Healthy living: has exposure to problematic artificial chemicals really been increasing over the last few decades?

No one knows. It is clear that modern society has introduced many new substances exposed to humans over centuries. That being said, there is no way to make an overarching statement about all artificial chemicals, their release, and their heath impact. Each item (voc, allergen, toxin, etc) based on its substance, route of human exposure, dose over time can have an impact. The health impact of each must be seen.
Toxic soup?? This is a very important question. I will again refer it to those who can provide data about allergens, toxins including vocs, etc.