Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Comprehensive human environment law comes into force in EU


Europe is tackling the problem of toxicity in chemicals throughout the EU. It's requiring immediate action on the chemicals which are most toxic and/or most common, and forcing companies to either immediately (that is, before 2010) replace the chemicals should they be found toxic, or defend their use.

I personally find this fantastic news. The quality of life of every European citizen will increase several times over the next decade, as toxic chemicals are removed from the everyday environment.

The big question is, of course, why accept this regulation? Because the chemicals in question have large costs that are externalized- reproductive and mutagenic harms are placed out into the general public and companies don't have to pay a dime for that. There's a good argument to be made that environmental damage has been subsidized for far too long, and that the principle of "your right to punch me ends right before my nose" applies here.

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