In class on Wednesday, we talked about pollution policy in America and the safety standard. We learned about the safety standard in practice and what specifically the EPA deems to be “Safe”. For example, “safe” is defined by a mortality rate of less than 1 in 1million and “unsafe” if there is a mortality risk of more than 1 in 10,000. The EPA’s definition of Safe and unsafe in my opinion are a very weak standard to practice.
Starting right off there is an area that is not deemed safe or unsafe because it is in-between the two probabilities, 1 in a Million for safe and 1 in 10,000 for unsafe. The leads me to conclude that the regulations are very contextual based and subjective, and therefore any universal ruling would be too ambiguous and wouldn’t really solve the individual problems, so why even have these policies?
Also the fact that we are using human death dolls to measure pollution doesn’t really logically make sense, if we are trying to limit pollution, we should limit pollution itself, not the externalities. Pollution harms more than just humans and effects more than humans can even measure, and the scope of the EPA’s “safe” and “unsafe” measurements are too narrow and specific. Until we can account for all those externalities we can’t have a real picture of the costs of pollution. Logically speaking, we only know for sure that pollution is bad, so we should be focused more on what we can fully understand, then the side effects will be reduced by themselves.