joe Chemical and His Chem Industry Friends are Finally Feeling the Heat
A new peer reviewed study came out this week in Environmental Science and Technology, and was highlighted this week on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, showing that couches across America contain high levels of toxic chemicals.
The study reports that an amazing 85% of couches tested contained toxic or untested flame-retardants. Unbelievably, the the newer the couch, the more likely they were to contain toxic chemicals. This is because the use of flame-retardants has increased over the years and now over 94% of new couches contain one or more of these toxic chemicals.
Okay But What Does This All Mean?
My girl Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, summed up the key findings about toxic couches that have Joe Chemical shaking in his boots:
• 85% of couches tested contained toxic or untested flame retardant chemicals.
• The flame-retardants are used heavily in the foam, in some cases they made up 11% of the weight of the foam.
• The toxic chemicals used in couches do not stay in the couches – they migrate out into your household dust.
• Toddlers and children are at higher risk for exposure to toxic flame-retardants since they play on the floor, creating small dust circles around them. Recent studies have also confirmed that people of color have higher rates of flame retardants in their bodies than their white counterparts.
• 41% of the couches contained cancer-causing “chlorinated tris,” also known as TDCPP, removed from baby pajamas in 1977.
• Some of the chemicals found are linked to cancer, harming the developing brain, hormone disruption and more.
We Need Your Voice to Help Stop Joe Chemical in His Tracks. Will You Join Me in Saying "No" to Joe?
Here Are 3 Simple, Fast and Easy Ways You Can Help:
- Click HERE to Easily Send a message (and I mean like easy) to your member of Congress
- On Facebook?
- WARNING: Ever wonder who is behind the chemical industry’s deceptive tactics? Find out “who is Joe Chemical” here http://bit.ly/S66oCS and remember to take action! http://bit.ly/StopJoeChemical
- Or you can share our fun Joe Chemical images directly from our Facebook page here.
- Sample tweets:
- WARNING: @StopJoeChemical is back in town... Follow him to track what the chemical industry is up to! #No2JoeChemical
- Who is #JoeChemical? Read about him here: http://bit.ly/S66oCS and tell your friends to follow him @StopJoeChemical
- Stand up for the #SafeChemicalsAct and say #No2JoeChemical! Follow him to make sure he stays out of Congress: @StopJoeChemical
- Looking for a good laugh? Follow @StopJoeChemical to find out what today’s chemical industry is up to…
- Want to help fight the chemical industry’s influence in Washington? Take action here: http://bit.ly/StopJoeChemical & say #No2JoeChemical!
Connect with Shane on Google+
The Green PolkaDot Box! Backed by the Organic Consumer's Association and EnvironmentalBooty.com, you can easily buy NonGMO organic groceries, including Harvest Fresh Organic produce, at wholesale pricing online. It's like a Sam's club but focused on products for green, healthy living! You can even shop by dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegan or diabetic and it all comes right to your front door. Enjoy!
Source: Environmental Science and Technology, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, Chicago Tribune
Photo Sources: SCHF, Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety