Chemical Blacklist Growing

Apparently, not only are state lawmakers in Minnesota as noted earlier today blindly banning useful consumer products. International bureaucrats are working on misguided bans as well.

We here at CEI have noted the dangers of ill-advised chemical bans, such as the bans by nations around the world related to the pesticide DDT. Such bans have impeded the battle against malaria-carrying mosquitoes—contributing to millions of deaths every year.

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (known as the POPs Treaty) has already banned 12 chemicals. Among them was DDT. But after public health officials protested an outright ban, the treaty negotiators provided a limited exemption for DDT. It allows some use for malaria control, while imposing bureaucracy that makes use needlessly more difficult.

Now world bureaucrats have added 9 more chemicals to the list of POPs Treaty bans—which will take effect as each nation acts to ratify them.

There isn’t much of any data showing any significant, adverse public health impacts from trace exposures to these chemicals. But there’s lots of evidence that they provide important public health and safety values today. Unfortunately, treaties like this one do not adequately consider the benefits of the products they ban, just theoretical risks.

Accordingly, international negotiators are now going after chemicals that help put out fires, help prevent fires, remove head lice, and make our computers run safely. To add insult to injury, they plan to phase out the limited exemption for DDT—threatening to further undermine the battle against deadly malaria.

For information on the health implications of trace-level chemicals see the chemical risk sections of CEI’s Environmental Source.

(photo source: millenniumpromise’s photostream)