In Response: Cleanup from California Fires Poses Environmental and Health Risks

The Product Stewardship Institute’s Scott Cassel responds to the New York Times’ October 16th article, Cleanup from California Fires Poses Environmental and Health Risks

The toxic ash remaining from the California wild fires should be a wake-up call not only regarding climate change but also toxic products. The manufacture of household and building products that contain hazardous materials will now result in added health costs to residents salvaging items from their devastated homes and to workers assisting in the clean-up effort. There will also be added health risks and costs to dispose of the toxic ash. Unfortunately, those paying these costs will not be the companies who profit from their manufacture, but taxpayers and governments. We need to account for these added costs imposed by the toxic products we buy to clean and maintain our homes. These products should cost more to buy compared to safer products that do not impact the environment. It is time to stop allowing manufacturers of toxic products to unload the true costs of making, using, and disposing of their products on taxpayers and governments that clean up their mess and subsidize their profits.

Sincerely,

Scott Cassel
Chief Executive Officer + Founder
Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.

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One thought on “In Response: Cleanup from California Fires Poses Environmental and Health Risks

  1. Matt Baller says:

    Couldn’t agree more Scott. I can’t even imagine the scale of the challenge faced by the emergency services, authorities, and of course the public themselves in the wake of recent events.

    But it further highlights just how important it is that the financial impact of such events is considered proactively moving forwards; EPR is surely a must.

    One concern however is how to prevent these costs from simply being passed back to the consumers by way of increased point-of-sale costs. What are your thoughts?

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