MONITORING "POLLUTION IN PEOPLE"
June 23, 2004
A bill introduced in California called the "Healthy Californians Biomonitoring Program" would require the state to create a system for monitoring levels of synthetic chemicals in human bodies and breast milk.
If the bill passes, the California Environmental Protection Agency will collect fees from companies that manufacture, import or distribute any of the 50 chemicals listed to establish a biomonitoring program to determine the role that chemicals play in chronic diseases.
But as scientists point out, anti-chemical measures like this one are not only based on junk science, they miss their intended target completely:
- Some 99.9 percent of the chemicals humans ingest are natural, but this bill only targets man-made chemicals for regulation.
- There are 85,000 synthetic chemicals registered in the United States and more than 20 million natural chemical compounds, but there is no evidence that trace amounts of these chemicals cause chronic disease.
- There are many other factors behind chronic disease, including genetics, poor diet, smoking, lack of good health care, etc.
Several anti-chemical groups (like the California Body Burden Campaign) are supporting the bill, but small business groups are opposed to it, saying that it will add to the cost of doing business in the state.
Steven Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com, says the real motivation behind the bill is to "scare people, thereby building political pressure to have certain chemicals banned."
Source: Diane Carol Bast, "Junk Science Pervades California 'Biomonitoring' Effort," Environment & Climate News, June 2004, Heartland Institute.
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