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Author: Mark Kohorst

The Federal Govt has banned incandescent lamps – FALSE!

The Federal Govt has banned incandescent lamps – FALSE!

Like a weed that keeps reappearing in your garden, the myth that the Federal Government has BANNED the incandescent light bulb continues to crop up and cause angst among consumers.  And what’s worse, pundits and elected officials who should know better are doing their best to help it spread.  It is particularly distressing to hear free-market conservatives spin this issue as another example of government intrusion into our lives and homes. As NEMA, its member companies, Read more [...]
REACH-ing” for higher and higher costs

REACH-ing” for higher and higher costs

A study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health recently concluded that the REACH regulation in the European Union will require $13.6 billion to implement over the next 10 years—six times more than previously anticipated [T Hartung and Constanza Rovida, Nature, 2009, 460, 27; available for a fee online]. The principal reason is that the number of chemicals pre-registered for REACH by industry vastly exceeded expectations, pointing to a huge volume of testing. The JHU Read more [...]
Another "Baby Bottle" finding . . . . Whom do you believe?

Another "Baby Bottle" finding . . . . Whom do you believe?

This morning brought an announcement of another “official” government finding concerning the hazards of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical building block used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins.  If you’ve paid even minimal attention to current events the past few years, you know that BPA, while enormously useful, effective and versatile, is quite controversial because of its use in food and beverage packaging and plastic baby bottles.  Studies performed Read more [...]
REACH – Two Years In

REACH – Two Years In

Earlier this week I attended a day-long seminar at a DC law firm that provided a status report on implementation of REACH, the ground-breaking regulatory program for chemicals under construction in the European Union.  In a landmark “paradigm shift,” the entry-into-force of REACH in 2007 made suppliers, not government, responsible for assuring their products are safe before they are allowed to enter (or remain on) the market.  There were many take-aways from the Read more [...]
NEMA Call to Action Legislation is Introduced

NEMA Call to Action Legislation is Introduced

Last week saw many months of effort by NEMA staff and member company reps rewarded by introduction in the US House of Representatives of HR 2420, The Environmental Design for Electrical Equipment Act ("EDEE Act").  This proposed legislation would codify into US law Phase I of the NEMA Call to Action, the industry's voluntary commitment to conform to substance thresholds set in the European RoHS Directive wherever NEMA products in the scope of that directive are sold.  The Read more [...]
FOX – Misleading viewers on batteries

FOX – Misleading viewers on batteries

The FOX media network’s “Green It-Mean It” video campaign took a turn for the bizarre recently with a segment on single-use batteries.   Entitled “Batteries,” the video asserts that most batteries sold each year are disposed in landfills where they “leak toxic chemicals into our land and air.”  Behind a menacing figure of a skull and crossbones (not much subtlety there), the voiceover concludes with a suggestion that viewers “check to see if your favorite brands make rechargeable Read more [...]
Misinformation at a California Conference

Misinformation at a California Conference

This week I flew to the West Coast to make a presentation on behalf of several NEMA sections at a solid waste management industry conference.  The morning after my arrival, I took the opportunity to stroll the conference exhibit hall, where a number of waste industry product and service providers were manning display booths, handing out literature, and chatting with colleagues and potential clients.  I was unfamiliar with most companies in the hall, but recognized one Read more [...]
The Government as Grinch

The Government as Grinch

The punishing impact on business of over-reaching government regulation is always painful to watch - the latest example is especially poignant given the time of year.  Several recent stories in the mainstream press are highlighting the immense difficulty and expense suffered by toy manufacturers as they struggle to comply with product testing requirements established under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, signed by President Bush earlier this year.  (See http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-toys23-2008dec23,0,2707481.story)  Read more [...]
"Let he who is without SIN . . . . . ."

"Let he who is without SIN . . . . . ."

Last week, Environmental NGOs in the European Union released their long-promised "SIN List" of chemical substances that the activist community in the EU believes should be designated as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) under the REACH regulation.  SIN, which stands for "Substitute it Now," is an unfortunate acronym for this list, which contains 300 chemical substances alleged to present a risk human health and/or the environment.  While it doesn't Read more [...]
In the dark about shift to energy-efficient lighting

In the dark about shift to energy-efficient lighting

For the second time this year, the Washington Times OP-ED page contains a commentary that lashes out against the national transition to modern, energy efficient lighting (David Deming, “Fluorescent Light Bulb Folly”). As a leading media venue for conservatives, WashTimes is generally effective in highlighting instances of government over-reach and misguided regulation. On this issue, however, their featured pundits continually miss the mark. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, contrary Read more [...]