If California is truly the public policy bellwether for the nation, we're all in for even rougher economic times. Last month, the California Environmental Protection Agency released proposed regulations under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Green Chemistry Initiative, a plan for a comprehensive statewide chemical monitoring system. But the CalEPA approach to eliminating many supposedly toxic materials recalls H.L. Mencken's observation that for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong. It will raise the costs of consumer goods and create an environment poisonous to business and job growth while doing nothing to protect Californians.
First, the regulators seem oblivious to the toxicologists' credo that "the dose makes the poison" and to the fact that we live in a sea of chemicals; indeed, our bodies are made up of them.