It is a general saying that the US is a no man’s land, meaning different walks of life are welcome in, but it seems that when it comes to products consumed by the citizens of the United States, the saying does not apply. Not just any product is allowed into the market in the US. Although these products are not used by the citizens of the United States they are still being produced in the US and exported to other countries where they are accepted. There are several reasons for the ban on these products and some of the reasons include that they are hazardous and dangerous to health, notwithstanding the fact that they are produced in the US. Below are 10 US-based products that have been banned from the US market, and we are also going to be looking at the peculiar reasons why these products have been banned from the market.
10. Lead Paint
Lead-based paints were widely used in the US prior to 1978 due to the known durability of lead. It is said that lead paint can last for close to 30 or 40 years before it begins to show wear. Although lead was already known to be harmful it was still used a great deal for making long-lasting paints. The paint company Sherwin-Williams came up with a publication that points out the dangers of lead-based paints. It referenced a French expat who explained how dangerous lead-based paints are for the people who eventually live where the paint was used.
This was far back in the 1900s, but lead-based paints in America were banned in the US in 1971, and the enforcement of regulations to prevent the use of lead-based paints occurred in 1978. Much of what led to the banning was research conducted by Philip J. Landrigan who did a detailed study on lead poisoning close to the refineries, and also how poisonous or harmful lead is when mixed with gasoline. Although lead-based paints were banned in America, they were still exported from American to Third World countries that don’t have a problem with it.
This is another US-based product that was banned in the US. Asbestos has been in existence for a very long time. It is used in building manufacturing for insulation from weather and noise. It can be seen in roofs, doors, floors, windows, fireplaces and so forth. It is said to be very cheap and very effective. Asbestos also creates very high-quality and long-lasting flooring. It can also be used to create very beautiful shades to make the home look beautiful.
It was mostly used in the US up until the early 90s because of its resistance to fire and electrical damage. It is also said to be heatproof and lasts long. What also promoted the wide usage of asbestos is the fact that it is very cheap, and it is an excellent insulator.
Some asbestos products were banned in the US in 1978 because of its ability to cause cancer. Although asbestos is not too toxic when it is not damaged, the particles have the ability to cause cancer of the lungs when inhaled. The builders and workers in the factories were more at risk than the end users.
Leptophos is a very strong chemical that was formerly produced in the US. It was initially produced in the US by an American company known as Velsicol. This chemical is very strong and it is said to have the capacity to cause adverse effects to pests, animals, and even human beings. It was actually used as a pesticide and fungicide because of its effectiveness, but it was also very dangerous.
Leptophos is known as an organophosphorus pesticide, and it is said that heating of a food item that has Leptophos in it can make 98 percent of the chemical ineffective. This goes to say that 2 percent of the chemical would be consumed. It was formerly used on food items like fruits, vegetables, rice and cotton before it was banned in the US around 1975. Although it was exported from the US to other countries and it is said to have caused a lot of deaths to farmers and animals. It is used mostly in the third world countries because of its effectiveness but the harm it causes is as great as the harm it averts.
7. Flame Retardant Clothing
Flame retardant clothing was another wonderful idea that came about in the US, but the idea was short-lived. It was designed for safety in case of hazards and home accidents, and of course, children were the top priority apart from adults wearing it in flammable work areas. For a time it was a requirement on children’s clothing. However, although it solved one problem, it created another. It was eventually learned that the flame retardant is dangerous to the health.
The main focus was on the organic halogenated flame retardants. Research has shown that inhalation of these compounds can lead to infertility, reduced IQ in children and some developmental problems. Also, the issue of early puberty, thyroid problems, and cancer were caused by these chemicals. A source also said that the promotion of flames retardant wares was as a way to divert attention from the tendency of tobacco products such as cigarettes causing fire, especially in the home and workplace. In addition, some research has shown that flame retardant wares don’t truly prevent fire and are not completely useful. This is another reason, besides the health concerns that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recent ban on the chemicals.
6. Four Loko
The name Four Loko might not sound new because it was launched in Chicago, Illinois, in 2005 by the Phusion Projects. Four Loko was a record-breaking beverage for the company and was marketed originally as an alcoholic energy drink. This beverage was sold across 49 states and it was available in 21 countries. The company was formed by a group of college students but the product was largely being consumed by under age students.
The drink Four Loko contained five main ingredients: alcohol, caffeine, taurine, guarana and wormwood. Wormwood is known to be the psychoactive ingredient in Absinthe that led to it’s ban. Although the wormwood was later removed due to expenses, this drink was seriously intoxicating. The worst part is that the caffeine present in the drink tends to mask intoxication, leading to more consumption, which eventually leads to blackouts and injuries. This drink was eventually banned in several universities, and then several states. This led to the reformation of the drink and the removal of the energy ingredients, which included taurine, guarana and caffeine, and it is now marketed as simply a fun premium malt liquor alcoholic beverage in unique flavors.
