Toxic Chemicals Harmful to Californians, Report Says
California should create a plan to reduce the use of toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to residents' health and provide incentives for businesses to develop "green chemistry," according to a University of California report being delivered to the Legislature on Tuesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Annually, about 23,000 state residents are diagnosed with chronic diseases caused by exposure to chemicals in the workplace, and 5,600 Californians die from such exposure, according to Michael Wilson, lead author of the study and an assistant research scientist at UC-Berkeley (Lee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/14).
Researchers recommend that lawmakers appoint a task force to develop a detailed proposal for reducing the use of toxic chemicals and introduce it in the 2007 legislative session (Cone, Los Angeles Times, 3/14).
Labor leaders said a large-scale strategy will be necessary because chemical contamination is a major public health problem, the Union-Tribune reports. Others said more incentives are needed for businesses to develop green technology (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/14).
Lynne Garske of Kaiser Permanente said the report's recommendations will allow the HMO to pursue data needed to fulfill its promise to use nontoxic medical devices and other equipment (Los Angeles Times, 3/14).