How Many Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals Are Banned in The United States
United States as one of developed countries in the world has their own regulation regarding chemicals. The one in charge of it is EPA or Environmental Protection Agency and FDA or Food and Drugs Administration.
The classification of toxic chemical varies from its toxicity and how it affects either environment, human, or both. Moreover, the fatality and the level of hazard may vary. Thus, how many toxic chemicals are banned in the United States? Here is the list of them.
DDT or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane was a common pesticide until it gets banned. The chemical is colorless crystalline with almost no smell. These features were once considered fortunate since it will not affect the smell and color of the vegetables and fruit. However, research later found out that the chemical can cause bioaccumulation.
Bioaccumulation is a an accumulation within organism body of certain chemical. The accumulation increased percentage for each higher level of the food chain. Accumulated chemical is very dangerous and can cause several health hazard such as cancer, hypertension, blood poisoning and many more.
- Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)
Another chemical that is banned in United States is polychlorinated biphenyl or well known as PCB. PCB is a chemical with good longevity that was widely used as coolant and dielectic fuild. This chemical may belong to organic compound but its toxic effect caused many countries to ban PCB, including United States.
Research found several hazard of PCB use mainly because it is toxic and can pollute environment. It can cause cancer to animal and possible carcinogen to human as well. Another hazard it exposes is it can disrupt the thyroid and nerve of the victim. Due to its toxicity, its production declines in a short time and is no longer popular product.
Toxic chemical that once widely used but now banned by United States is Asbestos. Asbestos is inorganic compound from natural silicate. Being natural chemical does not guarantee it to be safe. The chemical has many colors depend on the component it has. They are brown, green, white, and blue asbestos.
What makes asbestos a toxic chemical is because it can cause several illness to human. Exposure to asbestor either through skin or lung can cause several diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and death. Even though asbestos was popular especially for fireproofing, the hazard makes it one of the most banned chemicals almost by all countries.
Radon or Rn in periodic table is a radioactive compound. It has no color as well as no odor. It belongs to one of noble gas with the most stable isotop. This compound also decays easily and only last for average four days. However, within its short existence, radon can cause many problems either health or environmental due to its toxicity. The effects Radon can cause include risk of lung cancer and environmental pollution.
Miners who exposed themselves to this compound has higher risk to have lung cancer. Several cases of lung cancer were to blame to this component. Because Radon is very dangerous, many countries ban this chemical and try to suppress its production in nature.
Lead or plumbum in Latin belongs to periodic table with symbol Pb. The pure form of lead has silver with a hint of blue color. It also turns to grey when it meets the air. Lead actually has many other variations with several colors.
However, one thing certain from this chemical is that it is toxic. This chemical has high level of poisonous substance that can cause health hazard such as damage to brain, kidney, blood, nerve and heart failure. Worst case of lead poisoning are miscarriage, impotence and death. Thus, only certain industry with high safety may use lead. United States bans the rest of activities involving this chemical.
Mercury is one of the most toxic chemicals in this world, and yet there are still many cases of mercury misuse in cosmetic and food product. The mercury itself is a compound with symbol Hg in periodic table. The compound is the only liquid metal and its liquid caused many industries to use it.
However, there are many hazards that mercury exposes to both environment and human. In environment, mercury cause bioaccumulation, especially on fish and shellfish. Those fish if human consume them, will also accumulate on their bodies. Moreover, mercury can cause internal organ failure such as brain, kidney, liver, and heart. Since it is very dangerous, EPA of United States bans this compound.
- Bisphenol A
Another banned chemical in United States is Bisphenol A or BPA. The chemical is synthetic compound of bisphenol derivates. It is soluble and has no color. EPA puts a concern on its use especially on toys due to some toxic and dangerous effects it has. BPA is industrious chemical that works a precursor to one of the most used compound, polymer. Thus, many plastic products may contain this chemical.
Hazards that BPA exposes are birth defect or miscarriage, endocrine disruptor, metabolism disruptor and any more. As for the environment, bisphenol A can cause polluted environment and disrupted growth of the plant. USA specifically bans BPA for baby bottle production.
Other Banned Toxic Chemicals in United States
These are the list of other banned chemicals in United States:
- Arsenic Oxide
- Copper Arsenate
Chemical hazard posses a lot of danger to both environment and human health. Some of the banned chemicals were the ones used widely in industry. Therefore, one may pay attention not to use too many stuffs that has those chemical contaminated in it. United States along with EPA and FDA are working to ensure the safety of chemical spreads within the country.
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