New NRDC report, The Delay Game, documents chemical industry efforts to delay health assessments of toxic chemicals

Big business chemical industries have repeatedly blocked the Environmental Protection Agency and other government bodies from assessing the harms of hazardous chemicals.  NRDC provides a meticulous accounting of the evidence behind this in The Delay Game. This new report, released today, uses three chemicals, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE) and styrene, to illustrate a larger systemic breakdown, in desperate need of a fix.

Our report outlines the “Four Dog Defense” that big business has developed to defend its dangerous products, first tobacco, then asbestos, and now toxic chemicals generally:  1) My dog (product) doesn’t bite, 2) My dog bites, but it didn’t bite you, 3) My dog bit you, but it didn’t hurt you, and 4) My dog bit you, and hurt you, but it wasn’t my fault. Skeptical? You should be!

Without government experts to assess the health harms of industrial chemicals, we have only industry science to turn to. If you think the government isn’t looking out for you, do you think that the corporate boardrooms of America will do better?

We are putting our own health and the health of our families and communities in the hands of the chemical industry when we fail to defend our government scientists and experts from public calls to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, cut funds for our public servants or just sit idly by while the industry blocks the health assessments and subsequent safeguards that protect our air, water, and land..  This is a recipe for more cancer, asthma, birth defects, and other illnesses and deaths from increased exposure to toxic chemicals in our consumer products, our homes, our food, our drinking water, and ultimately our bodies.  

See the Delay Game report for details, and decide for yourself if the chemical industry can be trusted to protect our health.

Ater reading Delay Game, I hope you can support NRDC and other environmental health advocates in fighting to reform our laws so that hazardous chemicals are phased out of use where they are not necessary, or used with care and oversight where they must be used.

See today’s related blog from my colleague and co-author, Daniel Rosenberg, for details about our chemical reform work.

About the Authors

Jennifer Sass

Senior Scientist, Federal Toxics, Health and Food, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program

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