Washington State jumps on chemophobic band wagon

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Who is responsible for releasing a list of so-called toxic chemicals ostensibly aimed to inform consumers? Is it some activist group like the Environmental Working Group? No, now we have the state of Washington contributing to the chemical hysteria that’s sweeping the land.

The rules mean large manufacturers will have to report when any one of 59 chemicals is in their products and explain why they were added. Carol Kraege, Washington state Department of Ecology's toxics policy coordinator, tells the AP the state isn’t setting a health-based standard and a chemical’s presence in a product doesn’t mean the product is harmful or that children are being exposed to it. (So what’s the point, exactly?)

“Notice that these is no mention of dose in this list,” ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan points out. “This is more clear evidence of chemophobia run rampant.”

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross agrees. “It’s one thing when an activist chemophobic group like the EWG — whose raison d'être is to scare us about chemicals — publishes reports like this. But when the government of a supposedly rational state such as Washington publishes such a list — whose only effect can be to alarm their own residents about no health threat whatsoever — it shows how far this country is careening towards nonsense in chemical risk analysis.”

In the upcoming weeks, ACSH will be releasing a publication titled Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, that will shed light on the issue of fears stemming from faulty chemical risk assessment.