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(chemical substitutions w/ bad consequences) RE: today's question



I'm not sure if it fits in with the pattern of your first two examples, but
the product substitutions that have occurred in off the shelf consumer
herbicides seem an example where product substitutions driven by a
regulatory mandate on individual chemicals have not reduced risk of harm to
the environment; one poison with Clean Water Act potential 303(d) listing
was replaced by another with comparable risks.

Then there is marketing based product substitutions, where marketers
convince people they need a new product where old chemicals or practices
were adequate.  Triclosan in hand-soap, or "Round-Up" are examples of
irresponsible marketing substitutions.

Water suppliers have tended to increase zinc-phosphate type compounds to
reduce corrosion.  That reduces copper & lead in the drinking water [and
incidentally the sewers], but for dischargers to shallow water areas with
wildlife it caused a temporary headache to wastewater plants.  Fine tuning
of the zinc-phosphate usage had addressed that in California.

And I doubt that this will earn me any friends on this list but I doubt the
wisdom of replacing chrysotile asbestos in brake pads with copper.

The above opinion is mine and not that of my employer.  I am solely
responsible for my professional opinions.

Pascal Roubineau
City of San Jose- ESD
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