As a consumer, I do not feel as protected as I could be. According to Koch, The Toxic Substances Control Act (1976) which was passed by congress to regulate to use of new and existing chemicals, has not been given any additional major changes since it was passed and enacted (2013). A group of health and environmental activism groups asked America’s top ten retailers to get rid of more than 100 hazardous chemicals in their products. Before then, there were efforts brought forth by different retailers, but Wal-mart taking announcing plans to eliminate and eventually phase out the use of ten hazardous chemicals in their products has been one of the most major efforts since the passing of that original bill.
Now that I have read this article, I am much more informed about consumer protection when in comes to chemicals in retail products. Wal-mart’s announcement means that practices are beginning to shift, Koch refers to it as an “industry shift” in the right direction (2013). Now, I understand that a big part of regulating chemicals is communication between retailers, product vendors, and environmental agencies. When retailers are reporting to environmental agencies about their practices, they are more likely to request information from their vendors.
Now I would like to know if other chemicals are federally banned, besides BPA in 2012. What are the 100 most harmful chemicals that environmental agencies asked retailers to phase out? How harmful are these chemicals? From this point forward, the most relevant law to learn something about would be the aforementioned Toxic Substances Control Act (1976). It would be a good starting point for learning more about legislation related to retail and consumer protection, from there I can start looking at the minor and attempted updates to the legislation.
I think that it’s important for consumers to be aware of the minimal chemical control regulations in bringing their cleaning products, cosmetics, and other products to the market. Consumers (myself included) need to be informed of the regulation practices, and encouraged to do their own research on the retailers that they use. As well as the efforts that retailers and companies that are making an effort to take products with toxic chemicals off their shelves.
Koch, W. (2013, September 12). Wal-Mart announces phase-out of hazardous chemicals. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/12/walmart-disclose-phase-out-toxic-chemicals-products-cosmetics/2805567/