Rachel's Precaution Reporter #131

"Foresight and Precaution, in the News and in the World"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008.........Printer-friendly version
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Featured stories in this issue...

Ontario Nurses Write Precautionary Principle into Labor Contract
  The Ontario Nurses' Associated has negotiated a labor contract that
  includes the precautionary principle. We have not seen the proposed
  language, and the contract has not yet been approved by union members,
  but this seems an important advance for labor and for the
  precautionary principle.
Losing Another Winnable War: Childhood Cancer
  "Can we change the course of childhood cancer? Yes we can! But only
  if we have committed leadership, a committed Congress and, yes, a
  strong president who will reject the industry influences that have
  created a toxic environment that continues to harm our children."
Learning and Developmental Disabilities Linked To Environment
  We are still dealing with the health effects of adding lead to
  paint and gasoline, even though at the time the toxic effects of lead
  were well known. "To protect children, a precautionary approach is
  required that shifts the burden of responsibility to producers or
  manufacturers to demonstrate safety prior to potential exposure."
Fish-farm Plan Sparks Fears for Marine Reserve
  "We cannot take a chance with the health of our children, or the
  health of our fragile marine environment in this place. 'The
  precautionary principle should apply here, and this fish farm should
  be located somewhere more suitable.'"
Pest Control Operators Need To Protect Environment
  "The fact that we don't have definitive statements (linking
  pesticides to cancer), means that we have to use the precautionary
  principle. We have to be careful that when we use and sell pesticides,
  we are doing it appropriately," he added.
To Regulate or Not To Regulate?
  "These bills are efforts to implement a particularly toxic version
  of the precautionary principle without actually mentioning it for
  public discussion and debate. It's a version that presumes chemicals
  and technology are guilty until proven innocent."
Sunset of Rachel's Precaution Reporter
  Rachel's Precaution Reporter will cease publication a year from


From: Newswire.ca, Feb. 22, 2008
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Ontario Nurses' Association releases details of tentative settlement
for 50,000 hospital registered nurses

TORONTO -- The Ontario Nurses' Association's (ONA) Hospital Central
Negotiating Team is unanimously recommending acceptance of a tentative
settlement negotiated for Ontario's 50,000 hospital registered nurses
and allied health professionals. The tentative settlement includes
salary increases for hospital nurses of 9.55 per cent over its three-
year term. In addition, nurses will receive a lump sum payment which
varies with length of service and is equivalent to an additional 3.70
per cent for the majority of ONA members. The tentative settlement
also includes:

** Vacation, benefit and premium pay improvements;

** Contract language relating to the adoption of the precautionary
principle to improve workplace safety (as recommended by the late
Justice Archie Campbell's final report on SARS);

** Commitments to address violence in the workplace, including
disruptive physician behavior;

** Dental benefits for early retirees (aged 60 to 65).

ONA leaders are learning of details in the tentative settlement today.

If ratified, the new collective agreement covers a three-year period,
from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2011. "This contract, including the
lump sum payments, offers RNs some recognition for the hard work they
do each and every day in providing quality care to our patients," says
ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. If ratified by members, a full-
time registered nurse working in an ONA hospital facility will earn
between $29.36 (new RNs) and $42.44 (RNs with 25 years' experience) an
hour by April 1, 2010. Local ratification meetings will be held for
hospital-sector nurses between February 25 and March 11. Results will
be announced by March 20.

ONA is the union representing 53,000 front-line registered nurses and
allied health professionals working in Ontario hospitals, long-term
care facilities, public health, the community and industry.

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond,
(416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson,
(416) 964-8833, ext. 2369

Copyright 2005 CNW Group Ltd.

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From: Huffington Post, Feb. 15, 2008
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By Deidre Imus

If the mantra for the 2008 election is "change," then let's hope this
includes a change in attitude and polices concerning childhood cancer.

February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day, a day designated
to raise awareness about childhood cancer. It is also a day when we
reflect on the advances made and what steps need to be taken to
eradicate this dreaded disease. Unfortunately, like other chronic
diseases, there is not much to celebrate. This is because we have a
fundamentally flawed philosophy about how to combat cancer that can be
summed up in two words... irresponsible and reactionary.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a "war on cancer" and
enacted the National Cancer Act. In spite of billions of dollars
invested annually in scientific research over the past 36 years,
cancer cures have failed to emerge.

