Judging from yesterday’s testimony, it sure looks like the trial lawyer/”consumer activist”/pro-regulation political machinery is gearing up to turn formaldehyde into the latest phthalates or BPA, and in the process we could wind up with another sledge-hammer, jobs-killing bill like the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (Not to deny that formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical that requires careful handling.)
So to set a solid foundation for future policy debates, we’ll just offer this summary from the testimony of Dr. Phillip J. Wakelyn of Wakelyn Associates, LLC (who has worked for the cotton industry):
There have been no valid safety related problems raised in the US concerning the low levels of formaldehyde on clothing and textiles. In view of all the studies over the last 30 years indicting that there is not a formaldehyde problem with US textiles products and regulations already in place concerning formaldehyde and textiles, no new regulations are necessary. Because the evidence is so strong that formaldehyde in textiles does not pose a problem to consumers, there is no need for legislative or regulatory action concerning formaldehyde and textiles unless the results of the GAO study, required by Section 234 of the CPSIA which became law August 14, 2008, indicate that action is necessary.
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