When filmmaker Ed Brown’s wife miscarried for the second time — between the births of their first two kids, now 5 and 3 — he began to fixate on the effect of environmental toxins on pregnancy. He got especially worried when he read a 2009 study by the Environmental Working Group that found a shocking average of 232 (yes, two hundred thirty-two) industrial chemicals present in the cord blood of babies in the study – chemicals that had passed to the fetuses when their mothers were exposed to common consumer products like cosmetics, plastic bottles, shower curtains, mattresses, and household cleaners.
It didn’t take Ed long to discover that 27 trillion pounds of synthetic chemicals are produced in or imported into the U.S. every year, and that only a tiny fraction of those have been tested for safety. Armed with a video camera, he traversed the country interviewing more than 70 of the nation’s top environmental scientists and public health advocates to try and uncover the true risks of daily exposure to common chemicals in our water, food, and personal care products. The result is his documentary “Unacceptable Levels,” in theaters and video-on-demand this fall (see trailer here).
We worked with Ed to compile 10 mind-blowing facts every parent should know about our daily exposure to toxic chemicals. This slide show will give you a sense of why America’s barely regulated chemicals industry has made our kids “guinea pigs in an uncontrolled experiment,” as one U.S. senator put it.