Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chemical Love

Frankly, there is so much going on in the world to anger me, it really doesn't matter what topic I land on; I'm enraged. Here's another one:

Dangerous chemicals in personal care products compromise health. It's true. And the active ingredient in antibacterial soap is chemically similar to Agent Orange. (You're soaking in it...) That's right, you thought you bought a ticket to the Land Free of Germs, but you actually took a ride on the Nerve Damage Express. And it's not just antibac soap, but shampoo, too. But wait, there's more...

Mark Schapiro has written a book, Exposed: the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products. It's on my reading list. From what I have read about the book so far, here's the thrust:

The argument advanced by U.S. industry that making products safer would destroy our economy is a big fat life. (I'M SHOCKED!) That many American and international companies produce two product lines--a hazard free product line for the EU, and a toxic line for the US and developing countries--is the roiling revelation. That the EU economy didn't collapse after such toxic chemicals were banned is the evidence "calling the bluff" of U.S. industry.
Investigative journalist Mark Schapiro discusses why companies that manufacture hazard-free products for the European Union often produce toxin-filled versions of the same items for America and developing countries.

Photo by AtomicMak

Great news. Yes, Democracy, our Democracy, allows us to buy this poison, in both senses of the phrase.

Why is that? Why does the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act allow the industry to police itself?

Why do we worry about toxic products from China, but give American toxic products a free pass?

Why are we (i.e., the Fraud and Drug Administration) willing to protect the public, but only if it doesn't impede the profit of our corporations?

Why do we keep letting American corporations get away with sacrificing our health and safety? (Read this list; it will kill you.)

Why do we do this when we know children are particularly vulnerable?

And congress is going to represent our interests? Ha! Like when the senate voted to protect drug companies' right to hold a monopoly?
What could have prompted these 49 Senators to vote to protect the profits of drug companies? Follow the money and you'll find your answer. As it turns out, nearly every one of the 49 Senators who voted against drug reimportation has accepted money from drug companies.
Some helpful resources:
  • Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, by Environmental Working Group, lets you look up individual Cosmetic products and provides a hazard rating for ingredients, products, and companies. Try it; you will not be comforted.
  • The Household Products Database, hosted by the US National Library of Medicine, can be used to look up the safety of individual chemical ingredients as well as that of products by brand.
Things that make my soft skin crawl.

Lou knew...

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