Monday, January 4, 2010

Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Products Kept Secret

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/03/AR2010010302110.html

The Washington Post reports today that an obscure, 33 year old law shields chemicals in consumer products from outside review:

Of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States -- from flame retardants in furniture to household cleaners -- nearly 20 percent are secret, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, their names and physical properties guarded from consumers and virtually all public officials under a little-known federal provision.

The policy was designed 33 years ago to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics -- including the Obama administration -- say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to.

No comments:

Post a Comment