Thursday, August 8, 2013

"New and Improved" EPA rules boost "acceptable" levels of toxins

In the editorial for the September 2013 Consumer Reports, CR President Jim Guest writes
about the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act:

"In theory it gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to collect information about the hazards posed by chemicals and to take action to control 'unreasonable risks'. In reality, collecting information is all but impossible because of trademark secrets embedded into the law; and controlling risks is so tied up in legalese that even asbestos, long ago proved to cause cancer and other fatal diseases is not banned in the U.S.
There are now more than 83,000 chemicals and classes of chemicals listed in the EPA inventory. In the years since the act was passed, the agency has banned, limited or restricted the use of five of those.
Does that mean that the manufacturers of the other 82,995 have confirmed that they're safe to be in our food containers, cleaning products, carpets and toys?  No, it doesn't. Manufacturers don't have to do a thing; the law requires instead that the EPA prove that a chemical is not safe."


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