Stung by criticism that his Monday letter explaining a veto of legislation to ban a fire retardant and a known toxin in children’s toys was “riddled with inaccuracies,” Gov. Tim Pawlenty yesterday acknowledged factual misstatements and apologized.
But he still stands behind his veto:
And so, the governor altered his reasons for vetoing the bill which, he said Tuesday, was because “many studies regarding the impact of DECA do not support a ban.”
Meanwhile, in reality:
Dahl said the “overwhelming conclusion” of independent, peer-reviewed studies is that DECA is a “dangerous neurotoxin.” She produced a long list of abstracts for scientific papers documenting known hazards of DECA, and another list of studies on another toxin, phthalate (pronounced fail-ate), that would be phased out in the vetoed bill.
Dahl said that both DECA and phthalate do not bond to the products in which they’re used, meaning that the chemicals are released as children chew on playthings or as products heat up.
Forty-one nations, including the European Union and Mexico, have banned phthalate; the giant retailer Toys R Us and toymaker Mattel have vowed to be phthalate-free by the end of the year.
The flame-retardant DECA â€” a “developmental neurotoxin” similar to PCBs, which were banned in Minnesota in the 1970s â€” is used in textiles, mattresses, and electronics. Heat causes DECA to be released, exposing firefighters to elevated chemical risk as they respond to fires.
Children are affected as heat from laptops and TV sets release DECA into dust that then circulates around the home and into carpeting.
Hmmm, I wonder whose pocket the Gov. is in on this one?
3 thoughts on “Fer fuck's sake, Pawlenty”
I won’t argue too vehemently about this one. Ideally, Mommy Government would leave well enough alone and let people take care of themselves, but if their biggest offense was regulating harmful chemicals in children’s toys, I would save my breath. This is a very low priority issue. It’s a bit like getting most upset when the bank robber fails to signal his lane changes during his getaway.
That’s pretty much my bitch with Libertarians, though. We all know these things are bad and yet we have to wait around for market forces to correct the problem. There are people who will always put profit before safety. If they can sell this crap for a few more years and get away with it, they will. It is easy and effective, in this case, to pass legislation. Done and done. What’s the problem with that?
The Bill of No Rights is kind of an asinine in parts, but the spirit of it is generally correct. Here’s the relevant portion:
ARTICLE III — You do not have the right to be free from harm.
If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
While the issue you mention is somewhat different from the McDonald’s-coffee type of nonsense, it smells the same. Should harmful chemicals be used in children’s toys? Never. Should government play scientist and market force? No more than they should when it comes to evolution and farm subsidies.
Without going through the morons at the capitol, we can still achieve the desired results like: “the giant retailer Toys R Us and toymaker Mattel have vowed to be phthalate-free by the end of the year.” Witness the quick reform of the Facebook policies when descended upon by the masses.