Chapter 19 Review Questions: Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Part B Questions 16-32
16. Under existing laws most chemicals are considered innocent until shown to be guilty, and estimating their toxicity to establish guilt is difficult, uncertain, and expensive. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences estimates that only about 10% of at least 80,000 chemicals in commercial use have been thoroughly screened for toxicity, and only 2% have been adequately tested to determine whether they are carcinogens, teratogens, or mutagens. Hardly any of the chemicals in commercial use have been screened for possible damage to the human nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Currently federal and state governments do not regulate about 99.5%of the commercially used chemicals in the United States. There are several reasons for this lack of regulations.
One is that under existing U.S. laws, most chemicals are considered innocent until show to be guilty. Some analysts think this is the opposite of the way it should be. They ask why chemicals should have the same legal rights as people.
A second reason is that there are not enough funds, personnel, facilities, and test animals available to provide such information for more than a small fraction of the many individual chemicals we encounter in our daily lives.
A third limitation is that it is difficult and expensive to analyze the combined effects of multiple exposures to various chemicals and the possible interactions of such chemicals.
Regulation strategy is the act of regulating or the state of being regulated. A principle, rule, or law designed to control or govern conduct.
Pollution prevention is the act or process of polluting or the state of being polluted, especially the contamination of soil, water, or the atmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances.
Precautionary principle: when there is plausible but incomplete scientific evidence of significant harm to humans or the environment from a proposed or existing...