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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 06 Jun '09 14:03 / 3 edits
    i think there is some truth in exposure to undesirable chemicals increases your risk
    of heart disease, infertility , ageing fast etc ....

    also there is truth that companies avoid testing and legislation, mainly due to cost , perhaps brand damage if something was found out ..

    this worries me enough to read the back s of ingredients and put anything ' funny' back ...
    not only food ... cosmetics too, cooking surfaces etc ... i partly blame studying chemistry a bit for making me paranoid ...

    but i remember a case ... oxalic acid, widely used in dyeing cloth c hundred years ago ...
    it is naturally occuring , similar to alcohol, there is little to indicates it would be toxic at first ...
    but after time it started turning people who worked with the dyes blind.

    quite a few chemicals have ' surprise toxicity' in that you wouldn't know it without proper testing. i question why people buy cosmetics saying not tested on animals ... to me it says you are the guinea pig ?
  2. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    06 Jun '09 16:00
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    i think there is some truth in exposure to undesirable chemicals increases your risk
    of heart disease, infertility , ageing fast etc ....

    also there is truth that companies avoid testing and legislation, mainly due to cost , perhaps brand damage if something was found out ..

    this worries me enough to read the back s of ingredients and put a ...[text shortened]... eople buy cosmetics saying not tested on animals ... to me it says you are the guinea pig ?
    complicated

    first thing to talk about: dose/response

    sometimes a part per billion or two won't hurt you

    sometimes it will

    but you put your finger on the big big environmental question prior to the climate change thing -- managing risks associated with exposure to stuff about which there is not enough data to make a clear factual case on harm being caused by the exposure.

    it is what US EPA does --- when certain entrenched interests don't get in the way, that is.
  3. 06 Jun '09 18:59 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    complicated

    first thing to talk about: dose/response

    sometimes a part per billion or two won't hurt you

    sometimes it will

    but you put your finger on the big big environmental question prior to the climate change thing -- managing risks associated with exposure to stuff about which there is not enough data to make a clear factual case on harm b ...[text shortened]...

    it is what US EPA does --- when certain entrenched interests don't get in the way, that is.
    Notice a lot of sweet companies advertise 'natural colors and flavors' now and it seems a good idea.
    but these have less strict testing then synthetic ones in the US anyway. So there's still a cost motive
  4. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    06 Jun '09 19:49
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    Notice a lot of sweet companies advertise 'natural colors and flavors' now and it seems a good idea.
    but these have less strict testing then synthetic ones in the US anyway. So there's still a cost motive
    I don't think the profit motive can or should go away.

    However, I also think appropriate regulation and enforcement would go a long way toward keeping that motive properly in check with respect to managing health risks.

    but it takes a disinterested government agency to do that -- not one dominated by the regulated community.
  5. 07 Jun '09 01:00
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    I don't think the profit motive can or should go away.

    However, I also think appropriate regulation and enforcement would go a long way toward keeping that motive properly in check with respect to managing health risks.

    but it takes a disinterested government agency to do that -- not one dominated by the regulated community.
    "it takes a disinterested government agency to do that"

    Is there, or has there ever been such a thing? If government has life or death power over private sector business, you know that business interests will seek protection and assistance via the government.

    How effective has government regulation been, compared to self regulation, and the obvious advantage in a market of a flawless reputation?

    In the last 30 years alone, there are dozens of scares over additives, foods, pollutants, drug and diseases. A great many fade away in obscurity in the end being no where near as serious as they were portrayed.

    Then we have the FDA approved products which "passed" and still ended up being deadly. And, how many people have died during the multi-phase process for testing and approving drugs, who might have been treated and helped with as yet unapproved treatments.

    My personal belief is that we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves, and tend to trust government agencies far past the trust they've earned.

    Virtually everything has some level at which it becomes toxic, or toxicity when combined with other elements. You can bet that primitive tribal people were pretty careful about ingesting plants or animals that were "new" to them.
  6. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    07 Jun '09 02:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    "it takes a disinterested government agency to do that"

    Is there, or has there ever been such a thing? If government has life or death power over private sector business, you know that business interests will seek protection and assistance via the government.

    How effective has government regulation been, compared to self regulation, and the obvious bal people were pretty careful about ingesting plants or animals that were "new" to them.
    too simplistic a view by far. Over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released by industry into the nation's environment each year, including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens.

    I've spent 20+ years as a government regulatory enforcement lawyer.

    My experience is that disinterestedness is both possible and historically the case in many areas, especially where I am.

    We don't fall for every middle-class enthusiasm, nor over react, with some exceptions. We have scientists who, when left free from interference by such interests as the Dept of Defense, have the expertise and the experience to help our Agency make prudent, reasonable risk management judgments.

    There are always exceptions to this and no one's perfect.

    But public health is our main concern and we sincerely are dedicated towards its protection.

    voluntary efforts are fine, as far as they go. without a vigorous enforcement program, however, regs such as EPA regs are useless.

    I do think that EPA regs are overly complex, overly prescriptive, and too difficult to comply with in many respects.

    On the whole, however, we're better off now than before our environmental laws and regs were passed and implemented through promulgated rules.

    I can measure effectiveness by weighing the tons of pollution that are not discharged or emitted, the tons of poisoned soil removed, the number of dollars we force violators to spend at the site of violation to go beyond mere compliance.

    You have to take press reports and panics over minute amounts of unstudied substances, as well as rumors and fashions about various chemicals with a large cellar of salt.

    It is a complex subject and there is not quick, easy, simple, and dumb answer to it.

    You can't be successful at being responsible for yourself in our economy today using our food supply and breathing our air and drinking our water.

    You need expert help to be able to avoid that which you cannot detect, cannot see on the label, cannot taste or smell, etc.

    Even things long in our use can become contaminated and dangerous.

    Takes years of work and study beyond merely getting a license to practice law to understand and work on environmental enforcement matters.

    If you think you know about it enough to make sweeping generalizations, I'd be happy if you 'd tell me all about, say, ammonium perchlorate contaminating our water supplies, or about Trichloroethylene,
  7. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    07 Jun '09 02:38
    How safe a chemical is in the environment depends on:
    (1) how toxic it is (how much of the chemical does it take to cause an adverse health effect); and
    (2) how much of it people are exposed to (who, where, and in what amounts).

    When information about toxicity and exposure is available for a specific chemical, it can then be combined to provide a scientific evaluation of potential health risks. This process, called risk assessment, becomes the basis for legal and social judgments about the safety or acceptability of chemical releases.

    For chemicals that have been identified as potential health hazards, two types of information are required to conduct a safety assessment:

    1) Risk assessment values (or media quality standards)

    Risk assessment values and media quality standards are numbers that help define the level of health risk posed by a toxic chemical. Risk assessment values are summary measures of the toxic potency of a chemical. They are combined with information about the exposure to a chemical that someone receives to characterize health risks. Media quality standards set legal limits on the concentration of chemical contaminants in air, water or food.

    2) Exposure data

    Exposure data are used to estimate the dose of toxic chemicals people take in as a result of breathing polluted air, drinking contaminated water, etc.
  8. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    07 Jun '09 02:38 / 2 edits
    Hundreds of chemicals are capable of inducing cancer in humans or animals after prolonged or excessive exposure. There are many well-known examples of chemicals that can cause cancer in humans. The fumes of the metals cadmium, nickel, and chromium are known to cause lung cancer. Vinyl chloride causes liver sarcomas. Exposure to arsenic increases the risk of skin and lung cancer. Leukemia can result from chemically induced changes in bone marrow from exposure to benzene and cyclophosphamide, among other toxicants. Other chemicals, including benzo[a]pyrene and ethylene dibromide, are considered by authoritative scientific organizations to be probably carcinogenic in humans because they are potent carcinogens in animals. Chemically-induced cancer generally develops many years after exposure to a toxic agent. A latency period of as much as thirty years has been observed between exposure to asbestos, for example, and incidence of lung cancer.

    EPA risk assessment values are compiled from four major agency databases: the Integrated Risk Information System, the Health Effects Assessment Summary Tables, the Office of Pesticide Programs Reference Dose and Cancer Potency tracking systems, and the Superfund Chemical Data Matrix. Only one state, California, has made a major contribution to the development of risk assessment values for toxic chemicals.

    In some cases, chemicals lack risk assessment values but possess national media quality standards. These standards define legally allowable levels of chemical contamination in various media, such as air or water. National standards are established by the EPA pursuant to the mandate of federal environmental statutes, and can be based on a variety of criteria, including health risks, economic costs and technological feasibility. While most national standards are based on EPA risk assessment values, some are not. Lead, for example, has a national ambient air quality standard, but no inhalation reference concentration, and a maximum contaminant level in drinking water, but no ingestion reference dose.
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Jun '09 02:41
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    How safe a chemical is in the environment depends on:
    (1) how toxic it is (how much of the chemical does it take to cause an adverse health effect); and
    (2) how much of it people are exposed to (who, where, and in what amounts).

    When information about toxicity and exposure is available for a specific chemical, it can then be combined to provide a scien ...[text shortened]... hemicals people take in as a result of breathing polluted air, drinking contaminated water, etc.
    Your post is a cut and paste from:

    http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/def/assess.html

    You should really credit your sources.
  10. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    07 Jun '09 02:42
    Originally posted by FMF
    Your post is a cut and paste from:

    http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/def/assess.html

    You should really credit your sources.
    you should either contribute something to the discussion or STFU

    twit
  11. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Jun '09 02:43
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    EPA risk assessment values are compiled from four major agency databases: the Integrated Risk Information System, the Health Effects Assessment Summary Tables, the Office of Pesticide Programs Reference Dose and Cancer Potency tracking systems, and the Superfund Chemical Data Matrix. Only one state, California, has made a major contribution to the developme ...[text shortened]... ncentration, and a maximum contaminant level in drinking water, but no ingestion reference dose.
    Good grief. Another one.

    http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/def/assess_rav.html

    Why not give the link or indicate that the material is cribbed?
  12. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    07 Jun '09 02:47
    Originally posted by FMF
    Good grief. Another one.

    http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-profiles/def/assess_rav.html

    Why not give the link or indicate that the material is cribbed?
    WHAT in hell is wrong with you, fool?

    we're talking here about straight science - not opinion.

    to even get there a quick course on basic chemical toxicological risk assessment is needed

    but you -- you need to inject something personal into everything

    are you THAT sorry and pathetic a personality to need to do this?

    you have said not one word about the subject matter nor expressed any opinion

    you add, as per usual, ZERO value to the thread

    go away and play with your children -- assuming they can stand you
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Jun '09 02:49
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    you should either contribute something to the discussion or STFU

    twit
    Why are you posting other people's writing under your own name?

    Working out what makes you tick might shed light on the purpose of your unattributed cut and paste "contributions".

    Are these long detailed texts in fact about Scriabin?
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    07 Jun '09 02:51
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    we're talking here about straight science - not opinion.
    So that requires you to cut and paste from the net without indicating that you didn't write it. What kind of validation are you seeking?
  15. 07 Jun '09 02:58
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    too simplistic a view by far. Over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released by industry into the nation's environment each year, including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens.

    I've spent 20+ years as a government regulatory enforcement lawyer.

    My experience is that disinterestedness is both possible and historically the case in many ar ...[text shortened]... say, ammonium perchlorate contaminating our water supplies, or about Trichloroethylene,
    "I've spent 20+ years as a government regulatory enforcement lawyer."

    Then you have a vested interest in complexity.

    "I'd be happy if you 'd tell me all about, say, ammonium perchlorate contaminating our water supplies, or about Trichloroethylene,"

    A Google search on each yielded a number of layman readable articles, which doesn't make me either a chemist or a lawyer, but an informed layman.

    Here's the problem. Government agencies tend to be first of all political beasts. In any industry, from medicine to auto making there are those pushing ahead, and those seeking to keep the status quo. Government bureaucracies are more complex, adding the political, legal, and propaganda aspects to the basic conflicts of businessmen.

    I agree there are no simple answers, certainly blindly relying on advice from government agencies isn't, and their very presence leads to a false sense of security, so that most Americans don't worry about what the government approves to be added to the water supply, or what pesticides and preservatives are approved for food.