The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

"... The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution": Taking Action in a Landmark Case Against the Lead-Paint Industry

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Once we had really begun our research looking in to the lead paint industry and industrial pollution, our group met once again with Dr. David Rosner to discuss what we had found. During this meeting Dr. Rosner also updated us on his personal involvement in the case and the amazing success of the case. We talked about how once the Rhode Island decision came in, numerous other states around the country made rulings against the lead paint industry. I was curious about the direct connection between all of these cases and how those cases preceding the Rhode Island decision use that decision in their case. Dr. Rosner explained that in most instances, states where recent rulings have occurred, such as New Jersey and California, have already been in the middle of cases and the Rhode Island ruling gave them even more reason to rule against the lead paint industries.

Dr. Rosner was also extremely helpful in guiding along our research. Talking with him gave him as well as the three of us the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas about what direction our research should take. I told Rosner about the articles I had read from the last five years about regulations on the cosmetic industry in California. The cosmetic industry is not regulated at the same standards as many other industries because they have their own system of regulations different from the Food and Drug Administration. Recently, California has started requiring that the industry give their consumers more information on possible cancer causing agents in various cosmetics. Dr. Rosner was surprised the cosmetic industry has such a relaxed policy because they were one of the first industries to have warning labels on their products. He suggested that I look at documents from congressional hearings around the 1930s when the Food and Drug Administration first took on a major role in the government. I am interested to learn whether cosmetics were included under FDA’s control, how regulation of cosmetics has changed over time, and how this has effected consumers as the cosmetic industry is very large and effects many people.

In my search on the internet for information on industrial pollution I came across the Environmental Working Group site. This is a group that has done a lot of work to put a stop to industrial pollution. They conducted a study on ingredients in many cosmetics and give a safety assessment rating system for 14,000 products. Here is the web address if you are interested in looking at this study.


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