(Refreshing News) The “Climate Change/Global Warming” crowd is reaching the point of hysteria. Fewer and fewer people are taking them seriously anymore.
This is a land grab like no other. The EPA now, effectively, controls private property, and will use it’s illegal authority to force you off your land.
Despite new findings that prove a heightened crisis in US bee populations and a recent ban in Europe on similar chemical applications, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to further endanger the population Monday by approving a “highly toxic” new pesticide.
The “EPA continues to put industry interests first to exacerbate an already dire pollinator crisis,” writes the group Beyond Pesticides.
The agency granted sulfoxaflor, a product of the Dow Chemical Company, “unconditional registration” for use on vegetables, fruits, barley, canola, ornamentals, soybeans and wheat among others, despite the EPA’s own classification of the insecticide as “highly toxic to honey bees.”
According to the Washington Examiner, the EPA’s studies on the chemical’s long-term effect on bees proved to be “inconclusive due to some issues with the study designs” and thus the EPA has proposed simply reducing the amount applied.
As part of their decision, the EPA approved new language for the sulfoxaflor labels which reads, “Do not apply this product at any time between 3 days prior to bloom and until after petal fall,” during heightened pollinator activity.
Further, they approved an additional ‘advisory pollinator statement’:
Notifying known beekeepers within 1 mile of the treatment area 48 hours before the product is applied will allow them to take additional steps to protect their bees. Also limiting application to times when managed bees and native pollinators are least active, e.g., before 7 am or after 7pm local time or when temperature is below 55oF at the site of application, will minimize risk to bees.
Though the EPA believes this advisory to be “robust” enough to protect pollinators, environmental advocacy groups such as Beyond Pesticides believe such statements “not only underscore the risks to bees” but prove to be unrealistic since systemic pesticides, including sulfoxaflor, “continue to exist in the plant (including pollen and nectar) for longer periods of time that well surpasses the recommended application intervals, and therefore expose bees to residues longer than suggested.”
And, in addition to harming bees, sulfoxaflor has been known to cause tumors and carcinomas in mice and rats and has been classified as “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential.”
Dismissing these concerns, the EPA alternately points to the “need for sulfoxaflor by industry and agriculture groups to control insects no longer being controlled by increasingly ineffective pesticide technologies,” proving the ongoing and harmful nature of unsustainable techniques such as pesticide sprays.
Following Europe’s announcement that they would suspend the use of bee-harming neonicotinoids in an effort to combat the rampant colony collapse crisis, many hoped the US would announce similar reforms.
However, following this week’s announcement, groups say it is clear the EPA will continue pursue an “irresponsible” and “counter-intuitive” agenda in regards to bee health and the environment.
Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket Following Radiological Incidents
The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:
In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period;
- In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and
- Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.
- Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then EPA is in for a long, dirty slog,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.”
“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”
Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. The rationale for timing their release right before McCarthy’s confirmation hearing is unclear.
Since the PAGs guide agency decision-making and do not formally set standards or repeal statutory requirements, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund, they will go into full effect following a short public comment period. Nonetheless, the PAGs will likely determine what actions take place on the ground in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years following a radiological emergency.
Source: Global Research
Yesterday we reported that Wesley Snipes was finally released from prisonafter serving a 3 year sentence for refusing to pay the government extortion racket known as “taxation”. If you had a difficult time seeing through the scam of taxation with that story, hopefully this one can show you how taxation is blatant theft and thuggery.
10 Maryland counties, including the one that I live in will now be taxing people for how much rain falls on their property. How much area is paved on their property, and how big their deck is will be primary factors in this new taxation scheme.
In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.
And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.
The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1. So, if you live in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties or Baltimore city, you’ll be paying a rain tax on your next property tax bill.
The article goes on to explain the government will survey peoples property using drones and satellite imagery.
Homeowners will bear the brunt of the rain tax: of the $14.8 billion to be raised — $482 million each year until 2025 — about three-quarters will come from residential property owners. The rate is expected to start at $100 a year for most homeowners, although that could rise. The only rain tax shelter: credits and exemptions for property owners who follow stormwater “best practices.” How the money will be spent is another murky situation.
As i reported last week, while the government uses the EPA to tax drivers and regulate how people are landscaping in their back yards, that same government has uncontrollable biological weapons sitting all over the country like toxic time bombs.
