Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Chemical Safety Requires Local Government Action

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Chemical Safety Requires Local Government Action

Article excerpt

In "REACHing for Chemical Safety," Brown (2003) described the European Union's proposed Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) legislation and the shocking ineffectiveness of the laws currently governing toxic chemicals. Brown (2003) also revealed the depressing extent to which U.S. environmental officials, who are supposed to be advocates for the public and the environment, have instead fallen in line with the Bush administration's pro-business policies. Much-needed reform of U.S. policy on chemicals seems remote at best, but glimmers of hope, and possibly the future, exist outside the Washington, DC, Beltway. Last summer, San Francisco, California, became the first government jurisdiction in the United States to adopt the precautionary principle as a controlling environmental policy. San Francisco has also passed a resolution supporting a strong REACH in Europe, which would clearly benefit the people of California and elsewhere in the United States by promoting a safer global chemicals industry. Local communities and states can and must take environmental protection into their own hands; Californians are showing how bridges to Europe can help bypass the federal government altogether. …

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