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Argumentative research paper: Toxic Chemicals at Home
Usually, people will refuse to have an exterminator spray around their home to avoid harm chemicals around their loved ones, especially children. Yet when it comes to household products that is bought from a local convenience store, people don’t stop to look at the ingredients that could cause potential harm or worse they notice some the ingredients and chose not to care. People automatically assume it is safe enough since it is on shelf. A simple decision between picking a named brand multi-purpose cleaner and a generic one will not make a difference because both contain chemicals that can harm people and the environment. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is require that the environment to be safe and clean. As of today, the government has not stepped in for the health of the people., much less for the environment.
Some chemicals aren’t hazardous but the majority of the chemicals in the products are. SOme of these chemicals can cause harm depending on the amount. Individuals have been exposed to certain chemicals have ended up with diseases. These dangerous chemicals contained in the products are be carcinogens (cause cancer), neurotoxins and reproductive toxins(SOC). There are toxic chemicals in regular used products including personal care products, cleaning supplies and food. All these chemicals are released into the environment has pollution affecting everything and everyone. These pollutants can be reduced and prevented, it is likely that the diseases can in people can be reduced.
“The average woman in America uses 12 personal care products daily (SOC)” All these products add up to cause a hazardous environment in the bathroom. Makeup that women use frequently like lipstick contains lead. It is known that if an individual consumes lead it can cause damage to the the nervous system, lead to anemia and kidney disease through lead poisoning.
As for a personal hygiene and a cleaner environment, people have become somewhat dependent on antibacterial products. For those who excessively used antibacterial products to have a cleaner home, actually end up have more health problems. “Some researchers have found a correlation between too much hygiene and increased allergy( Levy 514).” “[It] revealed an increased frequency of allergies, cases of asthma, and eczema in persons who have been raised in an environment overly protective against microorganisms( Levy 514).” Antibacterial antigens are known to weaken the immune system. While antibacterial products are useful to kill viruses and harmful bacteria that can cause diseases, the use amount should be limited. There should be an awareness or even a warning sign labeled on the products.
Eating safe and healthy is made complicated. Ideally, people will avoid buying packages processed foods and go straight to the fresh produce section of the store for grocery shopping in attempts to eat healthy. Since people already don’t pay much attention to the products, labels or the ingredients in them, they are likely to be poisoned. Fresh produce is filled with chemicals, are even genetically modified organism foods and items in the market can be confused for edible goods because of food imitating.
A majority of the fresh produce in local markets are, also, contaminated with pesticides. Farmers spray pesticides on their crops to avoid losing them to bugs but the chemicals remain even after the produce is washed, cut and cooked. All the pollution done due to farming has been linked to thyroid, bladder and ovarian cancers. “A 2012 EWG study based on United States Geological Survey data found that water in Minnesota streams had eight times more nitrates than streams that are not vulnerable to agricultural pollution (Cassidy).” It releases nitrate into the environment, specifically to the water everyone uses. “[B]ig agricultural operations are largely exempt from the Clean Water Act, the landmark 1972 federal law that protects drinking water from nitrates and contaminants from other sources (Cassidy).” Instead of attempting to prevent more pollution, “farm subsidies create incentives for growers to plant and fertilize crops on erodible soil that pours even more nitrates into the water (Cassidy).” What “should [be] require growers who collect federal farm subsidies to curtail cancer-causing contaminants in our water (Cassidy). “
Another major, factor is food imitating. Food imitating items are chemical consumer items that look like food products. Things like soap, shampoo, and cleaning products are packaged in a way the food would be to appeal to the consumers. This can expose people to danger because people are likely to confuse a food item for a cleaning item. For example, a floor cleaner named Fabuloso can accidentally be confused for a food item. When it is shaped like a gallon sized Hawaiian Punch, has grape label, purple tinted and someone isn’t familiar with with the name brand, Fabuloso, it can be assumed that it is a Hispanic grape juice. If the food imitating products are ingested, it will poison the individual. “Thus, from a public health perspective, food imitating products are considered dangerous chemical products that should not be sold, and may merit being recalled for the safety of consumers (Basso 1).”
