Friday, May 7, 2010

Body Burden of Toxic Chemicals

Nicholas Kristof of the New York TImes wrote an editorial yesterday about an about to be released report from the Federal Cancer Panel, entitled: New Alarm Bells about Chemicals and Cancer.  Read it here.  This is on the heels of a report released earlier this year, and reported on by Blake Morrison for USA Today. In this study the General Accounting Office, chastised the EPA for its failure to protect children from toxic chemicals.  Read Blake's article here.

This is all the more reason for us to question the decade old Air Toxics Benchmark program in Oregon.  We need to press the state to ensure that the best new science is taken into consideration when new air toxics benchmarks are adopted.  The problem with these benchmarks, if they stand on their own, is the false pretense they provide for polluters.  These allow company's to assert, like ESCO did in a letter to the NW Examiner in December last year, that the toxic releases that have put 35 of Portland schools in the top 5% of schools across the nation with the worst air due to the aggregate load of toxic industrial air pollution, are "doing no harm."

Please help us send a strong message to the DEQ and the EQC - the rule making body for that agency - that we expect the state to adopt air toxic standards that are protective of public health, particularly children and other vulnerable populations, who live in urban areas with high industrial air toxics.  Sign the petition here.

And attend the hearing on May 18th:
Public Hearing on Air Toxics Benchmark Rulemaking
DATE: May 18, 2010
TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: ODOT, Main Floor, Conf Rm AB
Address 123 NW Flanders, Portland

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