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Toxic exposure prevention needs more than voluntary efforts

| Jan 11, 2014 | Environmental Law |

Ask your neighbor next door or the stranger next to you at a coffee shop and they will probably agree with you that life is busy. There are countless things on various to-do lists.

The world comes with lots of stresses, but when it is government agencies’ job to protect citizens from toxic chemicals, shouldn’t it be of highest priority for them to get clearly dangerous chemicals out of everyday products? What is more important on the government’s list than public safety?

Of course there are political and economic angles that impact this sensitive environmental matter. The question comes up because of a Huffington Post piece by Jeanne Rizzo, President and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund. She recognizes how big stores and companies might be making apparent efforts to keep toxins off of their shelves but those voluntary efforts aren’t enough to protect consumers and the environment.

First off, when companies such as Target and Wal-Mart volunteer to reduce the sales of products with toxic chemicals, the voluntary aspect of that promise doesn’t necessitate that businesses produce proof of that health-friendly effort. Toxin exposure reduction shouldn’t be a public relations strategy; rather, it should be the result of environmental laws.

Everyday products can be the cause of severe health and environmental problems. Rizzo argues that the government should be at least as focused as retailers are in the effort to reduce the inclusion of toxic chemicals in consumer products.

Someone who believes that he or she is a victim of toxic exposure can discuss the health matter with an attorney experienced with toxic torts and similar cases.

Source: Huffington Post, “Should We Count on Companies to Protect Us From Toxic Chemicals?” Jeanne Rizzo, Jan. 9, 2014

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