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As for food labeling, there is a current fight for GMO labeling. The belief that consumers should have the right to have their food properly labeled. This means GMO foods should have a GMO label. “GMO labeling garners overwhelming support from Americans. Polls show that nine of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO food labeling (Coleman).” All the companies who are making a good profit out of GMO foods, do not want to have any type of regulation that requires labeling genetically modified organism foods. “Big food, farm and biotechnology companies and trade associations working to prevent labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients reported spending $101.4 million on lobbying last year (Coleman).” It is still being fought today. They believe that if the GMO foods are labeled, it will becoming unappealing to the consumers making them lose profits big time. “Food, farm and biotech industries have lined up behind a bill introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.. Critics have dubbed it the Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK – Act. It passed the House of Representatives last July by a vote of 230 to 45. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., introduced a companion measure in the Senate (Coleman).” The less people know about this fight, the more likely the companies win.Clearly, this is something that doesn’t receive much attention but growing genetically modified food crops is causing more harm to the environment. Other countries have that this regulation have not impacted food prices or sales.
Even when it comes to cleaning, individuals get exposed to chemical from using products like Mr. Clean, Spic n Span, Comet, disinfecting wipes, or laundry products. “‘Cleaning products expose Americans daily to chemicals linked to asthma, allergic reactions and even cancer, but no federal law or state law is in effect that requires companies to completely disclose their ingredients on the label or online,’ said Nneka Leiba, EWG deputy director of research (Amarelo).” People want to know what a product contains to make a better decision.
“Fabric softeners and heat-activated dryer sheets pack a powerful combination of chemicals that can harm your health, damage the environment and pollute the air, both inside and outside your home.” The chemicals in fabric softeners are fragrances, quats and preservatives. Fragrances in the fabric softeners contains phthalates which is mixed with other fragrances.” Fragrance mixes can cause allergies, skin irritations such as dermatitis, difficulty breathing and potential reproductive harm.” Quats, also known as quaternary ammonium compounds, is known to cause asthma and affects people’s reproductive system. “[The following] ingredients [are associated with quats]: distearyldimonium chloride, diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, variants of hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate or the vague terms “biodegradable fabric softening agents” and “cationic surfactant.” In a fabric softener, the word “preservatives” or “colors” in a label can mean any number of chemicals. “The most worrisome preservatives in fabric softeners include methylisothiazolinone, a potent skin allergen, and glutaral, known to trigger asthma and skin allergies (Boyle).”
Very easy and convenient to use, disinfecting wipes are largely used. Yet, the wipes contain quats, as mentioned earlier, it causes asthma and harms reproductive systems. “Although the EPA monitors pesticides in these products, that is no guarantee of safety. The regulatory body may approve chemical ingredients that have been insufficiently tested for health risks.” The use of disinfecting wipes should be reduced (Boyle).
A chemical called trichloroethylene has been used for dry cleaning purposes. Trichloroethylene is known to be linked to Parkinson’s disease. “The ubiquitous nature of trichloroethylene in the environment mandates a prompt and thorough evaluation of its potential role in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease (Goldman 835).”Parkinson’s disease is when an individual has an uncontrollable shaking problem due to nerve problem. If left without treatment, the individual will have no control over their body due to the shaking, their bodies can become stiff and they can develop tumors. It actually makes an individual with Parkinson’s disease worse when exposed to it. “Approximately 50 million pounds of trichloroethylene is released annually into the environment in the USA (Goldman 836).” It is currently used to as a degreaser for metals. Aside from Parkinson’s disease, this chemical are known to be a carcinogen.
It is important to take care of the environment. Everything that is put out in the environment can be harmful to everyone and can stay for generations to come. An environment is a place where people live. This includes a place known as home, a community, city, county and Earth. The government seems more concerned about being in good terms with corporations than the well-being of the people. As of today there are no laws that prevents companies from adding harmful chemicals to the products they sell. Companies aren’t even required to list all the ingredients in their products. Products that claim to be natural, organic and herbal have no legal definition. Agriculture operations are exempt from regulations that are meant to protect the environment for our health.” Yet, they are the primary polluters that are making the environment less livable for everyone just to make a profit.
Most of the pollution done today should and can be reduced. Cut backs and getting rid of some items from the environment one lives in. Instead of accepting toxic products in every household, everyone should do their research on which products are safe to use/ consume or find other alternatives such as using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning, making homemade body scrubs and eating organic. Instead of having to worry if a product on the self is hazardous, the government needs to set strong regulation for the companies that eliminates toxins chemicals in household products. Americans need to speak up, protest for the government to take actions that benefits the people instead of the large corporations. It has been proven that constant exposure to chemicals can cause health- related problems to people and the environment.The decision to be safe should already be made before items are in stores. Just by making better decisions for the products used on a regular bases, a household becomes a safer environment a family can enjoy. If large corporations can be driven to find ways to reduce their own pollutions into the water, air, land that affects individuals, community and the environment.