Monday, July 17, 2006

Corporate Social (ir)Responsibility

A study by Clark to be published in Environmental Research in September found that major countries, including India, China and Malaysia, produce and sell consumer paints with dangerously high lead levels.  Clark's study demonstrates that new paint in many unregulated Asian countries greatly exceeds U.S. safety levels.  The study analyzed 80 consumer paint samples from four countries—India, Malaysia, China and Singapore—to determine the amount of lead and compare them with U.S. standards.  About 50 percent of the paint sold in China, India and Malaysia—none of which regulate lead in paint—had lead levels 30 times higher than U.S. regulations.  More than 75 percent of the consumer paint tested from countries without controls had levels exceeding U.S. regulations. Singapore, on the other hand, has well-enforced regulations similar to U.S. standards and only 10 percent of paint samples were above U.S. regulations, with the highest exceedence being six times the U.S. limit.

Clark was quoted by Science Daily as saying: “Paint manufacturers are aggressively marketing lead-based paints in countries without lead content restrictions...In some cases, companies are offering the same or similar products, minus the lead, in a regulated country...There is a clear discrepancy in product safety outside the United States, and in today’s global economy, it would be irresponsible for us to ignore the public health threat for the citizens in the offending countries—as well as the countries they do business with.”
Crumbling lead-based paint on playground equipment in Mangalore, India (photo: University of Cincinnati)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2006/07/corporate_socia.html

Asia, Governance/Management, International, Law, Physical Science, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink

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