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New NRDC report, The Delay Game, documents chemical industry efforts to delay health assessments of toxic chemicals

Jennifer Sass

Posted October 18, 2011 in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Big business chemical industries have repeatedly blocked the Environmental Protection Agency and other government bodies from assessing the harms of hazardous chemicals.  NRDC provides a meticulous accounting of the evidence behind this in The Delay Game. This new report, released today, uses three chemicals, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE) and styrene, to illustrate a larger systemic breakdown, in desperate need of a fix.

Our report outlines the “Four Dog Defense” that big business has developed to defend its dangerous products, first tobacco, then asbestos, and now toxic chemicals generally:  1) My dog (product) doesn’t bite, 2) My dog bites, but it didn’t bite you, 3) My dog bit you, but it didn’t hurt you, and 4) My dog bit you, and hurt you, but it wasn’t my fault. Skeptical? You should be!

Without government experts to assess the health harms of industrial chemicals, we have only industry science to turn to. If you think the government isn’t looking out for you, do you think that the corporate boardrooms of America will do better?

We are putting our own health and the health of our families and communities in the hands of the chemical industry when we fail to defend our government scientists and experts from public calls to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, cut funds for our public servants or just sit idly by while the industry blocks the health assessments and subsequent safeguards that protect our air, water, and land..  This is a recipe for more cancer, asthma, birth defects, and other illnesses and deaths from increased exposure to toxic chemicals in our consumer products, our homes, our food, our drinking water, and ultimately our bodies.  

See the Delay Game report for details, and decide for yourself if the chemical industry can be trusted to protect our health.

Ater reading Delay Game, I hope you can support NRDC and other environmental health advocates in fighting to reform our laws so that hazardous chemicals are phased out of use where they are not necessary, or used with care and oversight where they must be used.

See today’s related blog from my colleague and co-author, Daniel Rosenberg, for details about our chemical reform work.

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Comments

Aurora HunterOct 18 2011 05:13 PM

I hold responsible present climate change deniers for the horrors that the not-too-distant future holds for humanity in general and my descendents in particular because of their refusal to heed the warnings of our scientists. We are already far behind in preparing for the climate disturbances to come, though we have already begun to feel them globally; we may never catch up. It would have made much more sense to cut down on the human activity contributing to climate change, while at the same time helping humans adapt, rather than a few rich and influential people squeezing the last bit of profit from dirty energy while lying to the ignorant masses and condeming humanity to the worst that climate change could cause.

I was a schoolgirl in the 50's. I didn't worry because I knew that the scientists knew what they were talking about, and that they were putting out warnings. Surely my government, that of the great USofA, would take care of the situation. There was no need for me to worry. It was all going to be alright...

Linda DelpOct 19 2011 07:46 AM

I have suffered with these unknown and unregulated chemcials for over 12 years and no one has done anything to help, regulate our products, funding for those that can't work,etc.

It is amazing that the US has allowed the people to be poisoned like this and lets these lobbyists, corporations run the show.

I am so tired of suffering and the financial, physical, and emotional toil is unacceptable,

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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