Original article written by David Halperin for the Huffington Post. Find the original version here.
Late last week, hundreds of organizations and people sent a letter to President Obamawarning that his administration is running of time to act on an issue long-identified by the president as essential to our national security and public safety: protecting our people from the dangers of accidents or deliberate attacks at U.S. chemical plants.
Article by the Public News Service, find the original story here.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - It's supposed to be a safe place to learn, but a new report finds that two out of every five Kentucky children attend schools inside what chemical companies call a "vulnerability zone."
Sean Moulton, director of Open Government Policy program with the Center for Effective Government, says the level of risk associated with a particular chemical facility has to do with the quantity of chemicals being handled, how dangerous they are, and the proximity of the facility to population centers.
"They estimate how far a major accident could reach outside of their facility," says Moulton. "Then, that becomes the radius of a circular zone around the facility, and everyone inside that zone is potentially at risk."
Story by Greg Stotelmeyer for the Public News Service-KY. Find the original story here.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - West Virginia has been at the epicenter of concerns recently over coal-washing that may be leaching large amounts of MCHM and similar chemicals into the state's water. MCHM - 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol - is a foaming agent used to separate and float particles of coal away from rock and clay at prep plants. Much of it and other chemicals end up in the slurry that is piped into huge waste impoundments. West Virginia legislator Mike Manypenny, who co-chairs that state's Joint Oversight Commission on Water Resources, said what comes from the plants gets into surface and ground water. "None of these impoundments are lined," he said. "And if this is just open-pit that they're filling with this slurry, it's going to penetrate into the soil eventually, and reach the aquifer."
Written by Erica Peterson for WFPL. Find the original article here.
A new analysis of furniture made specifically for children has revealed that the majority of it contains toxic flame retardant chemicals.
The study was conducted by the non-profit Center for Environmental Health and researchers at Duke University. They analyzed 42 children’s couches and chairs from big box retailers, and found that 90 percent of them contain flame retardant chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems.
On Tuesday, October 29th, four representatives from KEF converged on Washington, DC, as part of the Stroller Brigade for Safer Chemicals at the U.S. Capitol. There, along with a hundred-plus crowd of mothers, health professionals and policy advocates from across the country, they participated in a rally before moving on to meet with members of Kentucky's congressional delegation.
KEF Community Educators Beth Ruggles of Lexington and Dr. Monica Unseld of Louisville carried the message of toxic chemical reform to Kentucky's legislators. "As a mother, I know how challenging it is to find products that are free of toxic chemicals," Ruggles said. "It's time that Washington gets back to business and passes strong laws on this issue."
Written by KEF Community Educator Beth Ruggles as an op-editorial for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Find the original version here.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Joe, a manager at the Target retail store in Lexington, as part of the national Mind the Store campaign. Over the last several months, Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens and several other large retailers of personal care and cleaning products have been asked to "mind the store" by offering products without toxic chemicals and requiring manufacturers to accurately label ingredients.
Like many Americans, Joe was unaware of the dangers lurking in common household products, and seemed skeptical. We like to believe that products are safe for our families.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
"Burden of Proof” is an exhibit of Kentucky photographers, profiling three Kentucky women who shared their stories about toxic chemical exposures and expressed the need for safer, healthier non-toxic solutions. On October 11 from 6:00-8:00pm, KEF will be hosting an open house event at the exhibit's new location: Summit City Lounge in Whitesburg, KY. Please join us for an informal discussion to learn about ways in which you can minimize your risk of toxic chemical exposure.
The Breast Cancer Fund released a report today that reviewed over 60 scientific studies looking at prenatal exposures to the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA). The science is demonstrating an urgent need—while it is important to limit children’s exposure to BPA, prenatal exposures are an even more pressing concern. This report is a clarion call to legislators, manufacturers and all who care about public health that until we eliminate BPA from canned food, we are not protecting the next generation. BPA, found in most canned foods on our supermarket shelves, disrupts fetal development and sets the stage for later-life diseases, including breast cancer.
Information gathered by advocates investigating toxic chemicals in food, baby products, toys, furniture, construction materials and other consumer goods was unveiled on a brand new website today to help Kentucky shoppers, including families, builders and others, learn how to identify potentially harmful products and find safer ones. SafeMarkets.org reflects the work of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation and other organizations across the country that are working to remove toxic chemicals from the marketplace and promote an economy based on safe, sustainable products.
"We at KEF have been concerned about toxics in products we use every day for some time," says Elizabeth Crowe, the foundation's executive director. "We've found lead in lipstick, bisphenol-A (BPA) in canned foods and sodas, and other toxics in products--all of which are dangerous to the health of families across Kentucky. All this information can be found on the new SafeMarkets.org website."
Article Written by Erica Peterson for WFPL. Find the original story here.
In the wake of a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, President Obama has issued an executive order to improve the safety and security of chemical manufacturing facilities. The measure will likely have implications for Louisville’s Rubbertown.
Obama’s executive order tasks government officials with evaluating the feasibility of sharing information about dangerous chemicals among state, tribal and local emergency response commissions. It establishes a working group, and sets that within 45 days, the group will launch a pilot program to test best practices for sharing crucial information, improving collaboration and streamlining chemical plant inspections. Within nine months, the president wants a “unified federal approach to identify and respond to risks” in chemical plants.
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