‘MONEY TO BURN’: Investigation Reveals Multi-Million-Dollar Effort to Stall California Toxics Laws
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Facing mounting concerns about the health risks of flame retardants, the chemical industry has mounted an all-out, $23 million effort to block restrictions on the chemicals in California, according to an investigation by Environmental Health News.
Reporter Liza Gross uncovered a five-year spending spree by industry groups and their contractors designed to forestall laws in America’s most populous state. During that time, five bills to regulate flame retardants failed.
Designed to slow the spread of fire, flame retardants are incorporated into a wide variety of consumer goods, from seat cushions and upholstery to children’s cribs, pillows, nursing pads and car seats. The chemicals accumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and studies have reported links to lower IQs in children, reduced fertility in women, early onset of puberty and altered thyroid hormones.
In her investigation, Gross tracked over $22 million in lobbying expenses and $593,000 in campaign donations to California state senators and assembly members. Gross reports that three of the four biggest recipients of industry cash were Democrats: Senators Gloria Negrete McLeod (Chino); Edward Hernandez (W. Covina); and Senator Roderick Wright (Inglewood). Republican Sam Blakeslee (San Luis Obispo) also topped the list. All have opposed attempts to regulate fire retardants.
The multi-story project is available here http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/money-to-burn
Environmental Health News, www.ehn.org, is a non-profit web publication based in Charlottesville, Virginia. EHN produces original journalism and aggregates roughly 150 science, health and environment stories from around the world every day. Marla Cone, award-winning former environmental writer for the Los Angeles Times, is editor-in-chief. Reporter Liza Gross is a Senior Editor at the journal PLoS Biology.
All original EHN stories are available for republication at no charge. The reporter and EHN should be credited and a link to EHN’s website provided. Contact Editor-in-Chief Marla Cone with any questions.
Contact: Marla Cone, Environmental Health News, (434) 220-0348, x412 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Environmental Health News