How safe are we?

May 14th, 2008

I was listening to the news last night and looked up from my PC when I heard that the water in my zip code is not as safe as it should be and that my reverse osmosis system has no impact on the chemical makeup I can’t even pronounce. What a way to go to bed.
I was listening to the news last night and looked up from my PC when I heard that the water in my zip code is not as safe as it should be and that my reverse osmosis system has no impact on the chemical makeup I can’t even pronounce. What a way to go to bed.
When I got up this morning, I grabbed my USA TODAY and the lead article in the sports section was Artificial turf: Health Hazard? Most baby boomers like me remember when these fields started to appear in the late 1960’s. Many of those fields are still in use today. The article also indicates that as many as 900-1000 new artificial fields are being installed every year.
I remember when they opened the Astrodome, and how quickly Astroturf became the next cool thing to have installed at your school. Now similar materials are in our parks and even in some of our neighbor’s yards. Well, it now it appears as though many of the thousands of fields in the USA may pose health hazards to anyone that uses them. The U.S Consumer Product Protection Safety Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are investigating.
According to an EPA spokesperson there are precautions you can take when playing on artificial turf.
  1. Wash your hands face and body after playing.
  2. Take off clothes worn, turn inside out and wash separately.
  3. Field custodians should water the fields before and after use to reduce dust.
You might ask what this has to do with safety in retail procurement. The answer is almost everything. As citizens we need to hold our schools, townships, HOA’s, municipalities, churches and other organizations accountable to make sure that they do everything in their power to insure the products we use are as safe as possible. If as consumers we are going to hold retailers accountable and in turn ask them to hold their suppliers accountable; we need to practice what we preach in our private lives. It’s a way of paying it forward and thinking about what impact choices we make today have on our family and friends and the community at large in fifty years. At a minimum you can do the following.
  1. Ask where products these organizations buy come from.
  2. Ask what components go into making these products
  3. Ask what consumer safety standards were followed in the manufacture of these products.
In the meantime when I take my dog for his walk in the morning I’m going to keep him off the artificial turf at our park and then let him have bottled water when we get home.
Ron
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