Cancer statistics are on the rise and following the same trend we see
with other children's chronic diseases and developmental disorders.
More than 7.6 million people worldwide die each year from cancer,
600,000 in the United States. This is equal to 20,000 deaths a day
globally. Every year another 1.5 million people are diagnosed with
cancer in the U.S.

Each school day 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer. According to the
most recently recorded data from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) cancer remains the leading cause of death among U.S.
children ages 1 to 19 years, second only to accidents (2004).
Approximately 13,425 children in this age group are diagnosed annually
with pediatric cancer and about 2,250 children will die each year from
the disease. While the prevalence of childhood cancer increased by
27.1 percent between 1975 and 2002, the death rates declined for
leukemias by 3.0% and all other cancers combined by 1.3% per year,
from1990 to 2004. We are doing a better at prolonging life, but not
preventing the disease.

Tobacco smoke, including second hand smoke, is clearly one of the
causes of several forms of cancer. According to the American Lung
Association, ninety percent of all smokers begin before the age of 21.
Currently, 28.4%, more than a quarter of all high school students,
smoke cigarettes or cigars nationwide. It is estimated that
approximately 6.4 million children using tobacco products, will
eventually die prematurely from a smoking-related disease based on
calculations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But
non-smoking cancers are also occurring at proportionately higher
rates. Since 1975, acute lymphocytic leukemia has increased 68.7%,
brain and nervous system cancers in children is up 56.5%, and
testicular cancer is up 66% in adolescents.

What is causing this disturbing increase in pediatric cancer and why
are we losing what numerous scientists suggest is a winnable war on

Like many other chronic children's diseases, science tells us that
toxic chemicals used in our everyday environment are playing a
significant role in the rise of childhood cancer. According to the
International Agency for Research in Cancer, "...80-90 per cent of
human cancer is determined environmentally and thus theoretically

Since World War II our environment has changed dramatically. The
uncontrolled, development of untested, unregulated industrial
chemicals has contaminated the air we breathe, the water we drink, and
the food we eat. Even children's clothing can contain flame retardant
chemicals that become just one more unnecessary toxic exposure that
our children could do without.

Other carcinogenic chemicals found in our every day environment
includes; arsenic used in wooden playground equipment and decking
material, pesticides, ployaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) a pollutant
from burning gasoline, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PBCD/F) a by-
product of PVC production, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a Teflon chemical, identified as a
human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As early as 1987 research published in the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute found children exposed to pesticides in their own
homes were three to six times more likely to develop leukemia.
Additional studies suggest possible links between parental exposures
to pesticides and other carcinogenic chemicals increases the risk of
kidney and brain cancer in children.

In a ground-breaking collaborative study by the Environmental
Working Group (EWG) and Commonweal, tests were undertaken to examine
industrial pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of 10 American
babies born in 2004. The Body Burden -- Pollution in Newborns study
identified 287 chemicals in infant's cord blood, 180 of which are
carcinogens and known to cause cancer in both humans and animals. This
study confirmed that before taking their first breath, babies are
bombarded by a carcinogenic cocktail making them vulnerable to

Today there is almost unanimous consensus among environmental health
experts that small chemical exposures are linked to leukemia and other
cancers. These experts also recognize the need for a paradigm shift
regarding chemical regulation.

"The Faroes Statement: Human Health Effects of Developmental Exposure
to Chemicals in Our Environment," [PDF] published in Basic &
Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (2007), was authored by twenty-two
researchers considered experts in the fields of environmental health,
environmental chemistry, developmental biology, toxicology,
epidemiology, nutrition and pediatrics. In the statement's
recommendations, the authors wrote, "The accumulated research evidence
suggests that prevention efforts against toxic exposures to
environmental chemicals should focus on protecting the embryo, foetus
and small child as highly vulnerable populations. Given the ubiquitous
exposure to many environmental chemicals, there needs to be renewed
efforts to prevent harm. Healthier solutions should be researched and
proposed in future work. Prevention should not await definitive
evidence of causality when delays in decision-making would lead to the
propagation of toxic exposure and their long-term harmful
consequences. Current procedures, therefore, need to be revised to
address the need to protect the most vulnerable life stages through
greater use of precautionary approaches to exposure reduction."

