Monday, August 04, 2008

Plastic, Fantastic ... Man?

From a US study on Phthalates in 2005:
The Rochester team, who examined 134 boys, found women with higher levels of phthalate-related chemicals in their blood were more likely to give birth to boys with undescended, or small testicles, small penises, or a shorter distance than usual between the genitals and anus.

It did not take exceptional levels of exposure to produce an effect - abnormalities were found in women exposed to levels below those found in a quarter of US women.
And fast forward to today:
Lawmakers Agree to Ban Toxins in Children's Items

Congressional negotiators agreed yesterday to a ban on a family of toxins found in children's products, handing a major victory to parents and health experts who have been clamoring for the government to remove harmful chemicals from toys.
Phthalates make plastics softer and more durable and also are added to perfumes, lotions, shampoos and other items. They are so ubiquitous that in one 1999 study, the Food and Drug Administration found traces in all of its 1,000 subjects.

The measure had wide support in the Senate, but it bogged down in the House, where the chemical industry waged a costly battle to defeat it. The campaign was led by Exxon Mobil, which manufacturers diisononyl phthalate, or DINP, the phthalate most frequently found in children's toys. The company spent a chunk of its $22 million lobbying budget in the past 18 months to try to prevent any ban.
"Chemical additives should not be placed in products that can impact health adversely until they are tested and found to be benign," [Sen. Dianne Feinstein] said.
"There is no scientific basis for Congress to restrict phthalates from toys and children's products. With over 50 years of research, phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied products in the world, and have been reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Europe," [Sharon Kneiss, a vice president of the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry lobbying group] said.

Exxon Mobil contended that banning phthalates may inadvertently expose children to greater risks, because manufacturers will be forced to use substitute chemicals that may be even more hazardous.
The industry's position was repeated by Keith Hennessey, director of Bush's Economic Policy Council, who wrote to the Senate saying that a ban could hurt children.
OK, a couple of points here:
1) Why is Bush's Economic Policy Counsel weighing in on a public health concern?
2) Why is Bush's EPC parroting the exact same line that Exxon is?
3) Why is the the American Chemistry Council lying about the safety record of these chemicals considering the fact that Europe has already banned them?
4) Why is Exxon threatening to use even more dangerous chemicals to our children's health if these are banned, especially considering many alternatives already exist?
5) Why aren't chemical additives tested BEFORE they are put in children's toys?

The answer is simple: Bush, (who threatens a veto for this legislation), and all the lawmakers who voted against this bill, are hypocrites. They claim to be about family values and Christian morals, but they consistently put their profits over their prophets. The next time some concern troll cries "but what about the children!?" ask them what is in their baby's toys.

For more information please follow the actual links to scientific studies.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak