Archive for December, 2010

Limits to EJ & Climate Justice?

December 14, 2010 1 comment


Daniel Magraw, President Emeritus

By Daniel Magraw

One of my daughters just returned from a one-week trip sponsored by SmileTrain to provide free medical care to underprivileged Colombians.  As expected, many of the patients had cleft palates.  Unexpectedly, many of the children had disfiguring and immobilizing burns suffered while working with hydrochloric acid processing cocaine.  Some children could not bend their elbows because of scar tissue, others their legs, one child could not close an eye.

Fearing retaliation and even death for engaging in or disclosing illegal activities, the children’s parents had been afraid to take them for treatment at the local medical facilities (SmileTrain facilities were treated as safe havens, with no questions asked and no retaliation).

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Categories: Environmental Justice

The Long REACH of Chemical Information

December 1, 2010 2 comments

By Daryl Ditz

December 1, 2010 marks the beginning of a new chapter for REACH, the flagship European Union (EU) law affecting thousands of industrial chemicals … with important implications for the United States and other countries. Beginning today, companies operating in the EU cannot make or import high-volume, or certain high-hazard, chemicals unless they have been “registered,” which requires submitting basic safety data to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The rationale of registration is summed up by the catchphrase “no data, no market.” In other words, from this point forward it will be illegal to manufacture, import or use such chemicals within the EU, a market which now numbers 500 million consumers, unless companies provide necessary information on health hazards, human exposures and safety. This requirement now applies to chemicals produced or imported above 1,000 metric tons per year, as well as smaller volume chemicals identified as causing cancer, birth defects or reproductive damage.

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Categories: Chemicals Tags: , , ,