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EPA Can Map Environmental Justice Communities – Can They Stop The Poisoning?

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Today we know how to identify Environmental Justice communities but what is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doing to relieve their community burdens? A new mapping tool created by the EPA, called EJSCREEN was recently released. This tool is great for academia or researchers but how does it help environmentally impacted communities? Why is generating information, that community already know because they are living with the pollution and associated diseases daily, more important than helping them?

CHEJ, for example, has worked for over thirty years with Save Our County in East Liverpool, Ohio This community in the 1990’s was defined by EPA as an Environmental Justice community, through their evaluation process which is the same as the mapping categories. Yet nothing has changed as a result of this definition.

  • The hazardous waste incinerator, WTI, still operates and remains for most of the time in violation of air and other standards.
  • Other industries continue to pollute with little enforcement.
  • An elementary school was closed due to the air emissions from the WTI Incinerator stack which is almost level to the school windows (incinerator is in the valley) stack peeked over the embankment. The City was force to shoulder the costs of relocating students and staff.
  • In the past several years new wells were drilled for natural gas extraction and infrastructure.
  • The community has the highest number of cancers in their county than other similar counties in the state.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed in East Liverpool, Ohio as a result of being defined an environmental justice community.

  • No decision to stop new polluting industries from setting up shop.
  • No action on denying permits, when they have been a significant repeat violator of the laws and regulation, when up for renewal permit.
  • No fee data and information when requested under the freedom of information requests.
  • No additional public comment meetings for new or existing permits. Absolute nothing changed in East Liverpool, OH and so many other communities.

    Thank you EPA for providing a tool for academics, for communities to say yes our community qualifies (although they already knew) and for real estate and banking institutions to provide information that will make it more difficult for families in Environmental Justice communities to secure a home improvement loan or sell their property.

    Now can you spend some time and money on reducing the pollution burdens and assisting with the medical professionals for disease related injuries.

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    DDT Linked to Fourfold Increase in Breast Cancer Risk

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    Women exposed in the womb to high levels of the pesticide DDT have a nearly fourfold increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to new results of research conducted on California mothers and daughters for more than half a century.

    Full story at National Geographic

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    Moms’ chemical exposure linked to genital defect in baby boys

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    Mothers around a lot of endocrine disrupting chemicals at home or in jobs such as cleaners, hairdressers and laboratory workers during pregnancy are more likely to have baby boys with a genital defect, according to a new study in the south of France. The study adds to mounting evidence that fetal exposure to chemicals that mimic people’s natural hormones may cause hypospadias, a condition where the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip.

    Read more.

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    Which brands use BPA?

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    You’ve probably heard of bisphenol A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen found in the linings of many food cans. One of the nastiest endocrine disruptors on the market, BPA has been linked to a variety of serious disorders, including cancer, reproductive damage and heart disease.

    But I bet you haven’t heard this: Consumers have NO reliable way of knowing which canned foods use BPA-based epoxy in their linings. Crazy, right?

    At EWG, we thought so too, which is why we’re proud to release our latest analysis, BPA in Canned Food: Behind the Brand Curtain. We developed this report to help consumers like you determine which products contain BPA and which brands you can count on for BPA-free products.

    Click here to check out the full report and get the facts on which canned food products still contain BPA.


    EWG


    After scrutinizing more than 250 brands of canned food, EWG analysts found that while many companies have publicly pledged to stop using BPA in their cans, more than 110 brands still line all or some of their metal cans with an epoxy resin containing BPA.

    EWG divides the brands into four categories: those using cans with BPA, those using BPA-free cans for some products, those always using BPA-free cans and those that are unclear. That way, you can tell exactly which products to seek out and which to avoid.

    Federal regulations don’t require manufacturers to label their products so you can identify cans with BPA-based linings. That’s why EWG stepped up to do this research — so you have the resources you need to avoid BPA and shop smarter.

    Click here to learn more and see which canned food brands you should avoid and which ones you can count on for BPA-free products.

    While you can’t yet rely on federal regulations to safeguard you and your family from toxic chemicals like BPA, you can always depend on EWG.

    Thanks for making this work possible.

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    Health effects of vinyl flooring on baby boys

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    Mind the Store has achieved tremendous victories lately – the nation’s two largest home improvement retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, have committed to phasing out toxic phthalates in flooring by the end of the year.  

    We’re now turning our attention to Menards, the 3rd largest home improvement chain in the country with sales of over $8 billion and 280 stores in 14 states. You may not have a Menards in your area, that is ok. We still need you to act. If Home Depot and Lowe’s can ban phthalates in flooring, so can Menards!  

    TAKE ACTION: Tell Menards to phase out toxic phthalates in flooring.

    Testing has found some vinyl flooring Menards sells contains toxic phthalates, chemicals linked to asthma and birth defects in baby boys. Chemicals that are so toxic, they have been restricted in children’s toys.

    Let’s turn up the heat on Menards
    — Take action today!

    Act Now!

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    CEHN seeking nominations for its 2015 NOW Youth Leadership Award!

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    The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) is seeking nominations for its 2015 Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (NOW) Youth Leadership Award!


    Do you know any young leaders (ages 12-18) who are involved and committed to environmental health, participate in community action, and have strong leadership skills? Nominate them for CEHN’s NOW Youth Leadership Award!  CEHN is seeking nominations from non-family members for this award which honors youths for their exceptional environmental leadership.  This award will be presented at CEHN’s 10thAnnual Child Health Advocate Award Reception in Washington, DC in October 2015.