Most specifically, the area in question, the Chesapeake bay is terribly polluted with toxic chemical, biological and radioactive waste that was released from the Lockheed Martin facility in Middle River MD, and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds military base in Aberdeen MD, since around the time of World War 2. Both of these facilities have unleashed a stew of toxic waste into rivers that lead directly into the bay, even going as far as storing radio active waste under the seabed for decades. I will be doing a full series of reports on these toxic waste sites in the coming weeks and months, stay tuned to intellihub.com for more information.
(Natural Society) -A company specializing in oil spill science has accused the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of violating the Clean Water Act by blocking science regarding oil spill cleanup that could have aided in better cleaning up the BP oil spill of 2010 while simultaneously cutting billions in costs.
In a press release by Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference group, the Oil Spill Eater International (OSEI) company calls out the EPA for what founder Steve Pedigo says boils down to blocking the development of oil spill cleanup science that is environmentally safe while also effective. In the release, Pedigo cites research and investigation by the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) on the current industrial cleaning agents used in the aid of cleaning up oil spills. The agents used in the cleaning process, such as the notorious Corexit, have been found time and time again to be highly dangerous to human health and the environment as well.
Despite this fact, the EPA has failed to utilize alternatives. A move that Pedigo says is purposeful, as the EPA has favored dispersants like Corexit that studies have actually shown can be even more damaging than the oil itself. As NBC reported back in late 2012, Corexit was actually found to make oil from spills a whopping 52 times more toxic. When considering that 2 million gallons were dumped into the ocean during the ‘cleanup’, this is very concerning news.
Despite cleaning teams requesting environmentally-friendly alternatives, which Pedigo says includes OSEI’s Oil Spill Eater II, the EPA did not honor the requests and instead enforced the usafe of dispersants like Corexit in the face the concerning evidence. According to the statements in the release, BP even made a direct request to switch to a better alternative. In the write-up, Peido goes against the EPA for:
“Violating the very Clean Water Act it is there to enforce by pre-approving toxic dispersants and tampering with science testing and results to justify inadequate oil spill cleanup protocols used on the BP Oil Spill.”
Overall, the mass use of Corexit has polluted the Gulf like never before, leading many consumers to avoid the purchase of seafood from the Gulf due to serious health concerns. When it comes to marine life, Corexit poses a special risk to the very delicate balance of life within the world’s oceans — a balance that has been disrupted by the introduction of over 2 million gallons of the extremely toxic dispersant.
(Natural Society) -While we may be under the impression that our democratic system of government is here to protect us, corporations—and the politicians getting paychecks from them—do a fair job of making that difficult. This manner of “legislative capture” is manifesting itself in a host of appalling ways far beyond those listed here. Here are 8 ways corporations are poisoning our food supply, humans, and mother earth.
1. Sugary Drinks, Diet Drinks are Addictive and Fattening
Sugary drinks, especially soda, run rampant in the U.S., with corporations shelling out millions to advertise to both children and adults. Kids are taking in 7 trillion calories of sugar each year from soda alone, with sodas making up 15-25% of the daily recommended caloric intake for kids aged 2 to 19. Sugar-sweetened sodas can contain upwards of 200 calories per can, but even artificially sweetened drinks should not be considered safe. Several studies show that artificial sweeteners—like cancer-linked aspartame—can contribute to tooth decay, obesity, kidney damage, and depression.
2. Bisphenol A and Other Chemicals in Canned Goods
BPA is a hormone disrupting chemical used in canned goods and plastic bottles. The chemical, which is labeled as “toxic” in other nations, had a chance to be banned of March 2012. In a move that angered activists within the US and even internationally, the FDA ruled against the ban. This ubiquitous chemical has been linked to:
- Hyperactivity in girls
- Breast cancer
- Reproductive issues
- Hastened puberty
- Feminization in boys
- Damaged arteries
3. Buying Out and Creating Organic Companies
You may not know this, but many organic companies are actually owned and operated by major corporations like Coca-Cola or Kellogg. Companies like Honest Tea and Odwalla may appeal to health conscious shoppers, but they are actually owned by Coca-Cola. Another popular ‘health’ brand is Kashi, owned by the Kellogg corporation. Some products from these companies may be ’100% organic’, but do you really trust their labeling practices? Or perhaps more important, do you really want to give support to the corporate producer?
Further, these large corporations are buying out some of the companies many natural-health advocates have grown to love. One example is when New Chapter, a vitamin and supplement company offering worthy products since 1892, was bought out by mega-corporation Proctor & Gamble.
4. Antibiotics are Making People Fat
These days, physicians are a little stab-happy with their antibiotics, often to just please the patient with a medical solution (a placebo effect, if you will). But it could be setting us up for lifelong obesity – at least that’s what some research has to say. In addition to killing “bad” bacteria, antibiotics kill “good” bacteria in the gut, thereby disrupting digestion even in the long run. There’s also mounting evidence that antibiotics may be promoting diabetes and metabolic syndrome—but not killing the cold and flu viruses that parents think they are (antibiotics cannot kill viruses, only bacteria).
5. Antibiotics in Livestock are Promoting Bacterial Resistance
Last year, The Guardian wrote about 150 scientists and 50 farmers—including a former FDA commissioner—demanding that Congress regulate antibiotic use in livestock. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has even blamed overuse of antibiotics for the global resistance to antibiotics, which could make antibiotics futile against disease-causing bacteria. And this is not even considering the other ill effects antibiotics have on the animals we eat.
6. Supporting Genetically Modified Foods and Herbicides
If you are into organic foods and have been following GM news, you know that the latest and greatest chance for GM labeling was with California’s proposition 37. Needless to say, the bill was not passed, but Prop 37 did teach us a lot about the interest of various companies and mega corporations. It was no surprise to see biotech giant Monsanto dish out over $4 million to fight the bill, but some people were surprised to see Naked Juice, Kashi, Cascadian Farm Organic, Honest Tea, and some others on the side of anti-GM labeling. As mentioned above, many of these companies are owned by corporations like Coca-Cola or General Mills.
They all support GM food, are anti-GM labeling, and subsequently support the use of herbicides and pesticides. Pesticides that are being used in greater amounts each day thanks to mutated insects that become resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup-ready GM crops.
According to numerous pieces of research, GM foods like Monsanto’s corn have been implicated of contributing to weight gain, organ disruption, tumor development and infertility in rats. Roundup—a glyphosate-based herbicide— is to thank for contributing to water pollution, resistant rootworms and superweeds, and environmental devastation.
7. Herbicides and Insecticides Contributing to Bee Colony Collapse
Although technological products like cell phone towers and cell phones are hurting the bee population, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides brought to us by Bayer, Monsanto, and Dow AgroSciences appear to be the main culprits. It has been shown time and time again that these chemicals are ravaging these tiny insects that are essential for agriculture purposes and pollinating food crops.
“…a document was leaked revealing that a bee-killing pesticide put in use by the EPA may be to blame [for the bee decline]. Adding to the controversy, more records have emerged showing that the USDA was fully aware of the pesticide’s threat to not only bees, but humans…Neonicotinoids, the particular type of pesticides used, are absorbed systemically into plants, including the pollen and nectar. Once the bees begin to pollinate, they also absorb the insecticide, and die.”
Neonicotinoids have been banned in France and Germany, but not the United States.
8. Factory Farms Devastate Land and Sea
If you purchase your meat from a grocery store instead of a farmer’s market or co-op, it was probably raised in a factory farm. Not only are these farms known for extreme animal cruelty (which many undercover videos have gruesomely pointed out), but they are also responsible for polluting groundwater, drinking water, and contributing to massive deforestation. Actually, they produce 100 times more waste than the entire U.S. population.
Run-off from these establishments as well as non-organic crops are contributing to blooms and dead zones in coastal waters. Earlier this year, a scientific paper argued against the case of factory farms feeding the world, but with the USDA and FDA deep in industrial farming’s pockets, it will take considerable time and effort before we see any changes.
(Washington Examiner) -Chinese and other Asian coal-fired electricity plants belching dangerous mercury-laced smoke are mostly to blame for mercury warnings now in every U.S. state and covering the total fish populations of 25 states, according to a startling new federal audit.
Just as alarming: Despite herculean efforts in many states to slash emissions of two acid rain producing pollutants, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, many lakes, bays and streams along the Appalachian and Pacific Coast ranges and Great Lakes can’t meet federal guidelines because of pollution floating in from Canada, Mexico and nearby states.
An exhaustive new Government Accountability Office audit of Environmental Protection Agency water programs laid out the worrisome findings while presenting a vexing policy issue: They want the EPA to do more to stop pollution, but how can EPA stop foreign pollution from fouling American waters?
The GAO said Chesapeake Bay suffers from a similar problem of pollutants flowing in from states that don’t neighbor the watershed.
While acid rain pollutants spoil waters, mercury ingested by fish can harm humans, especially children, when eaten. But, said GAO, the U.S. effort is being thwarted by Asian industrial plants. GAO said that 67 percent of human-cause mercury emissions come from Asia, while only 8 percent are from North America.
A GAO map of the nation showing mercury warnings for fish shows a continuous red line from the Maine-Canada border to the Texas-Mexico line. Citing an EPA report, the GAO said that in 2010, “all 50 states reported mercury-related fish consumption advisories, and 25 states reported statewide freshwater advisories. Additionally, Alaska, Hawaii, all of the Gulf states, and most of the East Coast states, reported statewide coastal advisories.”
The administration is currently negotiating mercury levels with international partners.
This week, the Obama administration released a “bold new vision for addressing the nation’s health and economic burdens caused by preventable hazards associated with the home.”
The project has a name: “Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action.”
“People in the United States spend about 70% of their time in a home,” the announcement said.
“Currently, millions of U.S. homes have moderate to severe physical housing problems, including dilapidated structure; roofing problems; heating, plumbing, and electrical deficiencies; water leaks and intrusion; pests; damaged paint; and high radon gas levels. These conditions are associated with a wide range of health issues, including unintentional injuries, respiratory illnesses like asthma and radon-induced lung cancer, lead poisoning, result in lost school days for children, as well as lost productivity in the labor force.”
According to the Obama administration, the health and economic burdens from preventable hazards associated with both subsidized and privately owned homes cost billions of dollars.
The new strategy “unifies” federal efforts to advance healthy housing — “demonstrating the connection between housing conditions and residents’ health.”
The federal partners pushing healthy housing include the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Surgeon General, and Energy Department.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says the federal government must do “everything we can to ensure that individuals and families have a healthy place to call home.” He said the strategy “will help the federal government unify action (on) controlling and preventing major housing-related exposures and hazards.”
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the government now has a “specific plan for action to address radon and other preventable hazards found in homes across the country.” The strategy, she added, “is a critical step” toward ensuring that “Americans in all communities have healthy places to live, work and play.”
The healthy homes strategy sets five goals for reducing the number of substandard homes:
— Establish healthy homes recommendations (homes should be dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, and well-maintained and thermally controlled);
— Encourage adoption of healthy homes recommendations (federal, state and local regulations);
— Create and support training and workforce development to address health hazards in housing (train people for new jobs in green energy and construction);
— Educate the public about healthy homes (advertising campaigns telling Americans how their homes ought to be)
— Support research that advances healthy housing in a cost-effective manner (taxpayer-funded grants to study the problem).
A 2013 report from the “Federal Healthy Homes Work Group” notes that “susceptible and vulnerable populations, such as children, the poor, minorities, individuals with behavioral health issues, and people with chronic medical conditions, may be disproportionately impacted by inadequate housing.”
The report also says many home-based hazards are preventable — “and opportunities exist for intervention programs that would not only reduce health impacts on occupants, but the economic burden as well, resulting in a positive return on investment.”
(McClatchey) -In testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Ken Cook spoke passionately about 10 Americans who were found to have more than 200 synthetic chemicals in their blood.
The list included flame retardants, lead, stain removers, and pesticides the federal government had banned three decades ago.
“Their chemical exposures did not come from the air they breathed, the water they drank, or the food they ate,” said Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a national advocacy group.
How did he know?
The 10 Americans were newborns. “Babies are coming into this world pre-polluted with toxic chemicals,” he said.
More than 80,000 chemicals are in use today, and most have not been independently tested for safety, regulatory officials say.
Yet we come in contact with many every day - most notably, the bisphenol A in can linings and hard plastics, the flame retardants in couches, the nonstick coatings on cookware, the phthalates in personal care products, and the nonylphenols in detergents, shampoos, and paints.
These five groups of chemicals were selected by Sonya Lunder, senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, as ones that people should be aware of and try to avoid.
They were among the first picked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent effort to assess health risks for 83 of the most worrisome industrial chemicals.
Lunder’s basis was that they are chemicals Americans come in contact with daily. You don’t have to live near a leaking Superfund site to be exposed. They are in many consumer products, albeit often unlabeled.
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others have shown that they are detectable in the blood or urine of many of us.
Plus, much data exist showing their harm. “We have an incredible body of evidence for all these chemicals,” she said. “In all cases, we have studies linking human exposure to human health effects.”
Lunder and others see these five as symbolic of the government’s failure to protect us from potential - or actual - toxins.
“A lot of people presume that because you’re buying something on the store shelf … someone has vetted that product to make sure it is safe,” said Sarah Janssen, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, another advocacy group. “Unfortunately, that’s not true.”
Some chemicals are regulated through laws governing, say, pesticides or air quality.
But most are regulated through the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA. It has been identified as the only major environmental statute that has not been reauthorized, or revised, since its adoption in the 1970s.
Since 2005, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., has worked to change that. In 2010, he introduced the first version of the Safe Chemicals Act, which would require companies “to prove their products are safe before they end up in our home and our children’s bodies,” he said recently by email.
A later version, with 27 co-sponsors, passed out of committee in July. He has vowed to keep fighting for a vote in the full Senate.
The American Chemical Council, a trade association representing large chemical manufacturers, declined comment, although it too has called for reform.
“Public confidence in TSCA has diminished, contributing to misperceptions about the safety of chemicals,” council president Cal Dooley said in 2011 testimony. But he said the proposed law would cripple innovation in fields from energy to medicine. It would “create an enormous burden on EPA and on manufacturers with little benefit by requiring a minimum data set for all chemicals.”
EPA officials declined comment, but in a series of appearances before the Senate subcommittee on the environment, staffers repeatedly said the current law is not protecting Americans.
In July, Jim Jones, acting administrator of EPA’s office of chemical safety, said that “with each passing year, the need for TSCA reform grows,” noting that it had “fallen behind the rapidly advancing industry it is intended to regulate.”
When TSCA was passed, it grandfathered in, “without any evaluation,” the 62,000 chemicals in commerce that existed before 1976, Jones said.
He noted that in the 34 years since TSCA was passed, the list of chemicals has grown to 84,000, and EPA has been able to require testing on only about 200 of them.
Also, the agency has regulated or banned only five.
An oft-mentioned case of regulatory failure is that of cancer-causing asbestos. In 1989, “after years of study and nearly unanimous scientific opinion,” Jones said, the EPA banned it.
Two years later, a federal court overturned most of the action because the EPA had not chosen the least burdensome control on industry, as required.
The court ruled that old asbestos uses could not be revived. New uses were prohibited. But current uses could remain.
Adam Finkel, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania Program on Regulation, said that Europe leads the U.S. in chemical testing and regulation. There, officials put the onus on the makers to prove a chemical is safe.
Meanwhile, the science keeps outpacing the rules.
“The real issue of TSCA reform is that science is not what it was 30 or 40 years ago,” said Linda Birnbaum, head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
In the past, she said, “we were looking almost exclusively at visible birth defects. We were concerned with cancer.”
Researchers are now looking at chemicals’ effects - some extremely subtle - on numerous other conditions, including reproductive development and disorders, diabetes, heart problems, asthma, autism, even obesity and learning disorders.
Paradigms have evolved so that researchers can study concurrent exposure to more than one chemical, as happens in real life. Toxicology has grown from a descriptive science of what has occurred to a predictive one.
Of the five chemicals identified by Lunder, flame retardants have figured prominently in recent research studies.
In late November, researchers led by Duke University chemist Heather Stapleton showed that a flame retardant removed from children’s sleepwear as a suspected carcinogen was still in lots of couches.
More than 40 percent of the 102 couches bought between 1985 and 2010 had the chemical, called tris, according to the study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
That issue also published a study by the Silent Spring Institute, an advocacy group in Massachusetts, that traced the path of toxic flame retardants from couches to household dust to the bodies of children, who often crawl on floors and put fingers in their mouths.
Officials say children’s small size and rapid growth may make them more vulnerable to toxins.
The research showed that most homes had levels of at least one flame retardant that exceeded a federal health guideline.
One of the latest health studies of PBDE flame retardants, in November’s Environmental Health Perspectives, found that fetal or infant exposure could adversely affect a child’s fine-motor coordination, attention span, and IQ.
A Chicago Tribune investigation, published in May, found that many flame retardants do not even provide meaningful protection from fire.
Bisphenol A, another chemical facing scrutiny, held promise because it could be used to make hard, clear plastic and protective liners for canned foods and beverages.
Noting thousands of studies examining its effects, the National Resources Defense Council petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to limit its use as a food additive, which would also preclude its use in packaging.
The FDA denied the petition last year, although many manufacturers have removed it from baby bottles and sippy cups. Some, including Campbell’s Soup, say they plan to shift to alternatives.
THE EPA’S MOST WORRISOME TOXINS
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Uses: It hardens clear “polycarbonate” plastics, which are used in compact discs, plastic dinnerware, eyeglass lenses, toys, beverage bottles, and impact-resistant safety equipment. Also used in the linings of food cans, in dental sealants, and on cash register receipts.
