Terri Gross interviews this guy whose new book, Exposed, details the dangerous chemicals in everything from car dashboards to – sob! – my rubber duckies. Take a listen.
While my husband – ever the calm, rational news reader – cautions me not to overreact to what may well be an extreme and unproven point of view, Schapiro’s claims didn’t surprise me, as I’ve read a lot about the stuff in cosmetics, plastics, electronics from a variety of sources. What did surprise me was his assessment of why the European Union – a much bigger market, by the way, than the US (who knew?) – restricts and regulates the use of these chemicals and the US doesn’t.
It’s not because the Europeans are nicer than we are – or because they don’t have industry lobbyists as strong as ours, fighting regulation – but because of who is paying for healthcare. Because studies show that these toxins do in fact have health reprecussions, serious side effects – well, the European governments realize that preventing future disease is a better bang for their buck. Over here – well, the US government isn’t paying for our healthcare, we are – so they don’t give a crap that we’re being exposed to stuff that’s going to give us cancer and dilute our endocrine systems and other lovely things like that.
Anyway, I recommend this podcast of the show (I never get a chance to listen on the radio, myself).
Also, in green news: Here’s a way to help the planet without doing much – these search engines donate to good causes – I got this list from Ideal Bite:
- GoodSearch – powered by Yahoo, it donates 50% of revenues to a charity you choose each time you search.
- Blackle – an unofficial black version of Google that uses less energy than the white version on some screens (for a more colorful option, try The Green Spider).
- CatchTomorrow – customizable news, weather, and search options; donates 50% of revenues to the public school district of your choice.
- Green Maven – though it’s not for charity, this Google-based search engine yields results from green-related websites only.