The ingenuity of the chemical industry has created tens of thousands of new chemicals over the last century, which are now used in vast quantities in many everyday products. Unlike medicines and pesticides, governments have generally required no testing of these chemicals to show that they are safe.
While many synthetic chemicals are undoubtedly harmless, others, especially those mimicking natural hormones known as "endocrine disruptors" such as phthalates, are increasing being linked with disease and developmental abnormalities.
Time magazine has investigated this area with a series of stories on Environmental Toxins, including The Perils of Plastic (which amongst other things documents the growing scientific concerns about the safety of bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates), Pharma in the Plumbing and The Top 10 Household Toxins.
Please note that as this is a Time Magazine story the "governments" referred to are successive US governments. Other parts of the world such as Europe and, judging from Erica's comment below, Australia have much stricter regimes. Even so chemicals such as phthalates and BPA are still found in Australian products.