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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Superfund' Category


19
Jun

Juneteenth 2024–Taking Action to Fight Disproportionate Adverse Effects to People of Color

Calls for Holistic Environmental Justice and a Shift Away from Societal Dependence on Petrochemical Pesticides and Fertilizers (Beyond Pesticides, June 18-19, 2024) Juneteenth (June 19) commemorates the date in 1865 when the enslavement of Black Americans ended in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, over two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the defeat of the Confederacy on April 9, 1865. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger brought federal troops to Galveston, Texas and finally, and belatedly, implemented the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed on January 1, 1863 freedom from slavery across the nation. Carl Mack, PhD, a historian and former President of the Seattle-King County NAACP, reminds us that there were still 225,000 enslaved Black Americans in Kentucky and Delaware after June 19, 1865 and the end of the Civil War until December 6, 1865 when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify the 13th amendment. “That is the day in which Georgia ratified the 13th amendment,” Dr. Mack goes on to discuss the remaining three former border states on their progress in adopting the 13th amendment. “As it applies to Delaware and Kentucky, Delaware did not ratify the 13th amendment until […]

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22
May

DDT Persistent in Environment 50+ Years After Ban, Found in Deep Ocean Sediment and Biota

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2024) A study in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the first to find halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) in deep ocean sediment and biota off the coast of California. The test area, known as the Southern California Bight (SCB), is home to historic offshore DDT waste dumping, with part of the SCB designated as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. 49 HOCs were detected in the sediment and biota, many of which are DDT-related and not previously screened for. The presence of these “unmonitored compounds can significantly contribute to the contaminant body burden across a range of marine taxa,” the study states, which leads to impacts on critical food webs and biodiversity. While this study is the first to specifically analyze previously overlooked DDT+ compounds, the results are nothing new. There is a body of science around the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of harmful pollutants that continue to lead to a decline in biodiversity, negative impacts on water and soil, and detrimental human health effects.       To assess the bioavailability of DDT+ and HOCs in the deep ocean food web, this study focused on […]

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26
Oct

Neurodevelopmental Disorders Studied as an Environmental Justice Concern

(Beyond Pesticides, October 26, 2023) The increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) in the United States has raised concerns about the impact of toxic exposures on child development. A comprehensive review by Devon Payne-Sturges, PhD, and colleagues in Environmental Health Perspectives analyzes the literature about disparities in NDDs in vulnerable and marginalized populations. The review investigates over 200 studies and reveals that fewer than half of these studies actually examine disparities, and most fail to provide a rationale for their assessments. The authors also offer practical suggestions for improving future research, including better methods for characterizing race and socioeconomic status and interpreting effect modification in environmental epidemiologic studies of health disparities. Associate Professor Devon Payne-Sturges, PhD, at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, one of the lead authors of the study and a former policy specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, “FDA and EPA can act now—not later—to protect families from neurotoxic chemicals in consumer products and in the environment.” Tanya Khemet Taiwo, PhD, the other lead author and assistant professor at Bastyr University in Seattle said, “We need more stringent environmental standards to address pollution that is disproportionately impacting low-income communities and communities of […]

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03
Oct

Chicago PCBs Lawsuit Seeks Pesticide Corporation’s Accountability for Harm to Marginalized Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2023) On September 19, 2023, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Corporation Counsel Mary B. Richardson-Lowry took legal action against agrochemical giant, Monsanto, filing a lawsuit that alleges the corporation’s role in polluting Chicago with Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) decades ago, despite knowing the chemicals’ detrimental effects.   PCBs are identified as “forever chemicals” due to their environmental persistence. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these chemicals “do not readily break down once in the environment.” They cycle through air, soil, and water and can travel long distances, with PCBs found worldwide.  They pose serious health risks as they can accumulate in the environment and within organisms including plants, food crops, sea life, and humans. Those who consume fish from contaminated waterways are exposed to PCBs as the chemical bioaccumulates in the fish population.  PCBs are man-made organic chemicals composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. They were first manufactured and sold in 1929 by the Swann Chemical Corporation and subsequently came under the ownership of Monsanto Chemical Company in 1935. Due to their non-flammability, stability, and electrical insulating properties, PCBs quickly found widespread use. Their applications included use in electrical equipment, paints, plastics, and carbonless copy […]

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17
Feb

Train Tragedy Highlights Law’s Failure to End Use of Needless Toxic Pesticides and Co-formulants

(Beyond Pesticides, February 17, 2023) The February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in Ohio has been huge news. Less well known perhaps is that 20 of the 50 cars involved were carrying hazardous materials, defined by the National Transportation Safety Board as “cargo that could pose any kind of danger ‘including flammables, combustibles, or environmental risks.’” The incident resulted in a huge fire, evacuations, and worries about explosions and discharge of toxic chemical gases; on February 6, officials conducted “controlled releases” of some of the chemicals. Some of the toxic chemicals involved are precursors to production of synthetic pesticides. [Eds. Note: We are deeply concerned for the victims of this terrible crisis who are asking legitimate questions about contaminated drinking water and the effects of both the initial acute exposure after the derailment, resulting in the release of toxic chemicals, and long-term exposure to low levels of toxic residues in homes and the environment.] Among the compounds on board those 20 cars were “inert” pesticide ingredients (vinyl chloride, ethylhexyl acrylate, and isobutylene), an antimicrobial compound (ethylene glycol monobutyl ether [EGBE]), benzene (a carcinogenic solvent), and butyl acrylate. This event brings into high relief the cradle-to-grave issues that travel […]

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