In an article posted today at CommonDreams.org, Jennifer Rogers of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project reflects on the current PR campaign to rehabilitate Bisphenol-A (BPA) in Washington, D.C. As she notes, we need federal (and international) legislation to regulate toxic chemicals, which all-too-often fall on the shoulders of everyday people.
Right now, I happen to be reading about POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) and international efforts to enforce and to expand the Stockholm Convention. The logic of this treaty is based on the assumption that there are certain chemicals worth regulating as groups instead of as individual pollutants.
What I’m wondering is if communicating the risks of such chemicals is more persuasive when individually (e.g., BPA or PCBs) or collectively (i.e., POPs) identified? Given the acronyms and technical names that arise with toxins (it took me a month to learn how to spell “phthalates”), how can we more effectively and meaningfully communicate a clearer sense of urgency and awareness with publics and governments?