ADOPT THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE . A non for profit charity called APP Precautionary has been formed, which is committed to education concerning safe chemicals, which constitutes three areas, Learn Act and Change . Our hope is that APP can make you aware of:
- The published SCIENCE of the President’s Cancer Panel Report which calls for such precautionary measures.
- The EPA regulatory system for chemicals which is the core of the problem.
- The many scientific warnings concerning endocrine disrupting chemicals , which led to a policy paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics calling for stricter laws to protect children from chemicals.
- All of which to emphasize that the Safe Chemicals Act is important legislation
Learn Act Change and continue the process follow the science and information at the APP website. We can’t change the world, but we can make try to make it better. Learn about important issues with tough statistics, and it is normal to be concerned, but we must be hopeful. The precautionary approach is a HOPEFUL plan of action and positive change.
Precautionary Principle is not as some would have you believe a radical return the world to the 19th century. That’s not factual. The Precautionary Principle just means greater CARING. Specifically regarding chemicals,in the absence of scientific certaintythat a chemical IS safe, it is our responsibilities to use precaution to protect human health from chemical exposure. I think that’s just common sense, isn’t it ! It is the law in Canada and European countries but not in the USA
Is a chemical safe or unsafe?As you will see, we really don’t know.
What we do need is scientific CERTAINTYif a chemical is safe or unsafe. There are 80,000 chemicals in commerce and only 10% have complete information. There is NO scientific certainty, and….Ignorance is NOT bliss. The statistics are daunting The CDC Centers for Disease Control points to an alarming incidence of childhood developmental disorders such as Autism and ADHD
- “The incidence of autism increased 10 fold from the 1970’s to the 1990’s (Blaxill 2004). CDC reports 1 of every 150 children in the U.S. is autistic (CDC 2007b).
- 1 in 15 children in the US is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Woodruff et al. 2004).
- Scientists refer to this as a “Silent Pandemic.” However, the chemical industry is under no obligation to study the impacts, or to produce products, that are proven NOT to damage a child’s brain.
And who says the US doesn’t lead the world in anything? Whether diet, obesity, poor lifestyle choices, and exposure to toxic chemicals, Americans now have an unfortunate world leadership position; the United States leads the world in cancer incidence. American Cancer Society estimates 17.7% of the U.S. population is expected to develop cancer before the age of 65. In 24 year period, incidence of childhood cancers increased by 28% It is our hope that the Safe Chemicals Act may provide an opportunity to reverse these trend With statistics like those, ignorance is no longer an option. We need to take our heads OUT of the sand.
And with statistics like that, I am reminded of the scene from the movie Network where Howard Beale encourages a mass protest: “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”Perhaps that is how we should act concerning this subject, because… It is clear that current policies have FAILED to regulate common chemicals linked to disease.
The Safe Chemicals Act responds to increasingly forceful warnings from scientific and medical experts — including the President’s Cancer Panel Study Report which we will review briefly. Safe Chemicals Act calls for an upgrade America’s system for managing chemical safety.
“Safe Chemicals Act”, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works The act signals a clear intention to protect families from toxic chemicals linked to serious health problems. The act includes requirements for:
• Basic health and safety information for all chemicals as a condition for entering, or remaining, on the market;
• Unbiased scientific methods for evaluating chemicals
• Providing EPA with the regulations and resources it needs to identify chemicals posing health risks.
There has been great value of chemistry to the modern world. What is needed now is a return to balance where the advances of chemistry continue to benefit mankind, and do not adversely contribute to disease.It is our hope that the Safe Chemicals Act, begins to provide this balance which is based on the precautionary principle.The Precautionary Principle is transformative to the way we make decisions.
The school bus and road crossing signs are appropriate symbols of how we all adapt the precautionary principle in everyday life to keep our children safe. Using the same level of precaution to protect human health from chemical exposure is common sense. We take all sorts precautionary steps in our lives, bumpers on our cars, insurance policies, locks on the door, we hold the hands of small children crossing the street
The Precautionary Principle requires good management decisions regarding safe chemical use. Create a committee to determine the “relative” safety of chemicals by studying the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of each chemical before approving the use. Learn to read MSDS Sheets –Material Safety Data Sheets. Three sections of critical importance
MSDS Section 3 – Hazards
MSDS Section 11 – Toxicological
MSDS Section 12 – Eco-Toxicity
There are several recent events, that we can point to as hopeful opportunities.
- Sarasota County government , in passing the precautionary principle resolution, acted in the belief that individuals have the power to reduce the burden of exposure to chemicals through their own actions. Thank you commissioners!
- Temple Beth Sholom, and its schools, became the first local institution to adopt the Precautionary Principle. Temple Beth Sholom Precautionary Principle states that it “ seeks to constantly eliminate potential hazards to health at the onset of an activity, rather than accepting a level of harm.”
