What researchers agree? You must mean all of the researchers who believe in animal testing.
The science of animal testing is only 20 years old. It is a "baby" compared with other biomedical sciences. But the accuracy of animal testing, despite its relative novelty, provides the pillars of support for an elaborate governmental regulatory apparatus affecting every worker, every consumer, every employer and every product made in America. Decisions
directing the flow of countless billions of dollars are determined by this baby.
Let's face it, different animal species respond differently to exposure to chemicals - for example, penicillin is lethal to guinea pigs and hamsters, but not to other mammals. Where would this marvelous medicine be today had it been subjected to animal testing?
You also failed to mention in your article that the level of forced exposure to methylene chloride used in the animal tests (2,000 to 4,000 parts per million) is far higher than the concentrations people would be exposed in the proper and labeled use of methylene chloride. Exposure to methylene chloride at the levels used in the animal tests would cause a human being to immediately experience severe eye, throat and lung irritations, dizziness and loss of coordination. After five minutes, many people would lose consciousness. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any human being would stay in a room longer than one minute. Animals in testing would also flee the area if not caged. It is important to note that paint removers that contain methylene chloride are clearly labeled for use "in well-ventilated area" and consumers are clearly warned to "avoid prolonged breathing of vapors."
It is also alarming to think of the alternative to methylene chloride in paint removers, which is acetone and butyl acetate. Both of these chemicals are very hazardous to use because of their flammability.
Methylene chloride has been widely and safely used for over 50 years. It is virtually nonflammable, and it reduces the flammability of products that contain it. It does not contribute to atmospheric pollution, and it also reduces the volatility of aerosol sprays.
Your paper is telling us that as a result of our country's state of technology and economic development, the environment is making us sick. The exact opposite would be closer to the truth.
In 1986, we have the luxury of living in a society with sufficient food, housing, energy, medical supplies and other necessities of life. Banning agricultural chemicals would lead to deadly food shortages. Banning other industrial chemicals would impoverish our nation.
If the public was alerted to the full story on chemicals such as methylene chloride and their benefits to mankind, they would opt for their continued use. A world without modern chemical technology is just too depressing to contemplate.
Robert A. Haley
President, Finnaren & Haley paint manufacturers