This urgent appeal provides a record of the views of reputable
scientists warning policy makers of the dire consequences of
complacency and inaction. But these warnings have been made before.
Good men of science and concerned physicians have long been critical
of our nation's cancer policies.

Double Nobel Prize Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling once said, "everyone
should know that the "War on Cancer" is, largely, a fraud." This is
because there are numerous powerful stakeholders that have a financial
interest in the cancer business, a huge industry of its own. Large
petro-chemical corporations, the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry,
universities receiving millions of dollars each year for research,
even some non-profit cancer organizations have differing cancer-
related agendas.

In 1998, the PBS series Frontline aired a story, "Fooling Mother
Nature," about toxic chemicals and their affect on humans. Dr.
Christopher DeRosa, a director at the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry (ATSDR) stated the obvious. "If you start to look at
all the data together, you start to see a convergence", said Dr.
DeRosa. "It is time for public health action...we may not have a
smoking gun, but there are bullets all over the floor."

So what is government doing about these urgent appeals from some of
the most respected researchers? Not much. They certainly are not
responding with the type of urgent attention given to millionaire
baseball players suspected of using steroids.

In 1976 Congress passed the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) with
the goal of protecting the public and the environment from the harm
caused by toxic chemicals. Three decades later, most of the 80,000
chemicals used in commercial products today have never been evaluated
for safety by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Why is this
you might ask? Because, believe it or not, the law did not require
chemical companies to prove the safety of their products before
marketing them to consumers. In reality, the Toxic Substance Control
Act doesn't control much of anything, especially your ability to
protect your own children. And that is just the way the chemical
companies wanted it.

As is often the case with government initiatives, the titles and
talking points sound great, No Child Left Behind for instance. But
TSCA is a perfect example of what happens when industry interests
collided with children's interests. TSCA's failure is best illustrated
by the EPA's 10-year inability to ban asbestos. It is estimated that
from 1985 to 2009, 225,000 people will die from asbestos-related
cancers because of this failure. We can credit the easy access of
industry lobbyists who make sure ours is the "best government money
can buy".

But come November, if we believe the candidates, all of this is going
to "change"... Right?

It took decades for government to react to the warnings about tobacco
and asbestos and it continues to have a pitifully poor track record
when it comes to oversight. The failure to regulate the out-of-control
use of toxic chemicals has proven to be just one more public health
disaster that continues to allow a never-ending carcinogenic-assault
on vulnerable children. Our kids can no longer afford this kind of
collective complacency from our government agencies responsible for
protecting the public.

We don't need Band-Aids in the form of disease management drugs;
although I'm sure this is what the big drug companies covet. Or
another bill with a clever name that does little more then set up
another committee to study the problem. Our children need pro-active
leaders willing to promote initiatives aimed at promoting healthier
eating habits, green lifestyles, green doctors, green medicine and
reducing exposures to toxic chemicals, instead of wasting taxpayer
dollars on circus-like congressional hearings and investigating
whether one millionaire baseball player used steroids. Legislation
like the 2005 Kids Safe Chemicals Act, that would require chemical
companies to demonstrate the safety of their products before entering
the market, now isn't that a novel idea, would be a good place to

I know all too well what cancer can do to a child. I have worked,
lived and listened to over 700 children who have visited the Imus
Ranch for Kids with Cancer. And I have attended some of their
funerals. These children want to live. They are searching for ways to
get healthy and stay healthy.

Children are not responsible for the toxic environment that has made
them so ill. We, as adults, created this problem...and it is up to us
to correct it. Parents can do their part by making changes toward a
cleaner, "greener" lifestyle. Parents can also remove those
bureaucrats who are willing to compromise our children's health by
putting corporate interests ahead of protecting our children's health.

It is going to take more than inspirational speeches and promises of
trillions of dollars directed at universal health care to reverse the
current cancer trends in our children. As parent organizations around
the world lead awareness campaigns on the International Childhood
Cancer Day one thing is clear, our current war strategy is not working
and "change" is long over due.

The best way to win the "war on cancer" is to prevent it in the first
place. Estimates from the National Institutes of Health, the costs
associated with cancer in 2006 were $206 billion. This figure includes
direct medical costs, lost productivity and early death. Clearly, the
cost of losing the war on cancer is enormous and directly related to
the high cost of health care in this country. Because treating the
disease after the fact can be extremely painful, costly and fruitless,
proposals that encourage programs aimed at promoting prevention is one
way we can begin to protect our children.

Can we change the course of childhood cancer? Yes we can! But only if
we have committed leadership, a committed Congress and, yes, a strong
president who will reject the industry influences that have created a
toxic environment that continues to harm our children.

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From: HealthSentinel.com, Feb. 25, 2008
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By Roman Bystrianyk

Autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia,
mental retardation, lowered IQ and other learning and behavior
disorders are very common in today's American children. The occurrence
of these learning and developmental disabilities (LDDs) appears to be
rising with between 5 to 15 percent of all children under the age of
18 in the United States affected. In general, these disabilities have
significantly increased over the past 40 years and now affect more
than 12 million children in the United States.

On February 20, 2008 The Collaborative on Health and the Environment's
Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative published a
Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with
Neurodevelopmental Disorder. This statement signed by more than 50
national and international health professionals and scientists
summarizes the most recent science about environmental contaminants
associated with learning and developmental disabilities. The report
that was drafted by this prestigious group contains over 200
scientific references.

"We know enough now to move on with taking steps to protect our
children. This document pulls that knowledge together to further this
vital effort," said reviewer Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, an assistant
professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric
neurologist with subspecialty certification in neurodevelopmental
disabilities at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Exposure to a wide variety of chemicals is now an unavoidable fact of
modern life. Approximately 3,000 chemicals are manufactured in amounts
over 1,000,000 pounds each year. The vast majority of these chemicals
have little to no information on their potential to effect learning
and development. According to the report, "there is good evidence that
about 200 of these chemicals are adult neurotoxicants and another
1,000 are suspected of affecting the nervous system. Overall there has
been a gross failure to require developmental neurotoxicity testing."

Historically, of all the factors that contribute to learning and
developmental problems, chemical contaminants have been the least
studied, although ironically the most preventable. The report states
that, "we now have solid scientific evidence that a variety of
environmental agents can adversely affect the nervous system," and
that "a child's developing nervous system is more sensitive to
chemical exposure than the adult nervous system."

Children that lack certain nutrients are more susceptible to these
chemical toxicants. For instance, iron and/or calcium deficiencies can
affect the absorption and toxicity of heavy metals such as lead and
manganese. "The role of nutrition in mitigating exposure to
environmental agents is an important public health issue."

The following environmental contaminants have been "conclusively
shown" to affect the developing nervous system and cause a range of
performance deficits.

Alcohol -- The effects of alcohol on the brain are well recognized.
"Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), now considered part of the Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), is the most preventable form of
behavioral and learning disabilities. Even low or moderate consumption
of alcohol during pregnancy can cause subtle and permanent performance

Mercury -- There is no doubt that mercury causes learning and
developmental disorders. "We are all exposed to some form of mercury.
Inorganic mercury is the liquid silver form and is used in dental
amalgams. Mercury is also present in coal, and coal-burning electric
utilities facilities are a significant source of atmospheric
environmental mercury."

PCBs -- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are mixtures of chlorinated
compounds that were once used as cooling and insulating fluids in
electrical transformers and other electronic components. "Numerous
studies have documented that PCB exposure can adversely affect motor
skills, learning and memory as shown in lower full-scale and verbal IQ
scores and reading ability."

PBDEs -- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used
commonly as flame-retardant chemicals for years. "Recent studies have
left little doubt that PBDEs are developmental neurotoxicants in
animals and lead to changes in motor activity and reduced performance
on learning and memory tests."

Manganese -- Manganese is a trace element which is essential in small
quantities for normal growth and development. "Recent studies indicate
that high levels of manganese exposure, either from inhalation or
through drinking water, can damage the developing nervous system."

