Americans actually agree on something – they want products that are free of harmful chemicals.

As we approach the midterm elections, a new poll has done the unthinkable: found an issue that doesn’t divide us.


Americans want government and industry to remove harmful chemicals from our products, according to a survey of 1,200 registered voters commissioned by the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California, San Francisco. More than 90% of respondents supported the idea that the government should require products to be proven safe before they are put on the market.

“At a time when most issues are politically polarized, the issue of protecting people from harmful chemicals finds broad consensus among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters,” said Celinda Lake – President of Lake Research Partners, who conducted the poll – in a statement. .

A majority of respondents are even willing to pay more to protect themselves from toxic substances: 93% agree (57% strongly agree) that it is important to remove harmful chemicals from our homes, workplaces and schools, even if it increases the cost of some products.

Other highlights:

  • 76% were concerned about the impact of chemicals and plastics on climate change
  • 54% said chemical regulations were not strict enough
  • 89% supported the goal of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act

However, Tracey J. Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences who directs the reproductive health and environment program at the University of California, San Francisco, pointed out that many voters polled seem get it wrong about how chemicals are currently regulated. About half believe that all chemicals in food and products have been tested for safety, which is not the case. For most chemicals used in our food and food supply, manufacturers provide their own safety data to the US Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency.

See the results on the Reproductive Health and Environment Program blog.

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