Environmental Studies and Forestry Sample Paper on Regulating Toxic Substances

Regulating Toxic Substances

The government of the United States can deal with uncertainty in regulating toxic substances using the precautionary principle. This principle is used to assess environmental and health laws. The local, federal, and state government has used this principle to regulate toxic substances (Acs.org, 2014, p. 1). It focuses on the risk of harm rather than the benefits of the substances. For example, if a particular plastic used in the manufacture of toys had toxic chemicals, this principle would be used to assess the extent of harm that is most likely to occur and take the necessary steps. Additionally, the risk assessment approach would be used by the government to regulate toxic substances. This approach requires proof of the actual harm before the enactment of regulations to reduce harm, implying that the majority of governments try to manage the risk of toxic substances.

The pesticide is supposed to be banned because it poses a risk to the health of human beings. The government should ban the use of this pesticide because it can lead to death, hence interfering with the life of human beings. The use of this pesticide will violate the right to human life. Although the pesticide has some benefits, the government should only allow it to be used after research has been carried out, and found that it does not cause harm to human beings. The technology-based approach is better than the health-based approach based on a number of reasons. Firstly, it avoids problems associated with the cost-benefit analysis because it does not require the regulatory agencies to translate regulation benefits into monetary terms. The technology-based regulation treats all its members uniformly (Glicksman, 2014, p. 1). Additionally, it is flexible. It has source emissions limits for individuals and they are very easy to be met. For instance, one can buy emission credits from different sources that have been over-controlled. Other reasons why technology-based approach are the most preferred is that they do not cost oblivious, and it is easy for the public and agency to enforce. They enable agencies to take the necessary steps to protect wellbeing, safety, and the environment even when there is a lack of certainty with respect to the precise amounts of harm attributable to developmental and industrial activity concerning necessary expenses to avoid the harm. Lastly, this approach has been found out to be flexible, affordable, and effective.

Yes, there are differences between water and air pollution that require the state to take different approaches. Because these are two different types of pollution, there is a need for the statutes to use different approaches in dealing with the problem. For instance, the rate of air pollution is high compared to those of water pollution. Several gases are emitted on a daily basis in the atmosphere, hence causing air pollution. This implies that air pollution threatens life of human beings and therefore it will require an approach that is effective so that the health of human beings is not put at risk (Progressiveregulation.org, 2014, p. 1). This may call for use of approaches like technology-based approach. On the other hand, water pollution can use the risk assessment approach to reduce the rates of pollution. It is understood that water pollution may be caused by the discharge of waste products in water bodies. This approach can be effective because firstly, it will assess the risks of using polluted water by both human beings and aquatic life.






Acs.org. (2014). Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making. Retrieved 23 May 2014, from: <http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/publicpolicies/promote/chemicalsmanagement.html>

Glicksman, R. (2014). Center for Progressive Reform: CPR Perspective: Technology-Based Standards. Progressivereform.org. Retrieved 23 May 2014, from http://www.progressivereform.org/perspstatutory.cfm

Progressiveregulation.org. (2014). Statutory Design. Retrieved on 23 May 2014, from: http://progressiveregulation.org/perspectives/statutory.html