Amidst discussion by policymakers about how regulators' failure to ensure disclosure of risks contributed to the current financial crisis, we assess how emerging product toxicity risks are addressed in companies' financial reports. Will corporations blindside investors with "the next asbestos?" Existing disclosures are found lacking in the specificity needed to forewarn of liabilities and reputational damage from the use of potentially harmful materials-from nanotechnologies, to asthmagens, to perfluorinated compounds. Improved standards could protect investors while also enhancing corporate incentives to use safer materials. Reforms by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board are recommended.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis