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TUESDAY, October 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Do the majority of Americans want the government to make sure the products they buy are free from harmful chemicals?
Yes, a new survey shows, and they’re even willing to pay more to get that security.
“At a time when most issues are politically polarized, the issue of protecting people from harmful chemicals has broad support among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, which conducted the poll. The Reproductive Health and Environment (PRHE) program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) commissioned the survey.
More than 90% of respondents wanted the US government to require products to be tested for harmful chemicals and found safe before they are allowed to market. The poll, conducted between May 25 and June 5, collected 1,200 responses from registered American voters.
The survey revealed:
- 92% of voters agreed, and 63% of voters strongly agreed that the US government should require companies to prove their products are safe before selling them.
- 93% of voters agreed, and 62% strongly agreed that companies should do better to remove harmful chemicals from consumer products.
- 88% of voters agreed that companies should better remove plastic from consumer products and reduce the use of plastic packaging.
- 76% of Americans who took the survey said they are concerned about how chemicals and plastics contribute to climate change.
- 54% of respondents said the chemical regulations weren’t strict enough, while 21% said they were about right and 10% said they were too strict.
- The Toxic Substances Control Act makes it easier to limit or ban harmful chemicals to better protect vulnerable people such as pregnant women, children and people living near factories that pollute the environment: 89% of voters supported the law, and 56% of them strongly supported it.
- 93% of voters agreed and 57% strongly agreed that getting rid of harmful chemicals where people live, work and go to school is important, even if it means making some products more expensive. A similar number agreed that it is important for companies to keep harmful chemicals out of everyday products, even if it increases the cost of the products.
- Voters were concerned about all of the chemicals surveyed, but they were most concerned about chemicals they ate, drank or breathed. Still, they didn’t know how the chemical regulation system worked.
- About half of respondents (49%) said the chemicals in food and consumer products have been tested to make sure they are safe, which is not true.
“People assume that what they buy is safe, and that’s almost always not the case,” said Tracey Woodruff, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences who leads the PRHE at UCSF. “The good news is that this survey shows overwhelming support for the government to better protect people from harmful chemicals.”
The Environmental Working Group has more on chemicals in consumer products.
SOURCE: University of California, San Francisco, press release, October 11, 2022