When Are We Going to Address Chemical Risks In Consumer Products?

August 3, 2010

U.S. (ChattahBox) – The Washington Post had an interesting story today about a major problem in the U.S regulatory industry on consumer products, from foods to clothes, to everything in between. Something like 80,000 chemicals being used in these products are largely unstudied, and the effects of those chemicals are more or less unknown.

You see this issue creep up all the time. Earlier this year, Kellogg recalled millions of boxes of cereal due to a chemical-created odor and taste, which made a number of people sick.

Last week, a consumer group filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration in order to attempt to force them to continue studies started from a retracted ban on microbial soaps that could cause reproductive failure.

Continued debates on problems possibly associated with aspartame, from cancer to weight gain, as well as high fructose corn syrup, continue to divide market advocates.

These are just some of the issues that show what a serious problem we have on our hands: we don’t know what the hell we are bringing into our homes, or putting into our bodies.

“In so many cases, government agencies are missing data they need on even widely used chemicals about whether they pose a health risk,” Erik Olson of the Pew Charitable Trusts told the Post. He is one of many fighting for changes to the laws surrounding chemical regulation.

This sort of overhaul shouldn’t be under debate, and should have been done long ago. The data isn’t there, which can’t be disputed. It should be known and available, but it is the manufacturers of those chemicals refusing to release data.

Isn’t that what a regulatory agency is for? Forcing those companies to maintain safety, not asking and then saying “OK” when they refuse?


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