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Lessons in Green Chemistry

Milt37 Wrote: Feb 08, 2013 2:38 PM
These kinds of laws have far-reaching, unintended consequences. Several years ago California passed a law that required that all "potentially carcongenic chemicals" had to be labeled. The result is that a lot of hobby products I bought had these labels, even if it was few steel screws. Since I couldn't believe that steel caused cancer, I looked into it. It turned out that because the plastic bag the items came in was on CA's list of "maybe, could, probably doesn't, but who knows?" carcinogens, the companies had to print and affix these labels. Now, if you think that's just CA's stupid fault, it isn't. Any company that could possibly sell, or ship, their product to CA also had to pay to print and apply these stupid labels.

“Green chemistry” has become the latest craze and now government agencies are sponsoring programs to teach it to kids in school. But what exactly is green chemistry? Some say it’s simply about making products safer, but it actually comes loaded with a political agenda that isn’t really about safety—it’s about control.

The ostensive goals of “green chemistry”—safer products—surely can be achieved without government, driven purely by market demand. In fact, industry performs its own version of green chemistry every time it develops new products because after all, businesses don’t succeed by poisoning their customers. They succeed by producing useful and safe...