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Breast Cancer Fund Opposes Fatally Flawed Calif. Green Chemistry Regulations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2010                                                   
CONTACT:  Shannon Coughlin, 415-336-2246,

SACRAMENTO – The Breast Cancer Fund opposes the proposed Green Chemistry regulations recently released by the Calif. Environmental Protection Agency, as they fall far short of the intent of legislation that passed in 2008 to establish a robust and effective Green Chemistry Initiative. The law empowers the state to ensure consumer products are safe by removing toxic chemicals from products and to promote innovation in green technologies. But the proposed regulations repeat the mistakes of the current system, which allow toxic chemicals to be used in everyday products, from shampoo to children's toys to cleaning products.
The regulations are fundamentally flawed because they (a) do not meet the intent of the Green Chemistry law (AB 1879), which calls for the development of safer alternatives based on inherent hazard rather than quantification of impact; (b) shift the burden to show harm from industry to government; and (c) introduce a number of potential loopholes that industry can use to prevent the government from taking action on harmful products and chemicals.

The Breast Cancer Fund was at the forefront of securing passage of the Green Chemistry legislation, and was co-sponsor and lead advocate for three of the landmark laws the Calif. EPA cites as the foundation for its Green Chemistry Initiative: the 2005 safe cosmetics law, the 2006 biomonitoring legislation and the 2007 toxic toys law. We worked on this legislation and its implementation because an increasing body of scientific evidence links toxic chemicals to devastating diseases like breast cancer.

If implemented correctly, the Green Chemistry Initiative would put California at the forefront of global efforts to reduce toxic chemicals in products and foster a new manufacturing paradigm based on environmental health and safety. California could use its world-renowned ingenuity to move away from cancer-causing chemicals and toxic manufacturing processes and instead put the state on the path toward safe, clean and green chemistry. Implemented as laid out in the proposed regulations, it will do none of these things.

We appreciate Gov. Schwarzenegger’s commitment to Green Chemistry, and urge him not to implement these regulations until they are in line with the core principles of the Green Chemistry legislation. We look forward to working with Governor-elect Brown’s administration to protect California consumers by fully implementing an innovative and comprehensive Green Chemistry Initiative.

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The Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization working to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer.