Be Safe


Male fish in North Carolina found to have female parts


“Male black bass and some sunfish in North Carolina rivers and streams are developing eggs in their testes, which can cause reproductive problems and potentially threaten populations, according to unpublished research.

The research adds to growing evidence that exposure to estrogen compounds is feminizing male fish across the U.S. and suggests that North Carolina fish might be particularly at risk.

“It’s a very interesting study and certainly adds to our understanding of what’s potentially going on in our rivers and with the intersex fish,” said Vicki Blazer, a U.S. Geological Survey fish biologist who was not involved in the study.”

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just moms stl

St. Louis Moms Call On Obama For Help


Anger builds at EPA over radioactive landfill.  “We believe that it would be within the power of the president to issue an executive order to clean up the bureaucratic administrative mess at West Lake Landfill, put one government agency in charge, said Ed Smith.”  Matt LaVanchy, a local fire department official, told radio station KTRS that he believes the fire could be less than 1,000 feet from the radioactive material, and is trying to train firefighters for possible outcomes.

CHEJ has been working with this community for years and agrees that it is time Obama steps in and commands action. EPA refuses to . . . Republic Service has failed nearly every step and people are dying. Time to take the site out of the hands of the incompetent and move the families down wind of the site. Read more here.

springfield oh 700 people aug 27 2015

700 People Told EPA “Dig it Up -Take It Out”


YES! The people of Clark County, Ohio showed up last night in force….

  • Their Health District attendance counters stopped at 650, with more people coming in the door.
  • US EPA’s Joan Tanaka said in all her 20 years’ work on Superfund sites, she had never seen such a huge crowd.

EPA’s purpose in coming to Clark County was to tell residents what information they wanted us to know….

  • They listened politely to too many power point slides that were unreadable, too many reassurances that were not believable, and too much talking that glossed over or avoided the real questions.

Their united purpose last night was to tell EPA what they wanted them to know–and boy did they do just that.

In summary the people were clear that they:

  • Do not and will not accept their proposed plan.
  • Want all hazardous wastes permanently removed from the Tremont City Barrel Fill.
  • Will continue to work with Ohio EPA and our elected leaders to change their remedy.
  • Do not trust EPA, their reassurances, or their ability to protect our health and water source forever.

Our preference last night was made very clear….We want permanent removal of all  hazardous wastes at the Barrel Fill.

U.S. EPA: Dig it up! Truck it out! Protect our water!

Mary at Cin Park

I’m Dying of Cancer … It Was Preventable


Mary has terminal lung cancer. She never smoked. But what she did do is walk around the local park every morning 24 laps. She believed that she was doing a good thing for her health, getting exercise and fresh air.

Unfortunately, the park that she walked daily was found to be contaminated with radioactive materials. It’s all part of the St. Louis historical work on the Manhattan Project. Mary attended the local meeting this past week about the cleanup of the radioactive wastes. Officials told her that they were not going to close the park that she once walked around daily because the children are back in school. The children, they believe wouldn’t spend much time in the park because of school so they didn’t need to take any  action.

Outraged that no one would close the park, the park she believed was the root cause of her now death sentence, Mary decided to do something about it.  Mary stood in front of the park with a sign that asked people to ask her why she was there, so she could tell them her story. How her grandson will never really know his Nana because she will be gone before they can do much together.

Today the park that Mary once walked laps around  is closed, because Mary wouldn’t leave the entrance with her yellow sign “Park Closed,”  until it was officially closed to innocent children and families. Thank you Mary.

The unfortunate truth is that it took a victim of radioactive exposure, a mother and grandmother to take a stand and protect the innocent from known harm. Where are our health protectors?  Where are the local, state and more importantly federal health authorities that have jurisdiction  and decision making powers when such decisions are needed. Who are they afraid of?

I’m am so tired of the federal government who has investigated and defined the cleanup and testing of this site and so many other sites, turn their heads when it comes to making a decision about protecting the public health. This is not the case when the public is placed at risk from food poisoning or a drug that proved to be more harmful than thought. Why are people exposed to radioactive wastes or toxic wastes the abandoned child? Why is there No Protection or Unequal Protection under government authorities when it comes to working class or low wealth families?

Time and time again we at CHEJ have seen that families are ignored when it comes to the real life threat of exposures to materials that will cause cancer and other diseases. It is well past time that the health professionals who took an oath “to do know harm” to step up to the plate and protect innocent families in the same manner, in the same time frame, as they do families exposed to food related or drug related health impacts.

To hear Mary speak to this issue you can connect to the Youtube video and begin at 1:59, but be sure to have a box of tissues handy to wipe your eyes because the personal testimony is very powerful and sad.

China Explosion

Fear of Toxic Air and Distrust of Government Follow Tianjin Blasts


Within minutes of the immense chemical explosions that sent apocalyptic fireballs into the night sky over Tianjin, Zhou Haisen, 23, was making arrangements to leave town. He was terrified that poisonous gases would reach his apartment six miles from the scene, and his fears were swiftly reinforced by posts on Chinese social media. So he and his parents fled to his grandmother’s house an hour’s drive away. Read the full story in the New York Times .

strawberry workers

In California, an unsatisfying settlement on pesticide-spraying


OXNARD, California – It was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first and only preliminary finding of discrimination in a civil rights case. The agency saw it as a clear victory for people like Maria Garcia, who’d complained about pesticide spraying on strawberry fields near her children’s school.

