Guardian US launches Toxic America: Is modern life poisoning us?

Guardian US this week launched a new editorial series and fundraising campaign, Toxic America, a six month project that will explore the health implications of daily exposure to potentially toxic chemicals in everyday lives.

Guardian US launches Toxic America: Is modern life poisoning us?
John Mulholland: “This series arose from readers’ deep interest in the dangers present in our environment.” Photograph: The Guardian

From pesticides in produce to toxic dyes in cosmetics, Americans are routinely exposed to dangerous chemicals that have long been banned in countries such as the UK, Germany and France. Of the 40,000 chemicals used in consumer products in the US, according to the EPA, only one percent have been rigorously tested for human safety.

The series launch package features an in-depth look at the 1,300 chemicals used in US cosmetics that are banned in the EU; an explainer on the toxic threat in everyday products; and - after taking tests for more than 1,500 chemicals - Guardian environment writer Emily Holden’s reports on the synthetic chemicals in her body.

John Mulholland, editor, Guardian US said: “The Guardian is committed to rigorous environmental reporting, both on the threats to our natural environment and the solutions that can help preserve it. This series arose from readers’ deep interest in the dangers present in our environment and we hope they will contribute to this project to support our reporting on the chemicals present in our daily lives and the damage they can do.”

The Guardian US is asking its readers to help raise $150,000 to increase its coverage of the toxic chemicals in the environment for the rest of 2019. This follows successful fundraising campaigns This Land is Your Land, Break the Cycle and The Mother Load.

Toxic America will include articles videos, opinion pieces, and visual stories offering practical advice on navigating possible toxic threats in the home and the food and water people consume, as well as looking into deeper questions of how we got here, who is responsible, and what the solutions are.

According to the Guardian US, the series will:

  • Offer advice on how to navigate the supermarket to reduce your exposure to health threats – and toxins found in food, cosmetics and cleaning products
  • Look at the everyday potential dangers in our homes, from flame retardants in the sofa to carcinogens in dry cleaning
  • Explore how chemicals in our environment can impact fertility, parents and babies
  • Report on how plastic pollution is impacting human health as microplastic enters our food supply
  • Report on threats to our drinking water supply
  • Examine the role of the American chemical lobby and raise awareness about its political influence and impact on public policy