Friday, September 28, 2012

Manufactured Fear Drives Needless Regulations


As sure as the sun rises in the morning, Americans can count on their televisions and newspapers to brim with daily reports of all the dangerous products lurking in their homes. Women in particular are told commonplace items like shampoo, deodorant, plastic food containers, household disinfectants, children’s toys, baby bottles, and garden hoses threaten them and their families. Even living room furniture is now cast as a household killer.

Silicone is the latest item to come under scrutiny. Discovered in the mid-19th century by a Swedish chemist, nowadays the term silicone is most often associated with breast augmentation, but its uses go far beyond giving women the perfect d├ęcolletage. In fact, silicone is used in everything from car engines to cosmetics, prosthetic limbs and medical equipment. In other words, silicone has made life easier for modern man, so naturally the hyper-regulatory Environmental Protection Agency is on alert....It’s almost like EPA just pulls these numbers out of thin air.....EPA’s real intentions—to regulate certain industries, chemicals, and products that environmentalists and public health officials (their real constituency) view as hazardous despite their being no evidence of real danger. This is part of a larger trend, building a culture of alarmism in America. The tactic is simple: based on the idiom “better safe than sorry,” ubiquitous pseudo-scientific activist organizations promote the idea that a chemical poses a “potential risk.” They say there is a “chance of danger,” or that a “correlation” between a certain product and a dreadful disease exists.   
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