Children, toxic chemicals and Australia's intergenerational obligations
Keywords160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified
160810 Urban Sociology and Community Studies
public health policy
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AbstractThe high volume and widespread use of industrial chemicals, the backlog of internationally untested chemicals, the uptake of synthetic chemicals found in babies’ in utero, cord blood, and in breast milk, and the lack of a unified and comprehensive regulatory framework, all underscore the importance of developing policies that protect the most vulnerable in our society – our children. Australia’s failure to do so raises profound intergenerational ethical issues. This paper tells a story of international policy, and where Australia is falling down. This paper highlights the need for significant policy reforms in the area of chemical regulation in Australia. We argue that we can learn much from countries already taking critical steps to reduce the toxic chemical exposure, and the development of a comprehensive, child-centered chemical regulation framework is central to turning this around.