Oops we don’t regulate that

20 10 2011

After returning from a press conference yesterday on the Capital Lawn in Lansing,MI I felt inspired to write a bit about regulations and the current state of our consumer products industry. You see I was there, on behalf of greenblendz, supporting two Children’s Safety bills that were introduced to the Michigan legislature.

The first bill was to ban Cadmium, Mercury and other toxic heavy metals from kids jewelry and toys. What?? We need a bill to pass in a State’s legislature to ban lethal things sold to give to our kids as “gifts”.

The second bill would put together a committee to generate a list of chemicals of concern (bad stuff) and require manufacturers to disclose the presence of such chemicals in their kid products. Personally, I don’t need a committee or a bill this just is disturbing.

Over the past couple months we have had visitors in from Canada and various countries from the EU. As we walk them through our plant and explain some of the projects we are working one question always comes up. Doesn’t your government require these other companies to tell people what they are putting in their products? Then it progresses to how could something that is banned in our countries be present in baby products sold on all your grocery shelves. Valid questions.

You see we have a bit of a flawed self-regulating system in the US. Manufacturers are required to put out “safe” products but they can determine the safety of those same products through their paid testing. Arguments among the chemical manufacturers are always leaning towards the “it’s not that bad” side of the fence instead of exploring the possibility that long-term exposure from multiple products and even vapors could be causing some of our health issues that continue to rise.

For those of you interested here is the way products are regulated.

OTC Personal Care Items(Sunscreen,Sanitizer) – FDA regulates these and require products to be certified (registered) in their database.

Personal Care – FDA regulates but as long as no claims are made on the product label, no certification of the product is required. INCI (International Nomenclature) identifies ingredients but require some research from there to know what these things are or if they are Nasty.

Household Cleaners – No regulation, not even a requirement to disclose ingredients.

So what should be done?

1. At the very least full disclosure with common names should be on every product sold at store level.

2. When ingredients are identified as potential health concerns, the public should be notified so they can look out for those ingredients.

3.Eventually with consumer buying dictating the market we will push these ingredients out of the market for good.

It sounds simple, is simple and certainly would make it easier to explain to visitors from other countries how,WE the people, regulate our products.




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