Health policy and resources

Mom at the store

EDF seeks to safeguard human health by reducing environmental threats, including toxic chemicals and pollution.

For too long, chemicals have been allowed into everyday products before they are shown to be safe. More than 80,000 chemicals are available for use, but not even 3% have been tested for health impacts — and only five have been regulated under the main U.S. chemical safety law. And our laws are inadequate to protect people from the pollution and health impacts of fossil fuel combustion and oil and gas operations.

Many serious health conditions are on the rise today, including asthma and other respiratory diseases, diabetes, heart disease, childhood cancers and reproductive disorders. Research indicates that exposure to toxic chemicals and air pollution can contribute to these health risks.

Safer chemicals

Through strengthening our laws and encouraging responsible corporate leadership, EDF works to replace harmful substances and practices with safer alternatives. EDF is working to reform the badly broken federal Toxic Substances Control Act, which has not been updated since 1976, and strengthen regulation of chemicals used in food. EDF also works with corporate partners, like Walmart and other industry leaders, to push consumer product and food manufacturers to remove or replace hazardous ingredients with safer alternatives — promoting safer chemical leadership action defined in the Behind the Label initiative.

Cleaner air

Reducing harmful air pollution, including from coal-burning power plants, will save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks. These benefits will go hand in hard with the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. EDF is working to ensure that people are protected from dangerous pollution.

Media contact

Tweets from @EDFHealth