Chemical Testing and Regulation

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ian Urbina, New York Times investigative reporter, and Monona Rossol, chemist, industrial safety expert and author of Pick Your Poison, talk about the lack of testing of chemicals found in shampoos, cosmetics, cleaners, and other household goods. They’ll explain how the FDA regulates these chemicals, concerns about their safety, and how states are creating their own programs to police chemical safety.


Monona Rossol and Ian Urbina

Comments [18]


Apr. 23 2013 10:23 AM


While I am quite aware of the /selectivity/ (or should that be 'selectiveness'?) , /tendentiousness/ and /hypocrisy/ with which the 'terrorism' label is applied and invoked...[1]

And while you would be absolutely correct in pointing-out that the /predation/ that is at the heart of the dominant _corporate_[2] and _banking/financial_ cultures/industries is, effectively, a form of /terrorism/...
I nonetheless must take issue with your use of, "so-called "terrorists"" (01:59 p.m.), and your placing of, "International terrorism", in quotation marks (02:53 p.m.).

Do you not consider the deliberate inflicting of bodily harm upon civilians to constitute an act of terrorism?
Was that not exactly what was done at the Boston marathon last week?

And was it not "international" in at least two senses:
a) the ideology and motivations behind this crime are by no means limited to any particular geographic area but are global
b) similar crimes, sharing at least many of the same characteristics have been committed throughout the world?

[1] I must note that I continue to fault both WNYC as well as NPR for being highly complicit and culpable in perpetuating the prevailing myopic, tendentious, jingoistic view of foreign policy.

The type of carnage and misery that we witnessed last week in Boston has, for years now, been _routinely_ inflicted upon countless families and civilians in places such as Afghanistan and Pakistan as a direct result of United States military policy and actions. (Though I must note that I do NOT blame our troops but those who /send them/ into such hell.)

[2] Corporate predation and exploitation, it should be noted, includes a certain multi-billion dollar, mega-industry that seems to largely get a pass from even (or /especially/) many, if not most, of those who otherwise are among the most vocal critics of corporate culture.

Apr. 22 2013 07:55 PM
marc parrilli from Chestnut Ridge, NY

I think i have now caught your favorite consultant chemist, Monona Rossol speak 3 or so times on your program. And once again I must for the sake of the new listeners who are hearing her for the first time refute some of her ridiculous claims. Cutting right to the chase, since i am in the cosmetics industry, her final comments about d-limonene (the major component of ANY citrus oil!)creating dangerous levels of formaldehyde by reacting with "household ozone" is so far off the track that i just have to respond rather than let that lie. first of all, what are the chances of ozone created in your home (vacuum cleaner? autopilot light?, furnace switching on?)reacting with "ambient" levels of d-limonene?! so, if you peeled an orange concurrently with running the vacuum, you have a problem? Do I have to remind her again that d-limonene (or the citrus oils it is found in)are ingested by anyone who drinks orange juice or coke, pepsi products (major flavor ingredient), orange soda (Fanta). Have you ever peeled an orange or made lemon zest and watched the droplets of the oil spew from the fruit? What do you think that is that inevitably lands on your skin or you smell it deeply? So i guess the FDA got this one wrong, too, by allowing it to be used ubiquitously in flavors? For me, this shoots her entire level of credibility down in flames! Why do you persist, Leonard? Find another "friendly" voice. Shoot me an e-mail any time you want this crap debunked. Does my rant sound familiar to you?

Apr. 22 2013 05:35 PM
Jf from Truthland

Baking soda does disinfect. Look it up, as well as apple cider vinegar. This is why baking soda cures acne.not noxema which makes it worse so that the customer will buy more thinking that it is their skins fault.

Apr. 22 2013 03:19 PM

grammer alert!

"...unregulated corporations do."


Apr. 22 2013 02:55 PM

Acute "International terrorism" is far more titillating/lucrative than the humdrum of everyday chronic korporate® terrorism we all live with day in and day out...

Apr. 22 2013 02:53 PM

"Jf from Truthland" wrote,

"Baking soda works better, and can replace ALL these toxic

Baking soda does /not/ _DISINFECT_.

To the best of my knowledge, /bleach/ remains one of (if not THE) most effective disinfectants for household/office cleaning. When using, make sure the area is well-ventilated and that skin and clothing is protected.

(Tip: While name-brand bleach _may_ be superior for _laundry_ usage, to the best of my knowledge all bleach available in stores is equally effective as a _disinfectant_. Thus, I try to get the cheapest I can find.)

If heard Ms. Rossol correctly at the end of the show, she was irresponsible to suggest that mere "old-fashioned soap and water" is adequate for applications where _disinfection_ is called-for.

(Also, _alcohol_ and, therefore, hand-sanitizer, are not as effective as thorough washing with soap and water. Hand-sanitizer should only be used when soap and water are not available. Oh...also..."anti-bacterial" soap (containing triclosan) has been shown to essentially be nothing more than a marketing scam and may actually be detrimental in some ways. I believe Ms. Rossel may have addressed this at some point in the past.)

Apr. 22 2013 02:13 PM
Jf from The utopian future

Stop misusing the word Utopia. Baking soda is,utopian. Baking soda has 1000 uses and is non toxic. These toxic chemical products dont work. Stop using them.

Apr. 22 2013 02:07 PM

European regulations are more favorable to us than our own. I think Ecover is Belgian and less toxic, just fond out bio-kleen is full of crap (but it can clean!)

Apr. 22 2013 02:00 PM

The reason the Texas incident got much less press coverage is for the simple reason that so-called "terrorists" sells far more media than unregulated corporations does.

Apr. 22 2013 01:59 PM
Amy from Manhattan

So what *is* known to be safe?

Apr. 22 2013 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Maybe the main difference in perception of the Boston Marathon bombing & the explosion in West is that for all a chemical/mining/processing company's often willful refusal to obey safety laws, nobody actively intended to kill employees or consumers, unlike the case with a bombing or shooting. They shouldn't get a pass for that, but too often they do.

Apr. 22 2013 01:55 PM

please ask the question: what can we do to avoid these chemicals?
thank you

Apr. 22 2013 01:44 PM
Jf from Truthland

Baking soda works better, and can replace ALL these toxic products. These chemicals are banned in europe.chemical corperations probably own a lot of stock in cancer industries.

Apr. 22 2013 01:38 PM
John A

Whatever happened to the Toxic substances control act of 1976?

Apr. 22 2013 01:36 PM

How do they address these issues with household and cosmetic use of chemicals in the EU ??

Apr. 22 2013 01:28 PM
Joseph Hutchins from Westchester Co

We you comment on the chemicals that the plastics industry has substituted for the infamous BPA?

Apr. 22 2013 01:28 PM
Laura from Manhattan

What about primarily using baking soda to clean the kitchen and bathroom? Is that effective and safer to use than the chemicals being discussed?

Apr. 22 2013 01:27 PM

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