According to the E.P.A., some eighty-two thousand chemicals are registered for use in commerce in the United States, with about seven hundred new chemicals introduced each year. In 1998, the E.P.A. found that, among chemicals produced in quantities of more than a million pounds per year, only seven per cent had undergone the full slate of basic toxicity studies. There is no requirement to label most consumer products for their chemical contents, and no consistent regulation throughout the country.
Choose products made with minimal toxic substances, avoid using plastic containers to store liquids, and choose produce grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and meat free of antibiotics and hormones.