Stronger Standards for Hazardous Chemicals Benefit the Public and Spur Innovation
by Katie Greenhaw
Feb 21, 2013
The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) just released a report showing that stronger standards for hazardous chemicals not only protect human health and the environment, but can also spur innovation and benefit the economy. The report, Driving Innovation: How stronger laws help bring safer chemicals to market, examined the impact of laws governing hazardous chemicals and found that the prospect of stricter laws on toxic chemicals sparked the invention, development, and adoption of alternatives. The demand for these alternatives is growing globally.
The report recommends, among other things, that chemical manufacturers generate and disclose information about chemical hazards. The report further concludes that governments must possess and exercise the authority to remove hazardous chemicals from the market. And business and public support for such policies is strong: in a survey released in fall 2012, the American Sustainable Business Council found that 75 percent of small business owners and 68 percent of voters support stricter regulation of chemicals used in everyday products; 82 percent of small businesses think that companies should be required to disclose the chemicals they use in their products, and 92 percent support creation of a public database of all hazardous chemicals.
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