In the News: Plastic Panic

There's an interesting article by Jerome Groopman in the most recent New Yorker. It's called Plastic Panic, and it focuses on the bisphenol A controversy, while also exploring why the effects of chemicals on the human body are so difficult difficult to determine.

In addition, it provides info on chemical legislation in the United States and demonstrates that the U.S. is in need of some serious reform.

Here are a few interesting bits from from the article on this subject:
  • "The Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976, does not require manufacturers to show that chemicals used in their products are safe before they go on the market; rather, the responsibility is placed on federal agencies, as well as on researchers in universities outside the government. The burden of proof is so onerous that bans on toxic chemicals can take years to achieve, and the government is often constrained from sharing information on specific products with the public, because manufacturers claim that such information is confidential."
  • "According to the E.P.A., some eighty-two thousand chemicals are registered for use in commerce in the United States, with about seven hundred new chemicals introduced each year. In 1998, the E.P.A. found that, among chemicals produced in quantities of more than a million pounds per year, only seven per cent had undergone the full slate of basic toxicity studies."
Not good. Very not good.

Dear readers, I ask you to take a gander at this article so that you can get informed about this issue (if you're not already). It's an important one.

Related blog post : Better Chemical Regulation


Carmen said…
Hi there, have you ever had a chance to read Slow Death by Rubber Duck? It's got a bit of a Canadian twist on it, but it's a very good book.

I also became a fan on Facebook!

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