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|NMMA Contests Syrene Ruling… Really?|
|Thursday, 16 June 2011 09:27|
On June 10 in the Health and Human Services department’s 12th Report on Carcinogens, it called styrene a substance that is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Did this really surprise anyone? Of course not. All those who work with styrene know that it’s potent, and according to the EPA, exposure causes respiratory effects, gastrointestinal effects, eye irritation, and effects on the central nervous system including: headache, fatigue, weakness, depression, CNS dysfunction (reaction time, memory, visuomotor speed and accuracy, intellectual function), hearing loss, and peripheral neuropathy. But we don’t need the EPA to tell boatbuilders all about this stuff – they already are well aware of it, because their workers deal with it every day.
Unfortunately, the NMMA decided to join a styrene coalition and sue the department of Health and Human Services, even though the “potential carcinogen” designation doesn’t carry any automatic regulatory changes.
Earth to NMMA: do we really want our industry to sound and look like big oil, sending its lobbiests to Washington to squash all reason and logic? Do we really want to appear like the coal industry, claiming to be “clean” when everyone knows it’s a load of BS? Even if you win this fight, we all lose. It’s a black eye, there’s no up-side, and joining this fight is a lose-lose. In an economy where every dollar counts, spending time and money on it is a waste – and it makes us look bad in the eyes of Americans everywhere.