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Meanwhile, fear sweeps the Triad

That item below about bisphenol A from WFMY-TV in the Triad region of North Carolina caught our eye because it was so typically unbalanced -- all scare, no opposing view. Toxin! Baby bottle! Ovarian cancer! Environmental Working Group!

How typical? Well, there's this, also from WFMY-TV, "Dangerous Chemicals in Car Safety Seats."

Kernersville, NC -- As a mother of four, Brooke Marston knows how to keep her kids safe. But, harmful chemicals used to make her kid's car seats is something she has no experience.

"Chemicals leeching from the sun? We live where it is hot, so it's going to get hot in the car and I would have never expected that to be a problem with car seats."

And then there's this, from WFMY-TV.

"Like every new mom, Liz Sedgwick wants to make sure her baby is safe.

"We've been looking at childproofing and looking at some of the potential contaminates in the house and things like that trying to just be really aware."

But, she never thought to look at her plates which were passed down by her great aunt. Many of Liz's plates tested positive for lead. And she isn't alone."

And there's more, including phthalates and CFL bulbs.

One thing in common in all these WFMY stories is Dr. John Spangler, a professor of family medicine at Wake Forest University who's involved in tobacco prevention programs.

Well, if you've got a story about some potential health threat and you want to goose it for maximum impact, there's your formula: Find a scared mother, ignore any balance or opposite side, and call a medical source you can count on to elevate the fears. It's good for a splashy TV news story about, oh, once a month -- and that's just in the Triad region. Imagine the effect on potential litigants and jurors of this kind of reporting spread around the country.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.