Below is a note that my friend Greg T. sent to all his friends after attending the presentation by Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group last night. Thanks Greg, not just for the great write-up, but for taking action!! And thanks to my friend Marie M. for organizing the event and to all the other co-hosts that made the event a huge success (over 300 people attended!)
The Kid Safe Chemicals Act (KSCA), if passed, will overhaul the incredibly weak Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. Please call or write your senator or representative ASAP, and urge them to vote for the KSCA.
I saw a one hour version of this presentation tonight by Ken Cook. The video is 20 minutes. It is a must see, for all who care about our children, ourselves and the future of the human race. Link to Video.
Here is a link to a newspaper article that summarizes the presentation that Ken has been giving all over the country since 2005.
There are now over 80,000 toxic chemicals in products that are strongly implicated in statistics such as: - 40% increase in childhood brain cancer in the past 20 years - 62% increase in childhood leukemia in past 20 years - Skyrocketing rates of infertility in women under 25 - 1 in 150 children with autism, and NO cases of severe autism in adults, because the chemicals causing autism are new - 3.6% of children with asthma in 1980 and 9.8% of children with asthma in 2000 - Huge increases in breast cancer, prostate cancer, birth defects, ADHD and on and on
In order to get a new drug approved (through FDA), it takes many years, animal studies, human studies, and many millions of dollars to prove the drug is safe and efficacious. Even then, all drugs have side effects and some drugs are eventually taken off the market because of hazards that went undetected in 10 years and 10s or 100s of millions of dollars of testing. In striking contrast, for new chemicals to be sold, there are no health and safety studies required and virtually no disclosures necessary for the chemical to be put on the market. The entire approval process for a new chemical (through EPA) takes about 3 weeks. A total of only 5 chemicals of the 80,000 have been severely restricted or banned using the law in the past 33 years. Amazingly, the law was too weak to get asbestos removed from the market when the first President Bush attempted to do so.
Please call or write your congressional and senate representatives and urge them to pass the Kid Safe Chemicals Act. And sign the Declaration. We can and must create a tidal wave of support for KSCA, to reverse the horrific wave of human damage caused by unregulated chemicals.
National Geographic Explorer David de Rothschild is setting sail from San Francisco to Sydney on a Plastic Bottle Boat in April. Plastiki is the 60 foot catamaran made out of 12,000 two liter plastic bottles that will make the voyage. The purpose of this trip is two fold-to investigate plastic litter, the most common ocean pollution, and to highlight the many ways plastic can be re-purposed.
Only one of the 15 billion pounds of plastic produced in the United States each year is recycled and much of the leftovers float their way to the Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch. Also, don't forget March 22 is National Water Day, and most people aren't aware that the Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch has grown to more than twice the size of Texas!
National Geographic hopes this voyage will showcase the many uses for smart materials so when Plastiki's voyage is over, the boat will be broken down and turned into emergency shelters, shipping pellets, clothes, and even more bottles.
Man-made pollution is raising ocean acidity at least 10 times faster than previously thought, a study says.
Researchers say carbon dioxide levels are having a marked effect on the health of shellfish such as mussels. They sampled coastal waters off the north-west Pacific coast of the US every half-hour for eight years. The results, published in the journal PNAS, suggest that earlier climate change models may have underestimated the rate of ocean acidification.
Below is some information on a website called Sink the Breakwater that is dedicated to cleaning up our environment. I met the gentleman who runs the site, Dale Brown, through my blog. Dale is devoted to creating awareness of the harmful effects of plastic and trash in our oceans and waterways. Be sure to check out the video link below.
Thanks for your efforts, Dale!!
Sink the Breakwater Goals: 1. Get the Local and Federal Government Involved. 2. Participate in Local Beach Clean-ups. 3. Eliminate as Much Plastic as Possible From Our Day-to-Day Lives. 4. Speak up When you See Someone LIttering. 5. Clean-up the LA and San Gabriel Rivers as Well as Bologna Creek. 6. Get More People to Watch Synthetic Sea - Link to Video
* Story Highlights * Findings discussed in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report * Twenty-five percent of all marine species need coral reefs to live and grow * Since last NOAA report in 2005, the Caribbean has lost 50 percent of its corals * Problem caused by rising sea temperatures, land-based pollution and other factors
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) -- Almost half the coral reef ecosystems in United States territory are in poor or fair condition, mostly because of rising ocean temperatures, according to a government report released Monday.
