Gross, Liz


Liza Gross writes for the Environmental Health News, a foundation-funded environmental news service. At www.ehn.org, EHN publishes its own enterprise journalism and provides daily access to worldwide environmental news.

The Chemical Industry’s Money to Burn

By Liza Gross
Environmental Health News

Facing growing concerns over the health risks of flame retardants in household products, the chemical industry spent at least $23.2 million over the past five years to lobby California officials and donate to campaigns in a successful effort to defeat legislation. During that time, five bills that would have regulated the ubiquitous chemicals failed to pass the California Legislature. The four top recipients of industry's donations, three Democrats and one Republican, never voted in favor of any of the bills. Two of them were members of a committee that rejected the bills.

A five-month investigation by Environmental Health News revealed an infusion of chemical industry cash into California that has global implications. During the five years of lobbying, the flame retardants have been building up in people's bodies, including breast milk, around the world.