On a national level – United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism adopted the Precautionary Principle resolution asking that “research regarding the potential of widely used toxic chemicals to cause harm to children be conducted”
AMERICAN NURSES ASSOCIATION (ANA) adopted the Precautionary Principle “stating that if it is within one’s power, there is an ethical imperative to prevent, rather than merely treat disease, even in the face of scientific uncertainty.”
The 2010 President’s Cancer Panel Report is entitled emphatically : REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK– In the executive summary the scientists state directly that ; “In a great many cases, we know enough to act now” This is a meticulously written peer reviewed scientific document published by the National Cancer Institute, where, in addition to the horrific disease statistics, the scientists state that were environmental exposures which resulted in cancer, which were exposures that “could have been prevented” through appropriate national action.
“ Exposures that could have been prevented through appropriate national action.” In 2010 alone, childhood cancer afflicted over 10,000 kids (that’s 10,000 American families in just one year). Molly Campbell who as a 5 week old infant became 1 of the 10,000 . In December 2010, she began 30 consecutive days of chemotherapy.It is our hope that the Safe Chemicals Act may help to reduce childhood exposure to toxic chemicals which may help to prevent disease
We have a A Call to Action – a screaming Call to Action. We will now hear from the:
• Physicians for Social Responsibility Statements
• 2010 Presidents Cancer Panel Report (NCI)
• American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Paper
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Re-Action
• Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act
• Safe Chemicals Act of 2011
First the Physicians for Social Responsibility is a group of concerned physicians and scientists advocating for prevention of disease through proactive measures . In an article, Dr.Joanne Perron, an Ob Gyn and Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and a postdoctoral fellow with the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at UC, asks; “Why aren’t pesticide manufacturers being required by law to place prominent warnings about the dangers of exposure to their products during the perinatal period ?”
Dr Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois Medical Center calls for congress to; “ Mandate the annual publication of comprehensive information on carcinogens in consumer products, or the environment, so that necessary preventive action can be promptly undertaken,” stating that: “Congress now has an opportunity to reform our health care system and prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.”
Earlier in discussing the need for the Safe Chemicals Act, we noted that current policies have FAILED to regulate common chemicals linked to disease.The reason is that our country has “dysfunctional agencies” which are rendered ineffective by weak laws and undue industry interference.
According to the Presidents Cancer Panel Report – The Core of the Problem is HOW environmental contaminants are registered. “The prevailing regulatory approach in the United States is reactionary, rather than precautionary.” Reactionary… rather than…precautionary” instead of requiring industry or other proponents of specific chemicals to prove their safety, the public bears the burden of proving that a given environmental exposure is harmful.” How backwards is that!
EPA Current Regulatory System – OPP – Office of Pesticide Policy of the EPA –
Health Effects Division characterizes human health risk.
Environmental Fate Effects Division characterizes ecological risk.
NOAEL – No Observed Adverse Effects Level is not the only criteria
Reviewing the Flow Chart of EPA Pesticide chemical registration process.
A French advertisement promoted the “safe use of DDT. The elephant is happily spraying “la terreur des moustiques” , translated means , “the terror of Mosquitos.” Now we know now that DDT had severe environmental consequences before it was banned. And we continue to have a False sense of security “If it’s legal to buy… it must be safe to use ? ” Unfortunately, that is not the case. Since NOAEL is bi passed, Risk assessment of chemicals is based upon the science of Relative Toxicity
Since all chemical pesticides are manufactured to kill insects, all pesticides have a relative toxicity which may be referred to as its LD 50. (Lethal Dose)This is the amount of the actual chemical of the pesticide product in milligrams used per kilogram, that kills 50% of the test animals. Relative Toxicity is based on a Lethal Dose (LD) based on dosages of toxicity which kill 50% of lab animals LD 50.The least amount which results in the death of 50% of lab animals has the greater toxicity. The larger the amount that results in the 50% death of lab animals that is considered lesser toxicity. The first problem with such an approach is that, beneficial insects which help to keep problem insects in check, are also wiped out by the same chemicals creating imbalances within the pest populations, which results in more and more chemical pesticides needed for control.The more important issue is that relative toxicity is a Flawed Science, because everybody is different
Women may be more sensitive to some chemical pesticide exposure than men.
Children may be more susceptible to chemical pesticide injury than adults.
In a policy paper the American Academy of Pediatrics , has called for stricter laws to protect children from chemicals stating that “ It is a fact that children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure, and that kids may be especially vulnerable to chemicals during important periods in development” Environmentally induced disease has been grossly underestimated, with children far more vulnerable.
When it comes to Endocrine Disruption, relative toxicity has NO logical position.In a policy statement, USEPA Admin Lisa P. Jackson states: “Endocrine disruptors represent a serious health concern for the American people, especially children.”
