Article of Interest: How many chemicals are in use today?

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

No one, not even the Environmental Protection Agency, knows how many chemicals are in use today. EPA has more than 85,000 chemicals listed on its inventory of substances that fall under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). But the agency is struggling to get a handle on which of those chemicals are in the marketplace today and how they are actually being used.
 …the agency is finding significant gaps in its knowledge about chemicals in the U.S. market.

Read the full external article at Chemical & Engineering News.

This is concerning to anyone who cares about the chemicals we are exposed to in our jobs, schools, and homes. Pregnant women, people with asthma and other chronic health concerns, people with a personal or family history of cancer, and those who have chemical intolerance all want to understand these everyday exposures.

When consumers ask reasonable questions about how many synthetic chemicals are in use and how they are used and regulated, there are simply no answers.  This lack of information means the safest practice is avoidance, with many people saying, “If I can’t pronounce it, I won’t eat it/wear it/have it in my home.”

It’s not always that simple, as people with chemical intolerance know too well that even innocent-sounding names can be potent symptom triggers. We need more transparency and more research with a focus on protecting vulnerable consumers.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Take the Hoffman TILT program’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI) survey:

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

The Hoffman TILT program is funded by the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman Foundation.