Phthalate debate

March 10, 2000

Simon Heap's concerns about our article (Cutting Edge, THES, February 11) appear largely to be based on an uncritical reading of one side of the debate relating to the hazards of additives that leach from PVC toys. In support of his critique, he cites "a body of scientific opinion" that apparently holds that such toys are "safe beyond reasonable doubt", and he chooses to ignore the substantial accumulation of evidence that demonstrates that such a statement is entirely indefensible.

Furthermore, many of the statements on which Heap's criticism of Greenpeace is based are not supported by the facts. For example, Greenpeace's disengagement from the PVC retail working group resulted from the group's decision to pursue a policy of pollution management for the PVC industry rather than of PVC substitution, and not because of any criticism levied against Greenpeace. Moreover, Heap's selective abstraction of the National Business Centre for Business and Ecology report is entirely out of context.

David Santillo and Paul Johnston University of Exeter

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns