Samsill brand binders sold at the Robert M. Smith Student Center at the SGA Bookstore contain a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm, according to a warning label seen on the back of the binders.
The label is in accordance with California’s Proposition 65 which requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.
These chemicals are known to cause cancer and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment includes a massive listing of chemicals found in foods, drugs, dyes, pesticides and others used in manufacturing and a variety of other sources.
The determination of which chemicals should be added to the list is an intensive process and the list airs on the side of caution when it comes to requiring a warning.
However, this information allows residents of California to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from these chemicals.
There’s just one problem: We live in Pennsylvania and no such law is in effect for the state.
In response, Samsill reportedly said to the SGA Bookstore they would be removing the labels from the products, aside from those sold in California.
We think being aware and informed of cancer-causing chemicals is a pretty important step in informing the public and think a similar policy should be implemented in Pennsylvania.
It seems a cowardly and selfish move for Samsill to have these labels removed for products simply because they are not required by law in an effort to ensure people will unwittingly purchase their product with no possible cause for concern.
We also think that the SGA Bookstore should not sell any products that are known to cause cancer.
The labels being removed makes it all the more important that this be addressed now. In the future, students will not be aware that the chemicals are present in the binders.
Both of these calls to action are in the best interest and the safety of students at Slippery Rock University and for Pennsylvania residents at large.
We feel it is very important that students should feel comfortable purchasing school supplies from the SGA Bookstore.
We also think that because SRU is known to be an environmentally friendly campus, the SGA Bookstore should consider ordering environmentally friendly binders to ensure the safety and health of the students. We feel students would more likely be willing to spend the extra dollar on an environmentally safe binder than use a binder that could potentially cause harm to their body.
There may be other products in the bookstore that don’t carry a warning if carcinogenic materials are present, even if they are, but it should be the SGA Bookstore’s duty to monitor all products coming in and being sold to students on campus.