I am disappointed that the chemical industry seems to possess free rein in the manufacturing world. I recently learned that there are 80,000 chemicals in modern-day products, and only about 2 percent of those have been tested for their human health effects. And those that have been tested are receiving little attention.

I’m sure many parents have heard of the ongoing fight to remove bisphenol-A from baby products, but how many of us have heard of phthalates?

These chemicals are hormone disruptors that have been linked to ADHD, birth defects, pregnancy loss, learning disabilities, asthma, etc., etc.

However, they can be found in almost any soft plastic on the market, and it disgusts me to find that they are hidden. Shoppers keeping an eye out for these chemicals will not find them on an ingredient list, as there is no law demanding it.

To change this, a public hearing will be held Tuesday before the Department of Environmental Protection. The hearing will be at 1 p.m. in the DEP Response Training Room, 4 Blossom Lane (AMHI Complex), Augusta.

The department has the power to list these chemicals as priority chemicals and to distribute information on which products contain them. I urge the DEP to do so; we all have the right to protect ourselves.

Simi Harrison