- Endocrine Disruption can be caused by exposure to pesticides which act as Environmental Estrogens, and may affect humans adversely.
- The unanswered questions on Endocrine Disruption must be scientifically addressed.
EPA is undertaking an Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program to identify whether chemicals have the potential to interact with the human endocrine system. USEPA has identified a list of 134 chemicals that will be screened for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system with decisions for chemicals expected to be available by the end of 2014. And we have no time to waste
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are non selective and may affect multiple species including humans.Frogs are a sentinel species spending much of their existence in water which is polluted with chemical herbicides and pesticides from agricultural run-off. Many frog’s normal growth have been clearly been affected.We must take precautionary measures to prevent such damage from occurring to a child’s endocrine system.
New research on WIDELY USED PESTICIDES has shown endocrine disruptors cause harm to male human sex organs.The study found that more than half of the pesticide chemical compounds tested interfered with the effects of testosterone in the human body This research is NOT ON pesticides that have been withdrawn from the market, but it is on “WIDELY USED PESTICIDES finding, Previously Unknown Endocrine Activity ”Center for Toxicology, University of London, UK 2011.The Endocrine System – Disrupts sex steroid hormones that develop, and maintain male and female sex characteristics such as Penis and Breast size. And remember the Seinfeld episode Shinkage, that’s the message.Although not really funny, but in a Bill Maher kind of moment, there probably is nothing more important that will get the attention of the jaded Washington politicians than Penis and Breast size, who have been known to take pictures of their private parts and send them via the internet
“Reproductive abnormalities, may be linked to pesticide exposure in maternally exposed boys and these are risk factors for testicular cancer in adulthood” (Andersen et al. 2008; Damgaard et al. 2006; Rocheleau et al. 2009 Skakkebaek et al. 2001) With such serious science proving damage to our children, any leader who advocates eliminating the EPA, as Bachmann has done, is not fit for public office.
Speaking at campaign rally in Iowa last week, Michelle Bachmann said if elected the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off she said earlier today at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids. “It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”Michelle Bachmann is for destroying the EPA and replacing with completely unregulated capitalism with no environmental protection, never mind human health protection. We need the EPA to have more power over regulations that protect human health from pollution. The EPA is how we got lead out of fuel, eliminating a significant cause of childhood brain damage.The EPA enforces countless laws that protect our food, water and air from toxic chemicals.Furthermore, over the 40-year history of the EPA, there’s simply no evidence of jobs losses that some politicians like Bachmann claim. In fact, since the agency was created in the early 1970’s, GDP has grown by 200% and common pollutants have dropped by 63%.
Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act, introduced by Senator John Kerry, addresses one of the most serious threats to the security and economy of our country: the health and well-being of our children who today face mounting odds of being born with an endocrine-related disorder. Referred to: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
WHAT YOU CAN DO Learn Act Change
LEARN the research – of the Be Concerned List
- Organophosphates – Interfere with the central nervous system
- Synthetic Pyrethroids – Evidence links to endocrine disruption
- 2,4D – Evidence links to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Glysophate – Evidence links as toxicity to human placental cells
Be aware of Activities on grass – If sprayed with certain chemicals, there may be risk. Ask for the MSDS sheets.
Facts are we do not need the barrage of expensive and toxic chemical pest control products applied regularly.
- Lawn care and pest control companies do not have to be economically damaged by the use of non toxic products.
- Protecting their customers from unnecessary exposure to chemicals can be a good green business decision
Here are some Precautionary alternatives
ACT – Keep the Grass SAFE Ask pest control applicators for a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) BEFOREthey begin to spray around your home, school or workplace. Look up the LD 50 in Section 11 – Toxicology and always select least toxic alternative
CHANGE Non toxic Outdoor pest control – Many insects have no mouth or nose parts to breath, so they absorb oxygen thru their exoskeleton. Therefore covering the insect with an insecticidal oil suffocates the insect. Insects cannot build up resistance build up to physical controls such as suffocation. www. Beyond Pesticides.org has an extensive list of proven pest control options which are non toxic.
CHANGE Non Toxic Indoor Pest Control – Desiccation Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid are a non toxic control method for crawling Insects such as cockroaches or silverfish.
CHANGE Non Toxic Cleaning Products – 2 BE Advisory– 2BE – Butoxyethanol is commonly found in Cleaning Products, and in some paints, solvents, and similar types of products. There is evidence regarding adverse health effects of 2-BE on “the respiratory and blood forming system.”
The goal of APP is to have a CAUTION SIGN turn on in your mind.
You can continue the Learn Act Change movement by following these groups on the web : Physicians for Social Responsibility and Environmental Working Group both of which call for Support of the Safe Chemicals Act . Our website: app precautionary – We advocate for elimination of potential hazards to human health rather than accepting a level of harm