    Visit http://www.cehn.org/NOWaward to see a list of previous awardees and to fill out the nomination form. We look forward to receiving your nominations, and if you have any questions, please contact Rachel Locke at rlocke@cehn.org.  Nominations are due by 4pm EDT on June 30th, 2015.


    vinyl flooring

    VICTORY — Lowe’s commits to phase out phthalates in flooring

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    We did it!

    In less than one week, Lowe’s has agreed to eliminate toxic phthalates in their flooring by the end of this year!

    This is huge as Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the country.  

    This shows the power we have as consumers to get big retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals in products.

    Lowe’s commitment comes less than one week after we announced another big victory for our campaign – Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer took the lead by eliminating added phthalates by the end of 2015.  That victory was featured in a big NY Times story.  Our campaign has now successfully leveraged Home Depot’s policy by convincing Lowe’s to join them.

    This follows a HealthyStuff.org report we just co-released that found nearly half (48%) of flooring samples tested at Lowe’s contained toxic phthalates.  

    We welcome and congratulate both Home Depot and Lowe’s for doing what’s right for our families and homes.

    A big question remains though– what about the other leading retailers of flooring?  To date, Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware, Menards and Build.com have no timeframes to eliminate phthalates in flooring, and testing has shown toxic phthalates in flooring they sell. 

    Who will be the next retailer to join this growing trend?  Stay tuned, as we’ll be launching a new campaign in the next week targeting at least one of these laggards.

    In the meantime, join us in celebrating the good news by sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Stand Up for the Victims of DuPont

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    We can’t let DuPont get away with this.

    After spearheading one of the most extensive cover-ups in recent history, the chemical giant is now trying to shield itself from liability and escape its responsibilities to the thousands of victims left ill by its neglect.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency fined chemical giant DuPont a record $16.5 million for a decades-long cover-up of the health hazards of its product, C-8, also known as PFOA. One of a family of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, C-8 was a key ingredient in making Teflon, the non-stick, waterproof, stain-resistant “miracle of modern chemistry” used in thousands of household products.
    • DuPont knew that C-8 caused cancer, poisoned drinking water in the Mid-Ohio River Valley and polluted the blood of people and animals worldwide – but it never told its workers, local officials and residents, state regulators or the EPA!
    • Today, 10 years after the EPA took action, DuPont has failed to clean up water supplies, is shirking its promise to monitor the health of the communities it poisoned and is gearing up to fight in court against paying damages to its victims.
    • While C-8/PFOA will no longer be used in the U.S. by the end of this year, DuPont and other companies continue to use related chemicals that may not be much – if at all – safer. These next-generation PFCs are used to make greaseproof food wrappers, waterproof and stain-repellent clothing, and countless other products.

    We must put a stop to this secrecy right now and bring justice to the victims of DuPont.

    Click here to sign EWG’s petition and demand that DuPont keeps it promises to its victims in the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond.

    The EPA classifies C-8 as a “probable human carcinogen.” Exposure to it is associated with several serious diseases, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis and high cholesterol.

    We may never truly know how many victims have fallen ill due to DuPont’s careless use of C-8 and other chemicals, but it is far too many. And every one of those victims deserves justice.

    Don’t let DuPont get away with trying to skirt the consequences of its toxic responsibilities and legacy in Parkersburg. EWG – and the victims of DuPont – need you to take action today.

    Sign the petition: Tell DuPont to stop the secrecy and keep its promises to its victims!

    Thanks for standing up for the victims of DuPont. Together, we’ll make sure justice is served.

    - EWG Action Alert

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    Scientists warn of chemicals in pizza boxes, carpet care

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    A group of environmental scientists issued a warning Friday about commonly used chemicals known as PFASs.

    The chemicals, which go by the longer names of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, are found in everything from pizza boxes to carpet treatments, reports the New York Times.

    Read More.

    Trevor, suffering from alopecia, is one child affected by the situation in St. Louis

    St. Louis is Burning, and Moms are on the Move

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    “The truth is that nobody is really sure what is buried at the West Lake Landfill, or where — and that’s the problem.” - Ryan Schuessler, Al Jazeera News.

    A burning landfill, in proximity to a radioactive waste dump, in a neighborhood with a host of unexplained health problems ranging from appendix cancer to alopecia – all the elements of an environmental crisis in the making, and a health crisis already well underway. This is what some citizens of St. Louis have been coping with, and what has brought a group of them to Washington, D.C. today in an effort to protect their children.


    Trevor, suffering from alopecia, is one child affected by the situation in St. Louis

    A group of mothers from St. Louis will convene at the National Press Club today for a press conference on the nuclear waste polluting their town. After, they will deliver petitions to Bill Gates, who has the power to protect St. Louis families from further harms. While he is not responsible for the situation, Gates is the major shareholder of Republic Services, the company responsible for the waste. He can use both his shareholder vote and his financial influence to push for an evacuation of St. Louis families living near the landfill.


    Post-Press Conference Updates:

    On Thursday, three mothers from St. Louis, representing the group ‘Just Moms,’ spoke at the National Press Club in Washington and bore heartbreaking testimony to the devastating health problems their children have suffered from living adjacent to the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site. The mothers have been pressing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a meeting, but she has thus far ignored their requests, leaving them with few places to turn in fighting for the health and safety of their children.


    Just Moms march to EPA headquarters on Thursday



    Following the press conference, the Just Moms and a crowd of supporters marched to the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., chanting “The Moms Are Not Going Away, Gina McCarthy Meet Today!” They demonstrated and passed out fliers outside of EPA headquarters, before traveling to the headquarters of the Gates Foundation to deliver petitions to Bill Gates.

    View more photos from the event at http://chej.org/gallery/stl_justmoms/.