World Wildlife Fund Asks For Support of EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Program
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is supporting Dear Colleague letters circulating this week in the House and Senate in support of the FY02 budget for the EPA endocrine disruptor program. The letters are directed to the appropriations subcommittees having responsibility for the EPA budget. The deadline for signatures is Friday, June 22, 2001. Last Friday WWF sent out an e-mail alert to its own Conservation Action Network, requesting that members ask their senators and representatives to sign onto the Dear Colleague letters. This alert is pasted below.
Protect Wildlife and People From Toxic Chemicals
We need your help to encourage Congress to provide adequate funds to protect wildlife and humans from widespread synthetic chemicals that disrupt the functioning of hormone systems. Exposure to these chemicals, also known as endocrine disruptors, is associated with reproductive, neurological, and behavioral problems. Please act now; Congress is making its funding decisions within the next few weeks.
WWF has played a lead role in alerting the world to the harmful effects of endocrine disruptors on wildlife. Scientific studies have found endocrine disruption in birds, fish, shellfish, mammals, alligators, and turtles. High concentrations of suspect chemicals have been found in whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and polar bears. Killer whales in the Pacific Northwest contain some of the highest concentrations of PCBs (an endocrine disruptor) found in wildlife. Bald eagles that nest along the shores of the Great Lakes and eat food contaminated with endocrine disrupting chemicals are experiencing continued reproductive problems. Canadian scientists have linked spraying of endocrine disrupting pesticides with declines in Atlantic salmon populations.
Humans may be at risk also. There is now a growing collection of studies revealing that some of these chemicals can affect our own children's ability to learn, to socially integrate, to fend off disease, and to reproduce.
Unfortunately, out of the thousands of synthetic chemicals released into our environment, we know the endocrine disruption effects of only a tiny fraction. The U.S. environmental Protection Agency has requested funds for the next fiscal year for vitally important programs to screen, test, and conduct research on endocrine disruptors. Please go to http://takeaction.worldwildlife.org to send a free message urging your congressional representatives to support EPA's budget request for its endocrine disruptor programs.
Richard A. Liroff
Wildlife and Contaminants Program
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20037-1175