Arsenic -- Arsenic is frequently found in drinking water around the
world. "Recent studies have found a dose-response relationship between
exposure to arsenic and intellectual impairment. While additional
studies assessing the impact of low levels of arsenic in drinking
water are needed, it is clear that arsenic affects the
neurodevelopment of children.

Solvents -- Solvents include a broad array of different compounds
including toluene, benzene, alcohol, turpentine, acetone and
tetrachloroethylene. More than 50 million metric tons are used in the
United States with more than 10 million people exposed in the
workplace. "Several reports have documented that the adverse
developmental effects of maternal toluene exposure include low birth
weight, decreased head circumference and developmental delays."

PAHs -- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widely dispersed
air pollutants and well-recognized human mutagens and carcinogens.
PAHs are generated during combustion of fuels from motor vehicles,
coal-fired power plants, residential heating and cooking and are also
present in tobacco smoke. "Recent studies have indicated that elevated
exposure to PAHs results in lower birth weight and affects cognitive

Pesticides -- Pesticides are ubiquitous in our modern environment.
Agricultural and residential application of pesticides totals more
than 1 billion pounds each year in the United States. "There is now
evidence that childhood exposure to pesticides, such as
organophosphates, enhances the risk for developmental disorders
including deficits in memory, poorer motor performance and an array of
other conditions."

Nicotine and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) -- Many studies link
maternal smoking to behavior disorders in children. The developmental
delays caused by ETS are costly and preventable. "Furthermore, new
data indicates that childhood exposure to ETS is associated with
neurobehavioral effects. There is growing recognition of subsequent
behavioral disorders in young adults following exposures either
prenatally or as children."

Unfortunately, it is not possible to address all the chemicals that
might be associated with LDDs. Again, it's important to note that for
the majority of chemicals "we do not have the data necessary to
conclude there are no adverse developmental effects." There are an
estimated 200 chemicals that are known to cause neurotoxic effects in
adults, but for many of these chemicals "developmental effects have
not been examined."

The following are number of agents that are of significant concern:

Endocrine disruptors -- "Animal studies have documented that a wide
range of chemicals have the ability to disrupt endocrine function in
animals and affect cognitive function. Endocrine disruptors include
phthalates, PCBs and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, brominated flame
retardants, dioxins, DDT, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs),
organochlorine pesticides, bisphenol A and some metals. The
controversy around the effects of endocrine disruptors is perhaps best
illustrated by research on bisphenol A whose estrogenic activity was
first reported in 1936. It was subsequently found to stabilize
polycarbonates and resins and is now widely used in many products
including food-can liners. There is a growing body of evidence related
to the very low-dose effects of bisphenol A"

Fluoride -- Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water across the
United States in an effort to reduce dental decay. Fluoride is also
found in a range of consumer products including toothpastes and
mouthwashes. "Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid
hormone levels, which is particularly critical for women with
subclinical hypothyroidism: decreased maternal thyroid levels
adversely affect fetal neurodevelopment. In addition, a study in China
reported decreased child IQ levels associated with fluoride in
drinking water. The primary concern is that multiple routes of
exposure, from drinking water, food and dental care products, may
result in a high enough cumulative exposure to fluoride to cause
developmental effects."

Food additives -- Artificial food colors and additives are found
throughout the modern food supply and have long been suspected as
causing conduct disorders. Diets, such as the Feingold Diet removes
food additives from the diets of individuals with ADHD. "Previous and
recent carefully conducted double-blind human studies have confirmed
that artificial food colorings such as sunset yellow, tartrazine,
carmoisine and ponceau, as well as the preservative sodium benzoate,
can cause conduct disorders. Recent studies using well-designed
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trials show
that artificial food colors and additives cause increased
hyperactivity in three-year-old children. This has the potential to
become a serious issue given the large number of children diagnosed
with ADHD."

"Accepting childhood exposure to contaminants that result in
compromised learning and behavioral abilities violates the basic
tenets of biomedical ethics. The principle of beneficence ("do good")
requires that the benefits be maximized while the harm be minimized or
eliminated. Respect for autonomy or personhood is violated when
children are unnecessarily exposed to harmful substances. Respect of
person also implies informed consent, and no child has given the
informed consent for exposure to harmful chemicals. Finally, the
principle of justice requires that burdens be shared equally, and
because children are more vulnerable they endure a greater burden. It
is wrong to allow the exposure of children to environmental agents
that cause learning and developmental disorders."

