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Abstract

The number of chemicals used in everyday products has grown exponentially over the last century. Many of these chemicals are known endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC’s) and they have not been proven to be safe for humans or for the environment. Rather, many of these chemicals have been linked to negative human health outcomes and damage to the environment. Corporate America is responsible for the production and liberal use of these chemicals in consumer and personal care products. The federal government has failed to provide effective or meaningful standards or regulations for the myriad chemicals of concern that make their way into innumerable daily-use products. The negative impacts from these failures by corporate America and the federal government are suffered disproportionately by women and children. Women use more products than men. Women and children are uniquely impacted by the hormone disruption caused by EDC’s. Women’s bodies carry more “foreign chemicals” than their male counterparts. Women are also disproportionately impacted by the care-giving burden associated with these negative health outcomes. While women shoulder a disproportionate share of the negative consequences, they at the same time, are underrepresented in the decision-making process regarding the manufacture and regulation of these chemicals. Through collective action, women can effect change and reduce exposures to toxins in products.

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