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April 08, 2006


Joshua Harris

I am looking at a public relations internship position at Enbridge Energy in Houston, Texas. I really respect your work, and would like your opinion, if you have one, on Enbridge as a corporation. Thanks.

Wendy Geise

I appreciate your writing on this topic, as it is one I am quite passionate about. The fact that there is limited testing for the human and environmental health impacts of chemicals before hitting the marketplace is very concerning. There is a grave need for consumer awareness about potential health and environmental risks from all the chemicals in the marketplace. I think the general population assumes that chemicals have been tested for safety, and don't even realize this is a problem they should be concerned about.

It is good that greening chemistry is starting to be on the policy radar. Something that addresses the issue of chemical safety at an international level is needed. The 2006 Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) initiative is a voluntary UN agreement that deals with risk assessments of chemicals and standardized labeling including:
Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic substances (PBTs);
Very Persistent and Very Bioaccumulative substances (vPvB);
Chemicals that are carcinogens or mutagens or adversely effect reproductive, endocrine, immune or nervous system, including all forms of asbestos;
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs);
Mercury and other metals of global concern.

I acknowledge this only as a step toward recognition of a problem existing. Much work is needed above and beyond this however, for example understanding compound and cummulative effects of the chemicals.

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