We are still dealing with the health effects of adding lead to paint
and gasoline, even though at the time the toxic effects of lead were
well known. "To protect children, a precautionary approach is required
that shifts the burden of responsibility to producers or manufacturers
to demonstrate safety prior to potential exposure."

"We could cut the health costs of childhood disabilities and disease
by billions of dollars every year by minimizing contaminants in the
environment," said Phil Landrigan, MD, MSc, of the Children's
Environmental Health Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
"Investing in our children's health is both cost-effective and the
right thing to do."

"The overwhelming evidence shows that certain environmental exposures
can contribute to life-long learning and developmental disorders,"
noted Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, with the Science and Environmental
Health Network. "We should eliminate children's exposures to
substances that we know can have these impacts by implementing
stronger health-based policies requiring safer alternatives. Further,
we must urgently examine other environmental contaminants of concern
for which safety data are lacking. "

"The proportion of environmentally induced learning and developmental
disabilities is a question of profound human, scientific and public
policy significance," said lead author Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT,
of the Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders, "and has
implications for individuals, families, school systems, communities
and the future of our society. The bottom line is it is our ethical
responsibility to ensure all children have a healthy future."

The authors of the study do not include all the hazards that affect
the brains of our children. Nutritional deficiencies of omega-3 fatty
acids, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin E, and others are documented in
the medical literature as affecting brain health and development. The
avoidance of dairy, wheat, and artificial sweeteners in the diet have
been shown to positively change neurologic problems. Excessive
television viewing has also been associated with behavior and
attention problems. Thimerosal, found in vaccines and other products,
has been shown that it "induces oxidative stress and apoptosis by
activating mitochondrial cell death pathways" and to have "induced DNA
strand breaks, caspase-3 activation, membrane damage and cell death"
(NeuroToxicology, Vol. 26, 2005)

The authors conclude, "The scientific evidence we have reviewed
indicates environmental contaminants are an important cause of
learning and developmental disabilities. The proportion of
environmentally induced LDDs is a question of profound human,
scientific and public policy significance. Existing animal and human
data suggest that a demonstrated with scientific certainty. The
consequences of LDDs are most significant for the affected individual
but also have profound implications for the family, school system,
local community and greater society. Despite some uncertainty, there
is sufficient knowledge to take preventive action to reduce fetal and
childhood exposures to environmental contaminants. Given the serious
consequences of LDDs, a precautionary approach is warranted to protect
the most vulnerable of our society."

The over 50 scientists of this report state they are developing a
companion document outlining specific policy recommendations based on
the current scientific knowledge that was used to assemble this

We as individuals can act now. We can avoid alcohol and tobacco smoke.
We can get water and air filters to minimize exposure to lead,
mercury, and other contaminants. We can avoid using pesticides on our
lawns and by choosing to eat organic foods. We can avoid processed
foods that contain artificial colors and ingredients. We can use
fluoride free products. We can use natural cleaners that don't contain
harmful solvents in our homes. We can use products that don't contain
phthalates and other harmful chemicals. We can ensure we get enough
nutrients by avoiding nutritionally deficient junk foods and focus on
getting enough omega-3 fatty acids and key vitamins and minerals in
our diets. We can minimize our exposure to television and instead
focus on positive activities such as exercise, reading, playing, and

We can make the changes that help our children and reverse course on
an epidemic of neurologic problems. We can make a difference one life
and one child at a time if we have the ethics and will to do so.

SOURCE: Scientific Consensus Statement of Environmental Agents
Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders, http://www.i

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From: BusinessScotsman.com, Feb. 27, 2008
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By John Ross

Plans for a large-scale salmon farm off Arran could threaten
Scotland's first community marine conservation area, a group of
islanders has claimed.

The Scottish Government announced last month that Lamlash Bay in Arran
was being given statutory protection in a groundbreaking move
following a lengthy local campaign.

