[Pharmwaste] FW: [h2e] Hazarous Chemicals Crop up in unlikely People - Village Soup/Waldo County Citizen Senior Reporter Article

Gilliam, Allen GILLIAM at adeq.state.ar.us
Mon Jun 18 10:54:51 EDT 2007

your latest article on plastics said it right Deb, "Unchecked, this
trend is a dead end for any species."  
(sorry for any cross postings but, see another "unchecked pollutants"
article below from the H2E group)
allen gilliam
adeq state pretreatment coordinator 
-----Original Message-----
From: Gilliam, Allen 
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 9:35 AM
To: H2E - Hospitals for a Healthy Environment - Info Exchange Listserv
Cc: p2wazoo at lists.preventpollution.org
Subject: RE: [h2e] Hazarous Chemicals Crop up in unlikely People -
Village Soup/Waldo County Citizen Senior Reporter Article

another great article Janet, thanx!
while this holistic issue climbs out of the H2E "box", it fits at the
very pinnacle of pollution prevention:  cease generation (source
reduction or complete elimination) = no discharge of pollutants to the
environment.  Rachael was way ahead of her time but, even fell on deaf
ears during our own industrial revolution.
now, how does one reach the currently developing "third world" countries
that only see the economics with no regard for the environment?
allen gilliam
adeq state pretreatment coordinator

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Janet Brown [mailto:Janet.brown at h2e-online.org] 
	Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:22 AM
	To: H2E - Hospitals for a Healthy Environment - Info Exchange
	Subject: [h2e] Hazarous Chemicals Crop up in unlikely People -
Village Soup/Waldo County Citizen Senior Reporter Article
	H2E - Info Exchange Listserve

	Hazardous chemicals crop up in unlikely people

	By Jay Davis 
	VillageSoup/Waldo County Citizen Senior Reporter

	AUGUSTA (June 14): Russell Libby, the longtime director of the
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, has been choosing his
food carefully for nearly 25 years. Yet in a recent study, his body
showed high levels of arsenic and more industrial chemicals than the
other participants in a revealing scientific analysis. 

	Rep. Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, the House Majority Leader in
Augusta, has such a high level of mercury in her system that it could
affect the mental development of the child she hopes to have someday.
Pingree, who has been a leader on toxics issues in the Legislature, said
the study results have prodded her to change her own habits, including
eliminating the sushi tuna she suspects has caused the spike in her
mercury level. 


	Libby, 50, and Pingree, 30, were among 13 Mainers who
volunteered for the first-ever study of 71 industrial chemicals
conducted by the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. 

	The alliance, which unveiled the results of the study Tuesday,
June 12 at an Augusta press conference, said the chemicals "are found in
products we use every day: plastic containers, toys, furniture, fabric,
automobiles, TVs and stereos, water bottles, medical supplies and
personal products like shampoo, hairspray and perfume." 

	The report states, "Scientific research shows that these
chemicals are hazardous and that even in tiny amounts may threaten human

	Even so, the report continues, "industry is not required to
demonstrate the safety of chemicals before adding them to consumer
products, nor are they required to use safer alternatives to chemicals
known to be hazardous." 

	An example is a flame retardant that was shown to accumulate in
breast milk. Pingree led a successful campaign in 2004 to ban child
clothing sold in Maine that contained the chemical. 

	Heather Spaulding of MOFGA, a member of the alliance that
conducted the tests, said, "You can't lifestyle your way out of problems
with these chemicals. They're everywhere." 

	Libby added, "I always assumed [the presence of chemicals in our
bodies], and now it's verified." 

	The 71 chemicals chosen for the test - phthalates, which are
added to perfume and plastic; polybrominated diphenyl ethers, used as
flame retardants in televisions and textiles; perfluorinated chemicals,
like Teflon; bisphenol A, used in reusable water bottles and to line
metal cans; and lead, mercury and arsenic, which can occur naturally -
mirror those in previous studies conducted in California and Washington.

	The study found 46 of the chemicals in the Maine participants,
who ranged in age from 18 to 60 and had diverse lifestyles. Libby was
tied for the most chemicals, with 41, and had the greatest number of
PBDEs. Pingree, who said she leads a healthy lifestyle, had the second
highest level of phthalates and of mercury among the participants. 

	Libby explained the above-average presence of arsenic in his
system by saying his well in Mount Vernon, where he lives on an old
farm, is drilled through granite, which may contain arsenic naturally.
But he is unsure how the industrial chemicals found their way into his
hair, urine and blood, as his home has few items that might contain

	Sitting at a table in the Belfast Co-op Store, a healthy place,
Libby and Spaulding pointed to several possible sources of industrial
chemicals that could find their way into human systems. Her laptop
computer uses PBDEs; a plastic juice container likely contains
phthalates; and the polyurethane on the table can give off chemicals,
they said. 

	Libby noted that the study appears during the 100th anniversary
of the birth of Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmental writer who
"talked about evaluating the whole system [of environmental threats] and
[in response] we got rid of a couple of pesticides. We're still looking
at them one-by-one." 

	He said the "political process has a hard time tackling
systems," though he insists that's what's needed. Spaulding added,
"There is no regulatory system for 80,000 industrial chemicals, and only
10 percent of them are treated for safety. We'd like to see industries
prove they're safe before they release them to the market." 

	"Ultimately," Libby continued, "the chemicals that flow through
the environment and into bodies need to go. The alternatives are the
challenges in front of us, like using potatoes instead of petrochemicals
to make plastic. And we have to deal [with the chemicals] class-by-class
instead of individually." 

	Libby said the news that he has more of the chemicals in his
body than the other participants "makes you think about things you don't
think about everyday. We have materials in our bodies we can't even
pronounce. It's a sign of a systemic failure." 


	Pingree said there's a good chance "that every one of us, as
Mainers and Americans, likely has similar levels" of the toxic

	The alliance, which includes nine organizations, is promoting a
"safer chemicals policy" that will close the safety gap "by phasing out
the most harmful chemicals," close the data gap by "honoring the
public's right to know which hazardous chemicals are in what products,"
and closing the technology gap by "investing in green chemistry research
and development." 

	The alliance worked with Gov. John Baldacci to create a
chemicals task force that is scheduled to report to the Legislature next
year, and to ban several chemicals, including a flame retardant called
Deca, with Pingree the legislative sponsor. 

	Though the study, called "Body of Evidence, a Study of Pollution
in Maine People," is not considered statistically meaningful because of
the small testing sample, it provides dramatic evidence that chemicals
are prevalent in Maine life. 

	The study was funded by the John Merck Fund, and its research
techniques were monitored by analysts at the University of Southern
Maine. Members of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine are the
Environmental Health Strategy Center, Learning Disabilities Association
of Maine, Maine Labor Group on Health, MOFGA, Maine People's Resource
Center, Maine Public Health Association, Natural Resources Council of
Maine, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Toxics Action



	Janet Brown

	Partner Program Manager

	Hospitals for a Healthy Environment

	PO Box 3366

	Amherst, MA 01004




	Janet is on the steering committee of the Green Guide for Health
Care.  www.gghc.org.  


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