The reefs discussed in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report serve as breeding grounds for many of the world's seafood species and act as indicators of overall ocean health.
"They are a major indicator of something that could go wrong with the environment," said Timothy Keeney, NOAA's deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere.
Off Gore Point, where tide rips collide, the rolling swells rear up and steepen into whitecaps. Quiet with concentration, Chris Pallister decelerates from 15 knots to 8, strains to peer through a windshield blurry with spray, tightens his grip on the wheel and, like a skier negotiating moguls, coaxes his home-built boat, the Opus — aptly named for a comic-strip penguin — through the chaos of waves. Our progress becomes a series of concussions punctuated by troughs of anxious calm. In this it resembles the rest of Pallister’s life.
A 55-year-old lawyer with a monkish haircut, glasses that look difficult to break, an allergy of the eyes that makes him squint and a private law practice in Anchorage, Pallister spends most of his time directing a nonprofit group called the Gulf of Alaska Keeper, or GoAK (pronounced GO-ay-kay). According to its mission statement, GoAK’s lofty purpose is to “protect, preserve, enhance and restore the ecological integrity, wilderness quality and productivity of Prince William Sound and the North Gulf Coast of Alaska.” In practice, the group has, since Pallister and a few like-minded buddies founded it in 2005, done little else besides clean trash from beaches. All along Alaska’s outer coast, Chris Pallister will tell you, there are shores strewn with marine debris, as man-made flotsam and jetsam is officially known. Most of that debris is plastic, and much of it crosses the Gulf of Alaska or even the Pacific Ocean to arrive there.
Check out this CNN.com video that profiles and island of trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In this area of the Pacific, huge amounts of garbage have been accumulated by ocean currents. The garbage and plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, some of which are consumed by fish and other marine life which, in turn, is consumed by humans. Yes, we are eating our own garbage!!
This is infuriating! A $30 million penalty is way too little in my opinion. And the EVP of the company has there nerve to say this - "We believe this agreement will benefit the environment as well
as our shareholders." The environment would benefit a lot more if they obeyed the law and didn't "routinely pollute hundreds of streams and waterways." The fine could have been as high as $2.4 billion. And to make matters worse, the President and CEO was photographed socializing with the chief justice of the WV supreme court. "Four months before the court in a 3-2
decision with Maynard in the majority reversed a $76.3 million judgment
against Massey in a dispute brought by a bankrupt coal company." I'm sure it was all above board and there were no conflicts of interest. Not!
So I guess the message is go ahead and pollute and just pay the fines later. Sad!
EPA had alleged Massey violated law 4,500 times over 7 years The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A major coal producer has agreed to a $30 million settlement over allegations that it routinely polluted hundreds of streams and waterways in West Virginia and Kentucky. The settlement includes a $20 million civil penalty, the largest ever for violations of the Clean Water Act.
Under the agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Massey Energy, the country's fourth-largest coal producer, will also invest $10 million in pollution control improvements at its 44 mines and coal facilities in the two states and in Virginia, the EPA and Justice Department announced Thursday.
The agreement settled a complaint filed by the EPA in May 2007 alleging that the company violated the federal Clean Water Act on at least 4,500 occasions between January 2000 and the end of 2006 by discharging mining waste and sediment — including hazardous metals — into hundreds of streams and waterways and failing to control spills of coal slurry during its mining operation.
Some of the waste water discharges were more than 10 times the amounts allowed by state permits, the EPA said.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Proposed rules meant to keep foreign species out of the Great Lakes would require oceangoing ships to flush their ballast tanks with salt water before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The rules also call for increased inspections of salt-water freighters, believed to be a leading source of invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels that scientists say are causing massive environmental and economic damage to the lakes.
At least 185 exotic species have been found in the lakes. Many were scooped into ship ballast tanks in foreign ports, hauled across the Atlantic and dumped into the Great Lakes when the ships emptied their tanks to take on cargo.
Ballast tanks help stabilize ships in rough ocean waters.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, representing a number of environmental groups, described the proposed rules as "a helpful interim measure" that doesn't go far enough.