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Ralph Nader: Koch Brothers Led Fight to Defend Formaldehyde Despite Carcinogenic Evidence

A Lasio hair treatment, which releases harmful fumes, is performed by Merita Selmani at Mark Garrison Salon in New York on October 29, 2010. At Garrison's, the procedure, called a “Brazilian Blowout,” is done on a special floor with masks and ventilators for the fumes that may cause nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation. (Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times) The government has added formaldehyde to a list of known carcinogens, despite years of lobbying by the chemical industry. Formaldehyde is found in plastics and often used in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons. The government also said Friday that styrene, which is used in boats, bathtubs and in disposable foam plastic cups and plates, may cause cancer. The conservative billionaire Koch brothers have led the lobbying effort against labeling formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is one of the country’s top producers of formaldehyde. We get reaction from longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader. TRANSCRIPT:

The government has added formaldehyde to a list of known carcinogens, despite years of lobbying by the chemical industry. Formaldehyde is found in plastics and often used in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons. The government also said Friday that styrene, which is used in boats, bathtubs and in disposable foam plastic cups and plates, may cause cancer. The conservative billionaire Koch brothers have led the lobbying effort against labeling formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, is one of the country’s top producers of formaldehyde. We get reaction from longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

TRANSCRIPT:

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, I want to go to a very different issue in the last 30 seconds: the government adding formaldehyde to a list of known carcinogens despite years of lobbying from the chemical industry. This report coming out now, just months after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration warned that a hair-care product, Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, contained unacceptable levels of formaldehyde. The government also saying Friday, styrene, which is used in boats, bathtubs and in disposable foam plastic cups and plates, may cause cancer. One of the chief lobbyists against formaldehyde being put on this list were the Koch brothers. Could I get a quick reply from you?

RALPH NADER: The carcinogen aspects, long known, finally recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, opposed by these right-wing lobbyists, the Koch brothers, who, you know, $37 billion worth of money, they’re going to put a lot of it in the campaign. So this will put more spotlight on the Koch brothers, and deservedly so.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you for being with us, Ralph Nader, also Susie Castillo and Amie Stepanovich. And Susie Castillo, congratulations on your award tonight from the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

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