Under the proposals, part of the bay will become a marine reserve with
a no-take zone (NTZ) where fishing activity will be banned, and the
remainder will be a fisheries management area.

But the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (Coast) said the future of the
NTZ is being put at risk by a planning application from fish-farm
giant Marine Harvest. The proposal will go before North Ayrshire
Council on 4 March.

Coast said: "If Marine Harvest's proposed fish farm is given the go-
ahead, it will be one of the largest in Scotland, and a huge
industrial site measuring 1,000m long and 700m wide, with an average
depth of 29m.

"The fish farm would hold up to 800,000 fish, which would be fed over
5,000 tonnes of feed and produce over 1,170 tonnes of excrement during
each production cycle.

"At least four types of chemicals, including organophosphates, would
be used to control pests and disease within the fish farm."

It is also claimed that the proposed fish farm could pose a threat to
children using a new £5 million outdoor centre built by the
council on the bay's northern shore.

Don Macneish, the spokesman for Coast, said: "We are not against
sustainable fish farming, but this fish farm is being proposed for the
wrong location. We cannot take a chance with the health of our
children, or the health of our fragile marine environment in this

"The precautionary principle should apply here, and this fish farm
should be located somewhere more suitable."

Howard Wood, the trust's chairman, said the conservation measures will
start to address a dramatic decline of the marine environment by
allowing the seabed to regenerate naturally.

"This would increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and
tourist destination, and just as importantly improve the long-term
sustainability of the local fishing industry and help sustain the
livelihoods of those dependent on the bay by bringing money into the
local area."

A Marine Harvest spokesman said it had submitted an environmental
impact assessment for the salmon farm and had consulted with the
community. "We believe there is room for co- existence with Coast,
having both a no-take zone and a fish farm in this area of Arran," he

The full article contains 438 words and appears in The Scotsman
newspaper.Last Updated: 26 February 2008 10:04 PM Page 1 of 1

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From: Jamaica Information Service (Kingston, Jamaica), Feb. 21, 2008
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Director of Environmental Health in the Ministry of Health and
Environment, Peter Knight, has emphasized the important role which
pest control operators need to play in the protection and preservation
of public health and the environment.

This comes against the background of what he said were debates and
discussions over reports of increased cases of cancer.

Speaking at the opening of the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) pest
control operators two-day workshop at the Medallion Hall Hotel in
Kingston, today (February 20), the Senior Director said while there
were no studies linking pesticides to cancer, "we are facing changing
epidemiology as it relates to cancers," and urged caution on the part
of industry stakeholders.

"The fact that we don't have definitive statements (linking pesticides
to cancer), means that we have to use the precautionary principle. We
have to be careful that when we use and sell pesticides, we are doing
it appropriately," he added.

Mr. Knight implored the operators to be cognizant of their
stewardship, urging them to be vigilant in protecting their personal
interests as well as those of the pest control industry against
destabilizing factors.

"You have to become watchdogs (of your profession) to prevent
incursions and unfair practices. You need to support the Pesticides
Control Authority, in that you don't allow people who are unregistered
to come into the industry and practise, as well as guard against
unfair practices among yourselves. Because, it gives a bad name to the
persons who are registered and who are towing the line," the Senior
Director cautioned.

Mr. Knight also emphasized the importance of operators practising
within the prescribed areas for which they were certified by the PCA.

"So, for example, if you don't have permission from the Pesticides
Control Authority to do termite treatment, then you can't do it; you
have to stay within the limit that is set for you by the PCA. We have
never discussed, as a (PCA) Board, that we are restricting persons
from practising in a broad way. (But) you must get the approval of the
PCA, (and) you must have the (requisite) competence," Mr. Knight

To this end, he stressed that the PCA, as the industry regulator,
needed to "reinforce the regulatory requirements, (while) at the same
time updating the operators on what are the requirements." Over 60
registered pest control operators from Kingston, St. Catherine, St.
Thomas, Clarendon and Manchester are attending the workshop. Key
topics being covered include: 'Mosquito Control'; 'Rodent Control';
'Bat Management', 'Fumigation', and 'Whitefly and Other Garden Pests'.

