The Relation Between Monsanto PCBs and Cancer

ANNISTON, ALABAMA – it was in 1979 that Congress issued a ban on the use and manufacturing of products that contain the hazardous chemical substance known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Monsanto Company has been cited to having been the lead manufacturer of the substance as there has been the presence of the chemical in various products of theirs that range from electronic equipment, to food packaging, to paint under the name of “Aroclor”, which was trademarked to the company.

Toxic Monsanto PCBs have been cited by sufferers of certain ailments, including some rare cancers, as the primary cause for their diseases. Three plaintiffs filed legal action against the company in 2009, claiming a link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There is some precedent for the claim as a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proved the significant effects of exposure to PCBs with the immune system through the study of the effects of the same substance on the Rhesus monkey, a species that is 93% compatible with people – making them the prime test subject for the effects of certain substances on humans. The monkey’s thymus gland was quite significantly shrunk and the thymus gland is highly linked with the immune system. It has, through a series of studies, been assessed that PCBs are “probable human carcinogens”.

Early in 2015, Ben Unglesbee of the St. Louis Business Journal reported that San Diego has filed for legal action against the company for the chemical pollution that the San Diego Bay has sustained. In the report, it has been discovered that the Monsanto Company has been dealing with the production of PCBs for 40 years. Though the company allegedly stopped production of the substance two years before the government imposed ban in the late 1970s, there have been reported files that rooted from an internal memo within the company that states that the company has been aware of the detrimental nature of their products since the 1960s and yet continued with production anyway.

Potential Dangers of Defective Products for Children

For 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued 17 million product recalls for merchandise that was intended for children. Several items like cribs, strollers, clothing, and toys were pulled out of the market for failing to follow safety protocols required federal law. Left unnoticed, these defective products could pose serious risk of injury for children.

Such was the case back in the year 1998, when a tragic accident involving a defective crib took the life of a 16-month old baby. The infant Daniel Keysar suffocated and was strangled under the weight of his collapsed Playskool Travel-Lite crib. Despite having been recalled 5 years prior, plenty of other infants met similar accidents while using the said crib.

These tragic incidents were able to spark a conversation about the potential dangers of defective toys and products for children. In response, the government was soon able to impose stricter policies and regulations for manufacturers and distributors to follow. Through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, also called ‘Danny’s Law’, the public can rest assured that the items they buy are safe for use and consumption of their children.

Still, as the earlier data suggest, the law isn’t a fool-proof way to assure the safety of consumer products. That’s why the CPSC keeps a close eye on products that may have fallen through the established safety nets. A recent recall posted on the CPSC website alerts the public on a defective stroller whose handle can break and cause the infant to fall.

Now, only one question remains: What happens when these recalls are issued too late? In March 2015, a recall for a residential hydraulic elevator came after causing an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury for a 10 year old child. According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm Houston personal injury attorneys, the only way to prevent similar incidents is by holding manufacturers and distributors accountable for their negligence.