It’s a scary world in which a child can touch their painted “Shrek” drinking glass from McDonald’s eight times, and be exposed to hazardous levels of the carcinogen cadmium, often found in paint, fertilizers, batteries and cigarettes. It’s like a magic formula in some creepy sense – Aladdin’s lamp in reverse.
Although McDonald’s recalled the drinking glasses this summer, the issue begs a larger question: Why aren’t companies required to test their products and prove them safe before releasing them to the market?
Currently, children’s toys are regulated for safety, but other items, like children’s jewelry and drinking glasses, often pass through loaded with toxic levels of cadmium and other heavy metals. Not to mention products for consumers of all ages.
US Senator Frank Lautenberg is asking the same question. In April, he introduced the Safe Chemicals Act, to change the last legislation from 1976.
Read this Time magazine article, about bringing “chemical regulation out of the polyester era.”
Among many things, the article talks about the current laws, weighted toward industry instead of public safety. The outdated current system “didn’t even give the EPA enough power to ban asbestos, a known carcinogen that still contributes to the deaths of more than 10,000 Americans per year.”