Health concerns: BPA is considered estrogenic and has been shown to affect the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. BPA also has been linked to many other disorders. Potential harm is considered highest for young children, because their bodies have immature systems for detoxifying chemicals.
How to limit exposure: Limit consumption of canned foods and canned liquid baby formula. Avoid plastics marked with the recycling code “7.” Avoid microwaving baby food or drinks in plastic containers.
Nonylphenols, including nonylphenol ethoxylates
Uses: Laundry detergents, shampoos, household cleaners, latex paints.
Health concerns: NPs have been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine, and are associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents. Fish exposed to low levels can become feminized. EPA concerns center mostly on industrial laundry workers.
How to limit exposure: This is difficult. Experts say to avoid using detergents, cleaning agents, and other products that contain nonylphenols, but many times they are not labeled. They recommend calling the manufacturer and asking. Some organizations, including the Environmental Working Group, publish guides to safer cleaning products.
PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals)
Uses: Widely used water, grease, and stain repellents. Contained in the coatings of nonstick cookware. Used to greaseproof paper and cardboard food packaging. Added to carpeting and clothing for stain protection.
Health concerns: They are bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans, and are persistent in the environment. They are toxic to laboratory animals and wildlife. The EPA says that “to date, significant adverse effects have not been found in the general human population. However, given the long half-life of these chemicals in humans (years), it can reasonably be anticipated that continued exposure could increase body burdens to levels that would result in adverse outcomes.”
How to limit exposure: Avoid nonstick cookware. Avoid highly processed and fatty foods. Skip optional stain treatments. Use real plates instead of paper. Cook popcorn on the stove, not in microwave bags.
Flame retardants, including PBDE
Uses: To prevent the spread of fire, many versions of these chemicals are added to upholstered furniture and mattresses - including many products for babies - plus textiles, plastics, electronics, wire insulation.
Health concerns: PBDEs are not chemically bound to plastics or other products in which they are used, making them more likely to leach out. “Certain PBDEs are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment,” the EPA states. Concern is highest for children, who might crawl on the floor, get dust containing PBDEs on their hands, and then put their hands in their mouths.
How to limit exposure: PBDEs are being phased out, so beware of old foam items, which are most likely to contain PBDEs. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Clean carefully after removing old carpet and padding. When dusting, use a damp cloth or a cloth with microfibers that will trap and hold the dust better.
Uses: They make plastics more malleable, and are found in vinyl shower curtains, toys, vinyl flooring. They help lotions penetrate skin, so they are found in a wide variety of personal care products, including cosmetics, fragrances, and nail polish. Also found in air-fresheners and cleaning products.
Health concerns: Known to interfere with the production of male reproductive hormones in animals and considered likely to have similar effects in humans. The EPA is concerned about phthalates because of their toxicity and the evidence of pervasive human and environmental exposure to these chemicals. Phthalates have been detected in food and also measured in humans.
How to limit exposure: Manufacturers aren’t required to list phthalates on the label, but any item listed as “fragrance” can be a chemical mixture containing phthalates. Buy cosmetics from companies that have pledged not to use phthalates. Avoid items with PVC, V, or the No. 3 recycling code on the item or its packaging.
Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council
(OffGridSurvival) -Our ever so helpful government has decided that your wood burning stove is now a danger to the world. In another attempt to outlaw the off grid lifestyle, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the same agency that was recently caught using drones to spy on Americans, is now going after home owners who use Wood Burning Stoves to heat their homes.
Shortly after the re-election of President Obama, the agency announced new radical environmental regulations that threaten to effect people who live off the grid. The EPA’s new environmental regulations reduce the amount of airborne fine-particle matter from 15 micrograms to 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
This means that most wood burning stoves would now fall into a class that would deemed unacceptable under these new draconian measures. The EPA has even launched a nifty new website called burn wise to try to sway public opinion.
On their site, while trying to convince people to get rid of their old stoves and buy the new EPA-certified stoves, they sate that these older stove must be scraped and cannot be resold.
From the EPA Site:
The local air pollution agency says I can’t sell my old wood stove to help pay for an EPA-certified wood stove. Why is that?
Replacing an older stove with a cleaner-burning stove will not improve air quality if the older stove is reused somewhere else. For this reason, wood stove changeout programs usually require older stoves to be destroyed and recycled as scrap metal, or rendered inoperable.
Let’s hope this doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the newly created Department of Homeland Security Environmental Justice Units? The next thing you know we might all be getting a knock at the door….. Your Neighbor reported that you might be burning some wood, do you mind if we take a look around?