Monday, July 25, 2005

Chemicals: A Little Dab Will Do You (In)

I had planned to write more about these two articles, but in the meantime, Merill Goozner has beaten me to the punch. Until I get around to it, read him:
I was struck by two stories in this morning's papers: one in the New York Times reporting that Congress' energy bill will probably limit law suits against oil refiners for MTBE pollution; and the other a thorough report on the front page of the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) about the health effects of low-level industrial chemicals in the environment.
The articles discuss new science about the health effects of very low levels of chemicals. The more we know, the more alarming it is, but there's still a lot of uncertainty and investigation to be done.

The problem, as Goozner concludes:
Congress' and the administration's main concern in the face if these knowns and unknowns is to limit lawsuits and push the cost of cleanups onto states and municipalities.
You get what you pay for.