New film investigates the toxic secrets in everyday products: Stink!

Stink! movie
© Stink!

Thanks to a strong lobby and gaping legislative loopholes, the chemical industry and manufacturers can play fast and loose with our health. This documentary examines the issue.

We've published a number of stories over the years which examine the ways that modern industry is complicit in exposing unsuspecting consumers to harmful chemicals, whether the toxic components are found in makeup, food, clothing, furniture, or coming out of the tailpipes of our vehicles, and yet we have seen little progress in regulating and phasing out these noxious ingredients. Here's hoping that this new film will be a motivating force for changing from 'business as usual' to 'business that doesn't kill off its customers.'

Ever wonder what that strong chemical smell is when you open up a brand new product? After giving his daughters new pajamas for Christmas one year, and noticing a "foul smell" when opening the packages, father and filmmaker Jon Whelan did, and thanks to his work, we have yet another example of how big business cashes in on our ignorance.

Whelan set out on a journey to find out just exactly what he and his children were being exposed to, which led him to ask some hard questions about the cozy relationship between the chemical industry and manufacturers, and to investigate why our elected representatives continue to ignore the toxic effects of our consumer goods. His documentary, Stink!, is described as being "The movie the chemical industry doesn't want you to see," and it opens in Los Angeles this Friday, December 4th, 2015 at Laemmle Music Hall.

health issues and chemical industryStink!/Video screen capture

"I used to be ignorant about the Cancer Loophole. I thought that if a product was on the shelf in a store, that meant it was safe. I naively believed that if a product contained dangerous, toxic ingredients, ingredients that could cause cancer, that product would be banned.

In making “Stink!” over the past three years, I have learned that companies don’t need to disclose whether products contain chemicals that cause cancer or disrupt hormones, even chemicals that could interfere with a child’s growth, or cause reproductive problems. Certainly we can all agree that American consumers should have the right to choose whether they want to be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer, or birth defects, or reproductive harm? Apparently not." - Whelan

Stink! covers a lot of ground, from laboratories to manufacturing plants to retail outlets to corporate boardrooms and the halls of Congress, and essentially asks the questions of how and why companies have the right to take away our ability to make informed choices about what chemicals we are exposed to by the very products we use every day. On top of the dubious legality of being able to use ingredients that are either known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine disruptors in consumer goods, the film also highlights the lack of disclosure in labeling products, and illustrates just how hard it is to find out what's in certain products, even if they could be harmful to us.

Kind of reminds me of these Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics:

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you

Find out more at Stink! Movie.

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