Individual states are allowed to implement regulations for themselves unless the federal EPA has developed a national regulation that covers the issue. States can be more restrictive than the EPA, but they cannot require something that conflicts with federal requirements. California has implemented Proposition 65 that requires labels alerting consumers that the product contains an ingredient that is either a carcinogen or a reproductive toxicant. This warning shows up in many places; the easiest to see is the label on refueling pumps at gas stations. Do you think that these types of initiatives are useful? Why, or why not?
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I think that labels like this are useful. Think about reading the ingredient list on a food item. There are multiple huge, complicated words that they use in the place of sugar. This change was a marketing decision decades ago, when companies decided that their products would sell better if people didn’t read high levels of sugar on their labels. Now in some countries like Mexico, labels are required for products containing excessive amounts of sugar or calories.
When looking at contents of most consumables, I find myself not understanding at least one, if not more, words in those lists. I feel that even if the scientific name were listed, I probably wouldn’t know if I were eating or handling a carcinogen. People may not pay close attention to warning labels, but I feel they are even less likely to research the dangers of everyday items. At least this way, they bring attention to danger itself.
I feel that as a society we are complacent in handling certain items, such as gasoline, and therefore operate without taking the risks into consideration. It’s still not uncommon to see people smoke or not turn off their vehicles whilst pumping gasoline, although there have been plenty of accidents.