“Today, thanks in part to the efforts of a single Virginia family, as many as 97 percent of Americans have toxic flame retardants in their blood. Deeply poisonous, and linked to cancer, genetic damage, and behavioral and learning difficulties, the prevalence of flame retardants, here and around the world, owes to the fact that these chemicals have been placed in many of the objects of daily life—in our homes, automobiles, and workplaces, even in our beds.”
As Jamie Lincoln Kitman illustrates in his new investigative piece for The Nation, flame retardants are yet another Chemical Industry example of reckless disregard for human suffering and environmental damage. In this case, key perpetrators are the Gottwalds, the most powerful shareholders of the Albemarle chemical company. The Gottwalds chose the same methods favored by all manufacturers of unnecessary and harmful products, from tobacco to lead to pesticides to GMOs:
“..these manufacturers mounted aggressive scare campaigns to create a perceived need for their products: They crafted regulations and lobbied legislatures to adopt them; attacked scientific findings they didn’t like; ridiculed public-health advocates; spun journalists; and bought political access with millions of dollars in campaign contributions.”
Of course, despite their toxicity and pervasiveness, flame retardants are just the tip of an enormous poison-laced iceberg,
“A shocking fact: The EPA maintains a database of some 85,000 chemicals that have been manufactured or processed in the United States, but it has subjected less than 300 of these to rigorous testing under the Toxic Substances Control Act and has banned only five (including PCBs.)”
Read the full story at: “Worse Than Lead? Special Investigation: The chemical industry strikes again, shifting from lead to flame retardants that also sicken and kill,” by Jamie Lincoln Kitman. Published by The Nation on August 15, 2018.