In the 1980s, the Research council in America found that more than 70% of widely used chemicals for commercial purposes had no minimal toxicity testing and there has been no significant improvement till date which puts humans at a high risk. Toxic ignorance emphasizes the lack of knowledge on the effect of the contamination of toxins around us, in our systems and how this can lead to ill health in our body.
In the production of many foodstuff, cosmetics, food packaging, and generally most commercial products, synthetic chemicals are used in high quantity and only 2% out of thousands of chemicals have been tested for their carcinogenicity. This means we are at risk to more toxins than ever before, most chemicals have not been lab tested even though there is a general belief that government agencies are protecting our environment and health from the effects of toxic chemicals which is false. There is also the ignorance of complex chemical mixtures because most environmental health researchers use animals in laboratory testing and are exposed to one chemical variable at a time, meanwhile human beings are exposed to multiple mixture of chemicals which can have an added effect in humans and which long term exposure to such multiple chemicals may have culminative effects. The laboratory tests which would be able to test for multiple variables would incur high costs in time and money and therefore impractical, some will take as much as hundreds of years to test just a little number of chemicals. There are some reasons why environmental health and safety research is limited and these are:
A. The research is limited to one/two variables while there is no account for multiple variables which is common in humans.
B. Most researches are related only to the cancer paradigm meanwhile there can be other illnesses brought about by a combination of different chemicals.
c. High number of chemicals available for commercial purposes and more new chemicals being introduced every year makes it difficult to keep up with them.
There are some precautionary/solutions that can be taken to limit /curb the excesses of toxins in our environment and system and some of these are:
-Simple screening tests by manufacturers especially those chemicals in high volume use and the results should be available to the public.
-Replacement of certain chemicals with safer organic alternatives.
-Reduction in the number of chemicals in the market and used in the production of goods.