Industry-Supported Chemical Bill Straight From ‘Merchants Of Doubt’ Playbook

Industry-Supported Chemical Bill Straight From ‘Merchants Of Doubt’ Playbook –

Sounds like the dominant effect is to block state environmental laws, worse than doing nothing at all.

Environmental contaminants should be put to at least as much scrutiny as pharmaceuticals.  They have far more potential impact.  They have potential effects on everyone and every living thing.  Unlike pharmaceuticals, there is no possibility of informed consent from most potential victims.  Life has gone on for millions of years without these new contaminants and would continue to go on without new contaminants with unknown effects.

The chemical industry is effectively conducting an uncontrolled experiment on the entire planet with thousands of variables. 
The field of biology is still in its’ infancy, how bodies work as systems is understood at a superficial and incomplete level.  New information about nature is discovered every day.

There was a story last week about the smallest microbes ever had been found, microbes that had been theorized about but never before observed directly.

Apparently nothing is known about those new organisms or how they fit into the ecosystem.

Well, usually smaller critters are eaten by bigger critters, so unless they are inedible they are probably the base of a lot of food chains.

Also size affects other qualities, smaller means a higher surface area to volume ratio, potentially more exposure. Smaller is also easier to tip chemically out of balance. One cell organisms lack the specialization of large critters like us, because it’s just one cell that has to do everything. So a chemical that kills bacteria won’t necessarily kill skin if it gets on it, skin is specialized as a barrier, but then it has one job.  A one cell organism has to be a jack of all trades, including usually mobility and hunting ability.  The smallest of these are probably no frills.

Chemicals that behave like estrogens have been affecting people for decades, which may be related to radical drops in sperm counts in the same period, and potentially other health effects.

Such effects are bad but what worries me the most is the potential to hit the base of food chains, the dramatic drops in places of populations of pollinating animals being one of the known issues, but the recent microbe discovery makes me think about the potential for something huge being missed, things that are important to ecosystems that aren’t even on radar.

This isn’t about the chemical industry being bad people.  Much of our modern world depends on things that they do.  But the profit motive can prevent people from seeing the big picture.

The real problems that chemistry could solve for us have been solved.  The failure of the world to ensure equitable results is a failure of politicians, not chemists.  The world is more than capable now of providing for the basic needs of everyone, that just hasn’t been a priority.

The race to come up with more and more chemicals now though, without understanding how they will affect us and the world around us, is just reckless.


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