Oh, what a tangled web we weave. The Environmental Protection Agency people, who attempt to sort out all the nasty chemicals and approve or disapprove of them, weigh stuff like:
Should household cleaning products that we use on our clothing, counter tops, cars, driveways, have to reveal what chemicals are in the products we use? No.
However, New York is the first state to require manufacturers to reveal them. Go New York! It would be nice to have a clean and healthy home without risk from known problems for some people like asthma and reproductive defects.
Or how about this one, should EPA allow researchers to dose people with poisonous pesticides and study the effects? Can they pay people to drink, eat and enter vaporous chambers and see what happens? Apparently, yes. Yes? They even tested on pregnant women and children. Well, they've been sued and have to stop that awful practice.
California's San Joaquin Valley is the most polluted air basin in the United States. My son lives there. After multiple suits against the EPA, they've been forced to enforce the Clean Air Act requirements just this past June. 1,000 people each year die from air-pollution maladies.
Well, the EPA did ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos from being used in homes and gardens. It's a World War II era chemical for warfare. It causes blurred vision, headaches, chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, low birth weights. Studies have not been exhaustive. But, 8 to 10 million pounds of the nerve gas pesticide is still used each year by farms across the country, infiltrating food and water supplies, endangering salmon along with diazinon,and malathion. I guess it depends on who we think should be endangered, home owners no, but farm workers yes. And, just those who inadvertently ingest the stuff in their food not knowing what they are eating. Salmon is supposed to be a healthy food choice. I would like wild salmon to rebound in our rivers.
And the EPA is thinking about banning a highly toxic chemical used on pear orchards, potato, tomato and lettuce fields called Endosulfan because the stuff travels long distances, like the Arctic, Sierra Nevada lakes, Mount Everest. They find it in the air around schools and they know it causes reproductive deformities and it increases autism in exposed fetuses. That is, now that they are being sued they are thinking about banning it.
Truth be told, there are hundreds of thousands of chemicals awash on our food and products that have never been tested. Its even worse in other countries. The non profit organization, Earthjustice, is attempting to hold the EPA to its standards of protection. Chemical deduction is kind of like reading a horror story. When I'm on the road, I don't worry about these things as much. But, they don't go away. A new nasty chemical pops up out of some manufacturing lab every year. Maybe every week. And people wonder why breast cancer, birth defects, asthma and autism are on the rise.
I may be old fashioned but I think I should be able to breathe air not fouled by someone's chemicals. Isn't there an industrial code that says Do No Harm? Apparently not. And isn't the EPA supposed to protect us, the consumers? Apparently not.
It may benefit you to know that Earthjustice, the non-profit group, is located at 426 Seventeenth St., Sixth Floor, Oakland, CA. 94612.