What’s with the chemical hysteria?

The US seems to be intent in pushing a lot of chemical bans this year especially in California. Meanwhile, plastic bag bans are plastered all over the news as well.

Joe Acker, president of the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), noted the rampant chemophobia going on in the US in his blog, and how US regulatory agencies seem to be pandering to these fears.

“The resulting widespread fear often pressures the government or retailers to react rashly and eliminate useful substances, regardless of the true hazard or the potentially disastrous market or safety outcomes.”

I do agree that news on these purported toxic chemicals such as BPA, PVC, phthalates, certain flame retardants, and certain pesticides, seem to be overblown. However, will the government really put consumers more at risk by banning these chemicals?

Chemical associations continue to emphasized their historical safety but it seems several chemical companies are already working to find alternatives as a way to increase their competitiveness (and make higher profits).

Ban or not, maybe spotlighting these chemicals could be a good thing to drive the industry’s innovative spirit (and profitability) to a higher level.
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