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Toxic Chemicals

The US Military Is Poisoning Okinawa

An Okinawan group of activists and physicians known as the Liaison to Protect the Lives of Citizens Against PFAS Contamination has taken the extraordinary step of collecting and analyzing blood samples from 387 residents of the tiny island who live near several U.S. military installations. The results confirm the worst fears of Okinawans regarding the military’s reckless use of PFAS over the last 50 years. Average blood levels for three PFAS compounds: PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS, were about 25 nanograms per milliliter, (ng/mL), or parts per billion, for those tested from the cities of Ginowan, Kin Town, and Chatan. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is located in Ginowan.

Two Most Widely Used Pesticides Likely Harm Majority Of Endangered Species

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the endocrine-disrupting pesticide atrazine and cancer-linked pesticide glyphosate are each likely to harm more than 1,000 of the nation’s most endangered plants and animals. The finalized evaluations found that use of the herbicide glyphosate is likely causing harm to 1,676 of the plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. Atrazine is likely harming 1,013 protected species.

Parents Become Activists In The Fight Over South Portland’s Petroleum Tanks

SOUTH PORTLAND—Sometimes, grassroots activism looks obvious, with bold signs and public acts of disobedience. Sometimes, it looks like this: 14 people sitting on the carpeted floor of a sunny room in a home on Cottage Road while young kids color and eat crackers and fruit. So it was on a recent Sunday, as members of Protect South Portland, an environmental group, sought to tap into a new vein of activism: parents.

Monsanto Roundup Trial Tracker

It’s been nearly five years since international cancer scientists classified a popular weed-killing chemical as probably carcinogenic, news that triggered an explosion of lawsuits brought by cancer patients who blame the former chemical maker Monsanto Co. for their suffering. Tens of thousands of U.S. plaintiffs – some lawyers involved in the litigation say over 100,000 – claim Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and other glyphosate-based weed killers caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma...

Teachers Union Suing District Over Asbestos In Schools

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The union representing public school teachers in Philadelphia is suing the district over its handling of asbestos contamination in schools, the union said Monday. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers suit comes after the city school district was forced to close a north Philadelphia elementary school for a second time Friday after tests demanded by teachers and union leaders showed elevated levels of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in the air.

Six Monsanto Roundup Cancer Trials Set For January

After several months out of the headlines, lawyers for both sides of the nationwide Roundup cancer litigation are gearing up for overlapping trials in the new year as several more cancer patients seek to blame Monsanto for their diseases. Six trials are currently set to take place starting in January, with one in February, two in March and additional trials scheduled almost every month from April through October 2021. Thousands of additional plaintiffs still are working to get trial dates set for their claims.

US Embassy Pressures Thailand Over Monsanto Poison Ban

Under Thailand’s new government, efforts to ban toxic pesticides and herbicides including those made by US agricultural giant Monsanto were first accelerated, and have now finally succeeded. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul bluntly stated that “the US was worried only about trade. The Thai government was concerned about the health of Thai consumers,” in response to complaints from the US embassy over the ban, Bangkok Post would report in its article, “Govt rejects US opposition to farm chemicals ban.”

Radioactive Waste Could Be Killing Residents In Missouri Community

In Bridgeton, on the northern edge of St. Louis County, Missouri, a fire burns underground in a vast landfill, creeping closer and closer to a pile of radioactive waste from the World War II era that was dumped there back in the 1970s. This “subsurface smoldering event,” as these odorous, high-temperature chemical reactions are called, at the West Lake Landfill has burned continuously for almost a decade now, keeping nearby residents all too aware of the Superfund site in their backyard.

Because ‘A World Without Insects Is Not Worth Living In,’ Germany Announces Plan To Ban Glyphosate

The German government announced Wednesday it had agreed on a plan to phase out the use of glyphosate—the key chemical in the weedkiller Roundup—with a total ban set to begin by the end of 2023. "Way to go, Germany!" tweeted the U.S.-based advocacy group Organic Consumers Association. Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed to the plan Wednesday. The proposal, reported Bloomberg, also says that the "government intends to oppose any request for the E.U. to renew the license to produce the weedkiller, according to a release by the environment ministry."

How Kai Newkirk’s ‘Extractive Activism’ Left Destruction In Its Wake

A nationally known activist returned to his West Virginia hometown earlier this year to join the fight against the construction of a major industrial facility that posed significant health risks to the community. The activist, Kai Newkirk, gained the trust and admiration of residents opposed to the insulation factory proposed by Danish company Rockwool. By the time he left five months later, though, the community was riven in two, mistrust was rampant and the group’s ability to work effectively was significantly compromised. But there was something that no one in this rural West Virginia county knew about Newkirk: He has a long history of toxic behavior, creating chaos and sowing discord.

Refusing To Fund Our Own Destruction

I spent the summer of 2015 knocking on doors across Cincinnati. As a rising college sophomore, I’d joined a group called Ohio Citizen Action to canvass for my community and the planet. That year, the Ohio River was the most polluted body of water in the nation. Named for the Seneca term for “beautiful river”, the Ohio was then — and remains today — a dumping ground for toxic chemicals. Also that year, the state was in the middle of a two-year freeze on renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, making Ohio the first state to roll back its clean energy standards.

Judge Denies Cancer Alley Marchers’ Request To Cross Louisiana Bridges

May 31, 2019, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Today, a judge in Louisiana denied an emergency request by community leaders to march across two Mississippi river bridges as part of a five-day march through Cancer Alley. During the hearing, an attorney for the state police said that such marches are against the law and subject to felony charges, citing a law that carries up to 15 years imprisonment. The march, organized by the Coalition Against Death Alley, seeks to bring attention to the poisoning of Black communities in Louisiana’s Mississippi River parishes by hundreds of petrochemical companies.

Sonoma Officials Ban Roundup

Glyphosate, you’ve sprayed your last City of Sonoma leaf. That’s because the Sonoma City Council on April 1 voted unanimously to ban the use on city property of the synthetic herbicide glyphosate – a main ingredient in such weed-killing products as Roundup – that is becoming increasing associated with suspected links to cancer. The Council in December 2018 had already moved toward stricter limits on the herbicide, agreeing then to only consider its use as a “last resort” and directed city staff to return in 2019 with details on how much City of Sonoma maintenance crews spray so city officials could further mull an outright ban.

‘Doesn’t Care’

In a ruling last week, Judge Vince Chhabria wrote:. . . there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue. On March 12, both sides in the Edwin Hardeman vs. Monsanto case delivered closing arguments in San Francisco Federal Court. The jury could return its verdict any day now.

Petrochemical Giants Are Slowly Killing Black Louisiana Communities

Milton Cayette Jr. has just returned from a birthday party at the senior center in Welcome, one of the unincorporated hamlets nestled beside the earthen levee running along the east bank of the Mississippi River in the 5th District of Louisiana’s St. James Parish. Sitting in the kitchen of his home, Cayette begins listing the petrochemical facilities in the area, starting about five miles upriver near the Sunshine Bridge, where a chemical plant run by the company Mosaic produces diammonium phosphate and ammonia. Next door another plant produces styrene, a chemical used to make rubbers and plastics.
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