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Outrage! LAT: US Rules Allow Sale of Toxic Products EU, Japan, China Ban

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:12 AM
Original message
Outrage! LAT: US Rules Allow Sale of Toxic Products EU, Japan, China Ban
U.S. Rules Allow the Sale of Products Others Ban
Chemical-laden goods outlawed in Europe and Japan are permitted in the American market.
By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
October 8, 2006

....As the European Union and other nations have tightened their environmental standards, mostly in the last two years, manufacturers here and around the world are selling goods to American consumers that fail to meet other nations' stringent laws for toxic chemicals.

Wood, toys, electronics, pesticides and cosmetics are among U.S. products that contain substances that are banned or restricted elsewhere, particularly in Europe and Japan, because they may raise the risk of cancer, alter hormones or cause reproductive or neurological damage....

***

The European Union, driven by consumers' concerns, has banned or heavily restricted hundreds of toxic substances in recent years, invoking its "precautionary principle," which is codified into law and prescribes that protective steps should be taken when there is scientific evidence of risks to public health or the environment.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies have relied on voluntary steps from industries rather than regulations, saying the threats posed by low levels of chemicals are too uncertain to eliminate products valuable to consumers or businesses....

***

One birch plank from China, bought at a Home Depot store in Portland, gave off 100 times more formaldehyde than legal in Japan and 30 times more than allowed in Europe and China, according to July tests conducted by a lab hired by an Oregon-based wood products manufacturer. Formaldehyde exposure has been shown in human studies to cause nose and throat cancer and possibly leukemia, as well as allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches and sore throats....

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dumping8oct08,0...
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. A few companies aren't stupid, but way too many ARE
In the absence of U.S. regulations, some international corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Mattel, Revlon and Orly International, have declared that all their products, no matter where they are made or sold, will comply with EU standards, the most stringent chemical laws in the world.

"We don't operate to different standards in different parts of the globe, regardless of differing environmental standards," said John Frey, manager of corporate environmental strategies at Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard.

But many U.S. and foreign companies do.

Some toys, nail polishes and other beauty products are made with plastic softeners and solvents called phthalates that the EU has banned as reproductive toxins. Several of U.S. agriculture's most popular herbicides and insecticides, including atrazine, endosulfan and aldicarb, are illegal or restricted to emergency uses in other countries. And a few electronic items, including Palm's Treo 650 smart phone and Apple's iSight camera, were pulled off shelves in Europe this summer because of lead components but are still sold here....."I'll guarantee you that no one tells a customer building a $75,000 kitchen that their cabinets contain plywood from China that will off-gas formaldehyde," said Larry Percivalle of Oakland-based EarthSource Forest Products, a distributor that sells low-formaldehyde and sustainably grown wood.......

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for adding this. I shudder to think how many birch planks...
are sold at Home Depot.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. with respect to...
>In the absence of U.S. regulations, some international corporations,
>including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Mattel, Revlon and Orly International,
> have declared that all their products, no matter where they are made or
>sold, will comply with EU standards, the most stringent chemical laws
>in the world.

This isn't any indication of altruism from those vendors. It is simply a matter of it being easier and less expensive to manage inventory this way.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Well, I wasn't implying altruism, just that they weren't stupid! nt
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. And some companies in the U.S. export products that don't meet U.S. regs
Some U.S. companies essentially export toxic waste to be used in third world countries.
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. And now China is doing the same to us:
...One birch plank from China, bought at a Home Depot store in Portland, gave off 100 times more formaldehyde than legal in Japan and 30 times more than allowed in...China...

What goes around comes around.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bad decision by Home Depot buyers, in addition
to the sorry state of government regs here.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Home Depot's profit margin is slightly higher. (nt)
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. I thought this would be about GM food
because they have both banned that too, but the US is still massproducing it.
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bperci108 Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Fascism = Corporate Rule.
(For all of the whiners that don't like the term being used in regard to the USA: Tough. Get used to it.)

This is the end result of Government For Profit.

Sick citizens. Sick cities. Sick ecomonies. Sick nation. :puke:

As a old revolutionary once said:

"Fascism is Capitalism in decay."


;)
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ellenfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. anyone know if there is a database of environmentally
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 12:52 PM by ellenfl
(and socially) responsible companies? i know i will switch to buying revlon products. kinda makes me glad i'm older. i won't have to live in the toxic cesspool we are creating. otoh, i guess it's time to push harder for environmental causes.

tia

ellen fl
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Kicking for an answer -- although there may be no such database. nt
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
11. Those damned socialist countries care about their people.
How Quaint.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. Must Have Cheapest Goods Possible..(even if they give us cancer)
That's the American Way..

Everyone wants Cheap cheap cheap..

Safe costs more and we ceratinly wouldn't want that, now would we ?
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. The food supply alone in US is TOXIC
compared to the EU.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
16. The comments from the wood producer in OR
sounds a lot like US automakers:
----------------------------------------------------------
"California's proposal is opposed by nearly all wood producers, who say it could drive them out of business if they are forced to do what Columbia did.

"The entire industry is not ready to make this change. Today we could not be competitive by changing resins," said Darrell Keeling, a general manager at Roseburg Forest Products in Oregon.

Keeling said his company makes some low-formaldehyde products but most customers aren't interested because they cost more.

"Even though people talk green and think green, they won't demonstrate their commitment to it with their wallet," he said. "More regulation and more bureaucracy is not the best way to drive change.""
------------------------------------------------------------------


This country is losing the ability to innovate and produce anything of quality. And everything we export is junk anyways, because the rest of the world knows we have lower standards than even China for God's sake!
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. We've got to get rid of the Republicans in Congress before they kill
off the next generation. Make no mistake, they would put profit above the safety of American citizens. I think it could be argued that Republican de-regulation in the last 6 years will be responsible for the premature death of more Americans than can be attributed to Al Qaeda.
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