UC Riverside professor outlines risks of daily exposure to toxicants and advocates regulatory changes to protect public health
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Name: Bettye Miller
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January 24, 2011
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Americans are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected toxic substances every day, substances that affect the development and function of the brain, immune system, reproductive organs or hormones. Children are the most vulnerable. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the marketplace.
That must change, UC Riverside professor Carl Cranor argues in a new book, Legally Poisoned: How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants (Harvard University Press, 2011). ... “Because most substances are subject to post-market regulation, the existing legal structure results in involuntary experiments on citizens."
Scientists are finding that every industrial chemical and pesticide produced today is capable of entering our bodies, says Cranor, who has served on science advisory panels for the state of California and on Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences committees. ... With the exception of pharmaceuticals and pesticides, the U.S. legal system permits most substances to come in without testing for toxicity, without knowing whether they cause cancer, birth defects, developmental effects, or reproductive effects. ... FULL STORY