CONTENTS EdEvidence Newsletter

December 2007

Toxic Chemicals and Safer Products in the News

Target's PVC Shift Unfair, Irreversible
Plastics News (November 26, 2007)

Citing Target's recently announced commitments to reduce use of PVC, this opinion piece concludes: "[I]f you're making a PVC product that you need to sell in a Target or Wal-Mart store in order for your business to survive, you'd better not wait too long to start looking at alternatives."

Lead in Toys Sparks Lawsuit
Los Angeles Times (November 19, 2007)

The California attorney general and Los Angeles city attorney filed suit against Mattel Inc., Toys R Us Inc. and 18 other companies, accusing them of making or selling products that contain "unlawful quantities of lead." The suit, filed under California's Proposition 65 law, would force manufacturers and retailers to adopt procedures for inspecting products to make sure they are safe. Barring that, they would be required to warn consumers that the items contained chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.

A Little Risky Business
The Economist (November 22, 2007)

The subtitle of this lengthy primer on nanomaterials states: "The unusual properties of tiny particles contain huge promise. But nobody knows how safe they are. And too few people are trying to find out." Much more has been spent on researching the potential uses of nanomaterials than their hazards to human health and the environment.

Are Your Products Safe? You Can't Tell
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (November 24, 2007)

This is the lengthy lead article in a multi-article series on hormone-disrupting chemicals--endocrine disruptors. Chemical makers maintain their products are safe, but the government has failed to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and a growing number of scientists are convinced the chemicals interfere with the body's reproductive, developmental and behavioral systems.