Jamaica Information Service Tel: (876) 926-3590-8/926-3740-8 Fax:
(876) 926-6715 e-mail: jis@jis.gov.jm

Copyright 1996-2007

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From: Kennebec (Maine) Journal, Feb. 24, 2008
[Printer-friendly version]


Grappling with products that contain potentially toxic chemicals Green
nanny state is not sustainable

By Jon Reisman

Gov. John Baldacci, Rep. Ted Koffman and Rep.Hannah Pingree have a
legacy they wish to bestow on Maine -- the green nanny state.

And it looks like they've got a pretty good chance of getting their

Koffman, the term-limited chairman of the Legislature's Joint Standing
Committee on Natural Resources, has sponsored the Governor's Bill LD
2210, An Act To Promote the Use of Safer Chemicals in Consumer
Products. The bill "... requires a manufacturer or a distributor of a
product that contains a toxic, carcinogenic or very bioaccumulative
chemical to disclose information on its chemical use if the Board of
Environmental Protection designates the chemical as a priority
chemical. Upon review of the information, the board then may adopt
rules banning the sale of a product that contains the chemical." The
fiscal note on this one should be very interesting. For some reason,
it hasn't been posted yet.

Pingree, who is, depending on who you believe, the
Speaker/Governor/Senator/Eco-Warrior-in-waiting, is a co-sponsor. She
is also the lead sponsor of LD 2048, An Act To Protect Children's
Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children's
Products. That bill "... requires manufacturers of children's products
that contain chemicals of high concern to disclose information to the
Department of Environmental Protection on their chemical use if the
department designates the chemical as a priority chemical based on
potential exposure of a child or fetus to that chemical.

The bill authorizes the department to require replacement of a
priority chemical in children's products with a safer alternative
"whenever it determines that a safer alternative is available for a
specified use."

These bills are efforts to implement a particularly toxic version of
the precautionary principle without actually mentioning it for public
discussion and debate. It's a version that presumes chemicals and
technology are guilty until proven innocent.

It's a highly risk-averse and anti-entrepreneurial value set, one that
already has greatly damaged Maine's economy and prospects for the
future. And it's a stubborn conviction that, despite all the evidence
to the contrary, government control of the economy can efficiently and
effectively sustain us.

The green nanny state is not sustainable, but it doesn't matter if its
advocates are never held accountable for their disastrous policy

The governor and legislative Democrats are in control. The
environmental left has been incrementally pushing the Green Nanny
State for 25 years, and they have the votes, mainstream media,
political wan-nabes and public opinion to put this into place.

If history is any guide, they won't be held accountable for it. In
fact, they may even be rewarded. If our state nanny is Mary Poppins,
it may work out, but I rather fear it's more likely to be Nurse
Ratched, (the diabolical nurse of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,")
controlling our lives and facilitating a lobotomy.

Jon Reisman teaches environmental policy at the University of Maine at
Machias and statewide over the Web.

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From: Rachel's Precaution Reporter #131, Feb. 27, 2008
[Printer-friendly version]


Rachel's Precaution reporter will cease publication a year from now.
Issue #183 (Feb. 25, 2009) will be our last. --Editors

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  Rachel's Precaution Reporter offers news, views and practical
  examples of the Precautionary Principle, or Foresight Principle, in
  action. The Precautionary Principle is a modern way of making
  decisions, to minimize harm. Rachel's Precaution Reporter tries to
  answer such questions as, Why do we need the precautionary
  principle? Who is using precaution? Who is opposing precaution?

  We often include attacks on the precautionary principle because we  
  believe it is essential for advocates of precaution to know what
  their adversaries are saying, just as abolitionists in 1830 needed
  to know the arguments used by slaveholders.

  Rachel's Precaution Reporter is published as often as necessary to
  provide readers with up-to-date coverage of the subject.

  As you come across stories that illustrate the precautionary 
  principle -- or the need for the precautionary principle -- 
  please Email them to us at rpr@rachel.org.

  Peter Montague - peter@rachel.org
  Tim Montague   -   tim@rachel.org

  To start your own free Email subscription to Rachel's Precaution
  Reporter send any Email to one of these addresses:

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  To unsubscribe, send any email to rpr-unsubscribe@pplist.net
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P.O. Box 160, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903