This is another US-based product that has been banned in the US. Cyclamate is known as an artificial sweetener and was manufactured as a sugar substitute for those who needed to watch their level of sugar intake and at the same time make the products sweet for consumption. However, the health regulatory body in the US saw information that led to the product being considered as not safe for consumption. There was a study done on rats that were given cyclamate and they developed bladder cancer. Based on this research, the artificial sweetener was banned. There was other research that reported that our stomach bacteria converts cyclamate in cyclohexylamine, which is a form of carcinogen.
Although cyclamate is being used in other countries as an artificial sweetener, it still cannot be sold in the US. The research that the ban was based on has been widely criticized and numerous studies done since then have shown that it is safe for use. However, the US health regulatory body has not passed a ruling allowing for its manufacture, distribution or use yet. However, companies in the US have petitioned the FDA to re-approve it for use in the US.
Absinthe is another US-based product that has been banned in the US, although it wasn’t originally produced in the US. It has its roots way back in Greece. Absinthe was originally produced as a medication, but eventually became a drink used in several countries including France. Its major ingredient is wormwood and it has a very high percentage of alcohol in it. People often mistake it for a liqueur, but a liqueur is often mixed with some kind of sweetener but Absinthe isn’t. Rather it’s very high volume of alcohol is usually diluted with water before it is drunk. Absinthe can be classified as a spirit along with vodka and others. Absinthe is a very old liquor that was around before the 1800s.
Around the 1900s, several countries and states started a ban on it, citing that the wormwood was responsible for causing hallucinations. As a result of the negative results of drinking the products, the US also placed a ban on it. There were also claims that Absinthe could lead to tuberculosis and seizures. Others claimed that it could lead to mental disorders and bring out criminal tendencies in a user. Some other speculations said the intake of absinthe can lead to violent behaviors. Although others have come out to say all these claims are false, it has long been banned in the US.
Microbeads are a product that was recently banned in the US. These very tiny solid particles are made of plastic, usually from polyethylene or other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene or polystyrene. They are usually not more than one millimeter in size are now considered dangerous to aquatic life and a pollutant to the water and the environment. They were put into toiletries such as face and body wash as an exfoliant or polishers in toothpaste.
The microbead particles are usually not filtered out before reaching rivers or canals and this can cause water pollution. Approximately 8 trillion, yes, that’s with a T, are released into waterways. It is said that since the particles are plastic they can’t decompose. In addition, some fish species eat them, thinking they are food and this poses a health risk to aquatic life. The US recently banned microbead production for toiletries on December 25, 2015, sighting the environmental pollution as one of the reasons. Also, a source disclosed that microbeads can also be dangerous to human health due to the fact that they can’t be digested in the system. Most industrialized nations have banned the manufacture and use of microbeads and it is believed that by the end of 2017, the global phase out will be completed.
2. Shark Fins
Ever heard about shark fin soup? Sharks are one of the biggest sea predators, their existence goes back about 420 million years. Sharks exist mainly in the ocean but there are some species that can live in brackish (a mix of sea and fresh water) and even fresh water. They are also one of the most dangerous and valuable sea animals and they top the food chain.
The practice of trading their fins have been an age long practice. In the US, fishermen would go to the deep, catch the sharks and remove their fins. After they remove the fins, they throw the sharks back into the water and the sharks die, either because they suffocate or they are eaten by other predators because they can’t swim without their fins. The practice of shark finning has risen sharply since 1997, mostly because of the rise in demand from the Chinese for either use in Shark Fin soup or traditional medicines. Shark finning was banned in the US in 2000.
1. Saggy Pants
Saggy pants was a fashion trend that is believed to have originated from US prisons. This was due to the fact that some inmates were said to have been given clothes that were not really their size, maybe a little big and not given belts due to suicide prevention. These clothes hang loosely on the body of inmates and sag, especially their pants. The trend of saggy trousers was first on the rise in the 1990s, it wasn’t well accepted by a lot of societies then because it was viewed as a condescending habit and not appropriate. It was still popular up till the 2000s and slowly started fading out, but it came back into a trend in 2010 via celebrities like rapper Ice T, Justin Bieber and many others who remodeled this trend with branded boxers and tighter jeans. When saggy pants first came into a trend, it mimicked the inmates kind of dressing in loose trousers such as baggy jeans.
A lot of young guys, including underaged boys, cutting across both the black and white community embraced it. Most US communities don’t seem to view it as a fashion statement and it has been branded indecent exposure which can land a person in jail for 6 months in Louisiana. It would be a good idea to put away saggy pants from your fashion items the next time you are planning on entering the US because not only Louisiana, but South Carolina and New York are also considering making saggy pants illegal. In addition, a lot of universities and schools in the US don’t allow this fashion trend anymore, so designers are moving back to high waist pants/jeans for both male and female, although saggy trousers were actually more of a male thing.