US anti-chemical campaigns intensify

ICIS News (subscription required) reported on Wednesday about the intensifying anti-chemical attacks from state-legislative and advocacy groups and that according to the American Chemistry Council, it is getting harder for the chemical industry to contest them.

Josh Young, ACC director of state affairs spoke at the 2009 Global Chemical Regulations Conference (GlobalChem) that was held in Baltimore early this week.

“Typically, these campaigns will position the issue in terms of children and mothers’ health and focus on one or two products at a time. It is hard to win over a state legislator, get him to do the scientifically correct thing, when his vote will be characterised as ‘anti-children’,” Young said.

ACC said that there are already 11 bills pending in eight states to establish green chemistry mandates, 12 bills in 10 states on green cleaning products, and 47 bills in 21 states seeking to ban bisphenol-A (BPA) in consumer products.

Here’s another one about phosphates that came out on March 24. Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) plans to limit the use of phosphates in automatic dishwashing detergents by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beginning in 2010, to ban the sale of residential dish washing detergent that has more than 0.5% phosphorous nationally.

And the chemical industry knows they should hold on to their hats because there’s more to come. Cases in point are the following recent studies that will surely inflame more anti-chemical news. This is how advocacy groups now fight against industry associations, by pitting their own scientific studies against the industry’s scientific conclusions.

  • Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said reported that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals commonly used in commercial goods as flame retardants since the 1970s, are found in all United States coastal waters and the Great Lakes, with elevated levels near urban and industrial centers. Dr. Gunnar Lauenstein, program manager for NOAA’s mussel watch program, said that PBDEs have been found in high concentrations in Americans
  • The New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation said that cancer-causing toxins are detected in fluoride chemicals. The group is opposed to fluoridation schemes being promoted by groups such as the American Dental Association which claims adding fluoride chemicals to public water supplies reduces tooth decay. The group cited references from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the NSF, and the FDA.

Here’s also a list of 2009 chemicals legislation in California by the website CHANGE (Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy) – another one of my tweet tipper (Thanks by the way!).

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