Student Researcher: Caitlin Ruxton
As the American chemical industry blocks regulation of products that are linked to cancer, infertility, neurological and hormonal disorders, Europe has launched stringent new regulations requiring companies seeking access to their lucrative markets eliminate toxic substances and manufacture safer electronics, automobiles, toys and cosmetics. US deregulation of toxic substances, such as lead in lipsticks, mercury in electronics and phthalates in baby toys, may not only pose disastrous consequences to our health but also to our economic and political status in the world as international markets move toward the European model of insisting on environmental and consumer safety.
When Europeans began changing the production system to protect people from dangerous products, the US chemical industry manufacturers began flooding Brussels with lobbyists. The European Parliament and the European Commission, which are essentially the Congress and White House of the European Union, are now surrounded by the Burson-Marstellers, and Hill & Knowlton companies, all lobbying for less oversight of toxic products. As the divide between UK and US policies stand, the US has become the dumping ground for toxic toys, electronics and cosmetics. We consume the toxic materials that other countries around the world are protected from.
“US Lags Behind Europe in Regulating Toxicity of Everyday Products”Democracy Now
February 24, 2009