Read More at The Center for Public Integrity

Site remediation with iron nanoparticles. Credit: Lehigh University

Risks & Rewards of Nanoremediation


Michael Crichton’s 2002 novel Prey features a terrifying interpretation of nanotechnology, when swarms of “nanobots” become self-aware and predatory. His book is entirely fictional, but even outside the realm of popular culture, mentions of nanotechnology can stoke our fears about what might happen if science advances beyond our control.

What is nanotechnology? Any technology that works with and manipulates particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in length or width can fall under the nanotech umbrella. Particles of this size are too small to see with the naked eye – they are about the size of a virus or of your DNA. In the real world, predatory nano-swarms don’t top the list of scientists’ concerns. Instead, they are engaged with determining the environmental and health impacts of our increasing use of nanotechnology in medicine, energy generation, communication technology, and even environmental remediation.

In the environmental field, nanotechnology is used to remediate or clean up polluted groundwater, wastewater, soil and sediment. Nanoremediation methods use materials at the nanoscale to reduce pollutant levels at contaminated sites. Nanomaterials have several properties that make them well-suited to this task. They are tiny in size, enabling them to enter very small spaces and travel further and more widely than larger particles. They also have a high surface area relative to their mass, making it easier for them to react with compounds. (Karn et al., 2009).

When nanoparticles interact with toxic compounds, they operate in one of two ways – breaking down the compounds, or immobilizing them. Nanoparticles can cause reactions that transform toxic compounds to less harmful products. They also can bind to the compounds, immobilizing them and preventing them from exerting further harm on the environment. Iron nanoparticles are one of the most commonly used compounds, used to break down or bind and immobilize harmful contaminants (Karn et al., 2009).

Site remediation with iron nanoparticles. Credit: Lehigh University

According to the EPA, federal, state and local governments, as well as private industry, are expected to spend billions of dollars each year cleaning up hundreds of thousands of contaminated sites over the next three decades. Researchers have concluded that by using nanotechnology in environmental remediation, we have the potential to reduce the cost, time and effort involved with cleaning up contaminated sites (Karn et al, 2009). One major advantage of nanoremediation is its ability to be used as an on-site, or in situ, treatment method. Removing and transporting toxic sediment or soil can involve excessive time and effort, and in situ methods like nanoremediation eliminate this cost.

However, concerns naturally emerge any time we introduce new compounds to the environment. While nanoparticles are designed and used to reduce contaminant toxicity, they may have the potential to generate harmful byproducts, or products that are even more mobile in the environment. While nanomaterials typically stay in or near the site where they are applied, several studies have shown their ability to travel larger distances, carrying with them absorbed contaminants (Karn et al, 2009). Recent research has also investigated the potential for nanoparticles to enter the food chain and bioaccumulate.

Nanoremediation has the potential to revolutionize contaminated site cleanup, but it also carries unknown risks. Balancing these risks and benefits will be critical to the future of environmental management. The good news? We are (probably) safe from predatory nanobots.

Image: National Science Foundation


Dirty Dozen: Cancer Edition


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

When it comes to cancer, this old adage couldn’t be more true, and here at EWG we want to make sure you have all the tools available to reduce your risk of cancer.

From BPA to lead and mercury, there are many potentially carcinogenic chemicals EWG has long recommended you avoid. Now, thanks to the groundbreaking work of the Halifax Project, we’re learning that certain combinations of these and other chemicals could cause cancer by disrupting multiple pathways and overwhelming the body’s defenses.

EWG’s latest consumer guide highlights 12 of the worst chemicals that are known to disrupt cancer-related pathways and gives you tips on how to avoid them.

Click here to check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen: Cancer Prevention Edition.

You may be surprised by some of the chemicals that made EWG’s latest list. Take atrazine – a chemical so potent that male frogs exposed to low levels of it can turn into female frogs. It is also one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S.

Click here to see what other chemicals made the list and get tips on how to avoid them with EWG’s Dirty Dozen: Cancer Prevention Edition.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is key to reducing your risk of cancer, but cutting down on the number of toxic chemicals in your life is also critical to keeping you and your family healthy and cancer-free.

Dioxin in Food Image 2

Why President Obama and Congress Turned Their Backs on Food Safety


“The bacteria-tainted apple that probably killed Shirlee Frey traveled hundreds of miles from an orchard to a packinghouse and then to a factory that coated it in caramel. It never came anywhere close to being examined or tested by a food-safety inspector.

The California woman died in December, about a month after she ate some of the Halloween treats she bought for her grandchildren. At the end, her brain was so swollen she couldn’t breathe on her own. Frey, 81, was one of seven fatalities in a listeria outbreak caused by caramel apples that spread to 12 states. Common bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli kill several thousand people each year and sicken some 48 million Americans. Brad Frey believes his mother and hundreds of others might still be alive if a sweeping law hailed as a complete revamp of the nation’s broken food-safety system had been put into action.”

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Danger chemicals image 2

Environmental Justice Report: 81% Of Products Tested At U.S. Dollar Stores Are Unsafe


AUSTIN, Texas — On July 1, activists gathered at dollar stores nationally to declare their “independence” from toxic chemicals, after a report earlier this year suggested products sold by these discount chains could be hurting consumers. To produce the report, issued in February by Environmental Justice for All’s Campaign for Healthier Solutions, researchers tested 164 products from multiple discount chain stores nationwide and found that 133 contained “at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern,” meaning that 81% of tested products were hazardous. These include chemicals identified to be carcinogenic, capable of causing developmental disabilities in children, or were otherwise found at levels considered toxic. Unlike major chains like Wal-Mart and Target, no major dollar store chain has a formal policy on selling or disclosing toxic ingredients in products.

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