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Toxic Chemicals News Stories

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the toxic chemicals that we're exposed to in our food, household products, environment, and more. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

For further exploration, delve into our comprehensive Health and Food Corruption Information Center.

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Toxic plastic chemicals number in the thousands, most are unregulated, report finds
2024-03-14, CNN News
Posted: 2024-05-19 14:04:12
https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/14/health/toxic-unregulated-chemicals-report-well...

For the first time, researchers have pulled together scientific and regulatory data to develop a database of all known chemicals used in plastic production. It’s a staggering number: 16,000 plastic chemicals, with at least 4,200 of those considered to be “highly hazardous” to human health and the environment, according to the authors. “Only 980 of those highly hazardous chemicals have been regulated by agencies around the world, leaving us with 3,600 chemicals that are unregulated — and these are only the known chemicals,” said Martin Wagner, first author and project lead of the PlastChem Report. The ... report outlines a systematic approach to identify and prioritize chemicals of concern that can be used by agencies and regulators around the world, including those attending the April meeting of the International Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution. The committee is part of the United Nations Environment Programme, which has committed to developing a Global Plastics Treaty between 175 nations by the end of 2024. “The most important criterion we used is toxicity,” Wagner said. “Many of these chemicals are known to be very toxic for human health or the environment. They are carcinogenic or mutagenic or toxic to reproduction. Some have organ-specific toxicity, typically the liver, as that is where many of the chemicals are absorbed from circulation.” The report [also] found that detailed hazard information is missing for more than 10,000 of the 16,000 chemicals.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on toxic chemicals and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Reducing pesticides in food: Major food manufacturers earn an F grade
2023-11-08, CNN News
Posted: 2024-04-15 13:00:17
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/08/health/pesticides-food-report-wellness/index.html

Seventeen major food manufacturers earned an average grade of F for their lack of progress in reducing pesticides in the products they sell, according to a new analysis by As You Sow, a nonprofit specializing in shareholder advocacy. “It’s disheartening to see so many bad grades across the board for these major food production companies,” said Jane Houlihan, research director for Healthy Babies, Bright Futures. “Studies find the highest amounts of pesticides in some of the most popular foods children eat — berries and apples, for example,” said Houlihan. “Pesticides are also found in breast milk and umbilical cord blood, meaning that exposures start before birth and continue through infancy and beyond.” Long-term exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, asthma, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, according to the report. Kale, collard and mustard greens contained the largest number of pesticides — 103 types — while nearly 90% of blueberry and green bean samples had concerning findings, according to the analysis. Green bean samples contained extremely high levels of acephate, an insecticide banned for use in the vegetable in 2011. Blueberry samples contained acephate, phosmet and malathion — organophosphates which interfere with the normal function of the nervous system. What can consumers do? Choosing organic foods is a surefire way to reduce pesticide exposure.

Note: Read the complete study, titled, "Pesticides in the Pantry: Transparency & Risk in Food Supply Chains." A groundbreaking study found that eating a completely organic diet (even just for a week) can dramatically reduce the presence of pesticide levels in our bodies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘I wouldn’t put my damn daughter in these’: Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ lurk in feminine products
2024-04-03, The Hill
Posted: 2024-04-15 12:58:00
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4569864-pfas-toxic-forever-chem...

Forever chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a pervasive group of compounds that have been linked to a number of cancers and other illnesses. The toxic substances have become widespread in the air, soil and water via industrial discharge and are found in a number of common household items, from cookware to dental floss to stain-resistant furniture. And many of the products in which they have been detected — including waterproof makeup, workout leggings and period products — are primarily marketed toward women. In May 2022, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts-based Silent Spring Institute published a study ... looking at the presence of PFAS in underwear and several other consumer items. Among those products was menstrual underwear. Research released in August ... also found indicators of PFAS in some period products, including wrappers for several pads and some tampons and outer layers of menstrual underwear. A 2021 study ... tested 231 makeup products and found that 63 percent of the foundations, 58 percent of the eye products, 55 percent of the lip products and 47 percent of the mascaras it looked at contained high levels of fluorine. The Environmental Working Group has identified 300 cosmetic products from 50 different popular brands that contain PFAS in its Skin Deep database. The advocacy organization found that 200 of these products contain PTFE, which is also used in Teflon pans.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


US appeals court kills ban on plastic containers contaminated with PFAS
2024-03-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-04-15 12:55:53
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/30/pfas-ban-plastic-containers-c...

A federal appeals court in the US has killed a ban on plastic containers contaminated with highly toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” found to leach at alarming levels into food, cosmetics, household cleaners, pesticides and other products across the economy. Houston-based Inhance manufactures an estimated 200m containers annually with a process that creates, among other chemicals, PFOA, a toxic PFAS compound. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December prohibited Inhance from using the manufacturing process. But the conservative fifth circuit court of appeals court overturned the ban. The judges did not deny the containers’ health risks, but said the EPA could not regulate the buckets under the statute it used. The rule requires companies to alert the EPA if a new industrial process creates hazardous chemicals. Inhance has produced the containers for decades and argued that its process is not new, so it is not subject to the regulations. The EPA argued that it only became aware that Inhance’s process created PFOA in 2020, so it could be regulated as a new use, but the court disagreed. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds [that] have been linked to cancer, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, fetal complications and other serious health problems. A peer-reviewed study in 2011 found Inhance’s containers leached the toxic compounds into their contents.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


It’s time to ban paraquat
2024-02-13, Environmental Working Group
Posted: 2024-04-15 12:42:40
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2024/02/its-time-ban-paraquat

The Environmental Protection Agency must ban the toxic weedkiller paraquat – a step more than 60 other countries have taken because of its threats to human health. Paraquat has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood leukemia and more. While the EPA says paraquat is too toxic for use on U.S. golf courses, it still allows use of the herbicide on farms. This threatens the health of the people who apply it, other farmworkers and those who live or work near crop fields where it’s used. More than 10 million pounds of paraquat were sprayed in 2018 alone, twice as much as has been sprayed since 2014. While much of the paraquat applied winds up in the soil for years, the chemical can also drift through the air or linger in dust. Syngenta makes paraquat in China and the United Kingdom. The Swiss-based company, which was acquired by a Chinese state-owned chemical conglomerate, has long understood the chemical’s health risks. But it spent decades hiding this knowledge from the public and the EPA. Ironically, Chinese, U.K. and Swiss farmers are prohibited by their respective governments from using paraquat due to potential health risks from exposure. But the weedkiller isn’t prohibited in the U.S. Ingesting even tiny amounts of paraquat can be lethal. Recently, findings from researchers at UCLA show paraquat sprayed within 500 meters ... of where people lived and worked could more than double a person’s odds of developing Parkinson’s.

Note: Read more about the dangers of paraquat. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Chemical in Water Bottles Linked to Child Obesity
2024-03-01, Newsweek
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:45:30
https://www.newsweek.com/chemical-water-bottles-child-obesity-1875069

A chemical found in water bottles has been linked to child obesity, according to a new study. The synthetic chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, was found in a variety of widely used products, such as plastic water bottles and eyewear. But it is also a chemical known to disrupt the body's hormones. The chemical, which can make its way into other avenues, such as food and the soil, accumulates in the body's tissues and organs when ingested. It is known to affect weight and can affect certain cells. A new study published in mSystems found that this chemical could be playing a role in causing different bacteria groups in children of normal weight than those who were overweight. "We found that the gut microbial community responds differently to BPA exposure depending on the BMI (body-mass index) of the individual," [said] microbiologist Margarita Aguilera of the University of Granada. "[Those connections] underscore the intricate interplay between gut microbiota and potential human pathophysiology resulting from cumulative BPA exposure." Researchers ... found overall that there were more unique bacteria groups in the children of a normal weight. This strongly suggests that the bacteria in those children may be able to fight off harmful chemicals like BPA. This study, and future studies into the effects of BPA, "could point to future interventions and policy changes that may reduce the risk of childhood obesity worldwide," Aguilera said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Cancer-causing chemical found in skincare brands including Target, Proactive, Clearasil
2024-03-11, USA Today
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:43:34
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2024/03/11/carcinogen-linked-popular-acn...

High levels of a chemical known to cause cancer have been found at "unacceptably high levels" in popular acne products from brands like Proactive, Target's Up & Up, Clinique, and Clearasil, according to a recent report by independent laboratory Valisure. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, was found to develop in products with benzoyl peroxide, a chemical used to treat acne, at a level of over 800 times the concentration limit of 2 parts per million set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the March 6 report said. The drug product was found to be "fundamentally unstable" especially when stored at high temperatures. The report found a Proactiv product left in 158 degrees Fahrenheit of a hot compact car resulted in the detection of benzene at around 1,270 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s calculated threshold for increased cancer risk. "There is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in any skin care product, over the counter or prescription," Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, said in a statement for Valisure. The report also found that benzene can leak out of packaging and "pose a potential inhalation risk" to consumers, according to the report. The company sent a citizen petition to the FDA on Tuesday describing its report and requesting "recalls and a suspension of sales for products containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient benzoyl peroxide."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘They lied’: plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals
2024-02-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-02-26 13:45:31
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/15/recycling-plastics-producers-...

Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution. That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report. “The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report. “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.” Plastic, which is made from oil and gas, is notoriously difficult to recycle. Doing so requires meticulous sorting, since most of the thousands of chemically distinct varieties of plastic cannot be recycled together. That renders an already pricey process even more expensive. Another challenge: the material degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can generally only be reused once or twice. The industry has known for decades about these existential challenges, but obscured that information in its marketing campaigns. The report does not allege that the companies broke specific laws. But Alyssa Johl, report co-author and attorney, said she suspects they violated public-nuisance, racketeering and consumer-fraud protections. The industry’s misconduct continues today. Over the past several years, industry lobbying groups have promoted so-called chemical recycling, which breaks plastic polymers down into tiny molecules. But the process creates pollution and is even more energy intensive than traditional plastic recycling.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


US court bans three weedkillers and finds EPA broke law in approval process
2024-02-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-02-19 21:42:21
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/feb/07/us-weedkiller-ban-dicamba...

A US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market. The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage. This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products. But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote ... that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision. Bury wrote that the EPA did not allow many people who are deeply affected by the weedkiller – including specialty farmers, conservation groups and more – to comment. “The evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell [with] the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


EWG finds little-known toxic chemical in four out of five people tested
2024-02-15, Environmental Working Group
Posted: 2024-02-19 21:27:22
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2024/02/ewg-finds-little-known-toxic-c...

A new EWG peer-reviewed study has found chlormequat, a little-known pesticide, in four out of five, or 80 percent, of people tested. The groundbreaking analysis of chlormequat in the bodies of people in the U.S. rings alarm bells, because the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies, suggesting the potential for similar harm to humans. EWG’s research, published February 15 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, tested for the presence of chlormequat in urine collected from 96 people between 2017 and 2023. The chemical was found in the urine of 77 of them. We detected the chemical in 92 percent of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios. The fact that so many people are exposed raises concerns about its potential impact on public health, since animal studies link chlormequat to reduced fertility, harm to the reproductive system and altered fetal growth. Environmental Protection Agency regulations allow the chemical to be used on ornamental plants only – not food crops – grown in the U.S. But its use is permitted on imported oats and other foods sold here. Many oats and oat products consumed in the U.S. come from Canada. Chlormequat was not allowed on oats sold in the U.S. before 2018, when the Trump EPA gave first-time approval for some amount of the chemical on imported oats. The same administration in 2020 increased the allowable level.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Bottled water contains thousands of nanoplastics so small they can invade the body’s cells, study says
2024-01-08, CNN News
Posted: 2024-01-22 14:41:02
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/08/health/bottled-water-nanoplastics-study-wellne...

Researchers have discovered bottled water sold in stores can contain 10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previously estimated — nanoparticles so infinitesimally tiny they cannot be seen under a microscope. At 1,000th the average width of a human hair, nanoplastics are so teeny they can migrate through the tissues of the digestive tract or lungs into the bloodstream, distributing potentially harmful synthetic chemicals throughout the body and into cells. One liter of water — the equivalent of two standard-size bottled waters — contained an average of 240,000 plastic particles from seven types of plastics, of which 90% were identified as nanoplastics and the rest were microplastics. Microplastics are polymer fragments that can range from less than 0.2 inch (5 millimeters) down to 1/25,000th of an inch (1 micrometer). Anything smaller is a nanoplastic that must be measured in billionths of a meter. The new finding reinforces long-held expert advice to drink tap water from glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure. In the new study, published ... in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Columbia University presented a new technology that can see, count and analyze the chemical structure of nanoparticles in bottled water. Nanoplastics ... can invade individual cells and tissues in major organs, potentially interrupting cellular processes and depositing endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in 2018 alone, study finds
2024-01-11, CNN News
Posted: 2024-01-22 14:38:37
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/11/health/health-care-costs-plastic-study-wellnes...

By contributing to the development of chronic disease and death, a group of hormone-disruptive plastic chemicals is costing the US health care system billions — over $249 billion in 2018 alone, a new study found. The new research analyzed the impact of four groups of chemicals used in the production of plastic products: Flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE; phthalates, which are used to make plastic more durable; bisphenols such as BPA and BPS used to create hard plastics and resins; and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. However, these are just a fraction of the chemicals used to make plastics. A United Nations report published in May found more than 13,000 chemicals are used in plastics production. The four chemicals measured in the new study ... are thought to interfere with the body’s mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and cause damage to developmental, reproductive, immune and cognitive systems. “The biggest impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is on children’s brain development because they disrupt thyroid hormones in pregnancy,” [lead author Dr. Leonardo] Trasande said. The report recommended blood tests for people at high risk such as firefighters, workers in fluorochemical manufacturing plants, and those who live near commercial airports, military bases, landfills, incinerators, wastewater treatment plants and farms.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Toxicologists Find 829 Chemicals in Everyday Items May Cause Breast Cancer
2024-01-10, Newsweek
Posted: 2024-01-22 14:36:49
https://www.newsweek.com/toxicologists-chemicals-hormones-breast-cancer-1859190

Common consumer products may contain hundreds of chemicals that could increase our risk of developing breast cancer, scientists have warned. While some chemicals are known to directly cause cancer, many others indirectly promote the cancer by increasing our susceptibility to the establishment and growth of certain tumors. Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue grow out of control. Among the many risk factors associated with this disease is over-exposure to estrogen, progesterone and hormonal disruption. And it's not just hormonal contraception that can influence our body's hormone levels; numerous synthetic chemicals have been shown to disrupt our hormones, with potential impacts on our risk of developing various diseases. "Breast cancer is a hormonal disease, so the fact that so many chemicals can alter estrogen and progesterone is concerning," Jennifer Kay, a research scientist at Silent Spring Institute, said. In a new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Kay and colleagues searched through multiple international and U.S. government databases to identify chemicals that had been found to cause mammary tumors in animals. In total, the team identified 921 chemicals that could potentially promote the development of breast cancer, 90 percent—or 829—of which are commonly included in consumer products, food, drinks, pesticides, medications and workplaces.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Nearly 40% of conventional baby food contains toxic pesticides, US study finds
2023-11-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-01-02 14:34:05
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/23/baby-food-pesticides-study

Nearly 40% of conventional baby food products analyzed in a new US study were found to contain toxic pesticides, while none of the organic products sampled in the survey contained the chemicals. The research, conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) non-profit, looked at 73 products and found at least one pesticide in 22 of them. Many products showed more than one pesticide, and the substances present a dangerous health threat. “Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by pesticides in food,” said Sydney Evans, a senior science analyst at EWG. The study looked at products from Beech-Nut, Gerber and Parent’s Choice, though it did not specifically identify which of the companies’ products contained pesticide residue. Among pesticides it detected were acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide that harms bees and humans, and captan, which is linked to cancer. Fludioxonil, a product commonly used on fruits, vegetables and cereals, was found in five products and is thought to harm fetal development, cause changes in immune system cells and disrupt hormones. Apple-based products were the most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residue, and blueberries, pears and strawberries are also among produce that commonly hold high levels of the chemicals. The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy organic baby food products, which are subjected to much stricter regulations.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


US military says national security depends on ‘forever chemicals’
2023-11-17, USA Today
Posted: 2023-12-27 19:05:01
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/11/17/us-military-national-se...

The Department of Defense relies on hundreds, if not thousands, of weapons and products such as uniforms, batteries, and microelectronics that contain PFAS, a family of chemicals linked to serious health conditions. Now, as regulators propose restrictions on their use or manufacturing, Pentagon officials have told Congress that eliminating the chemicals would undermine military readiness. PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment and can build up in the human body, have been associated with such health problems as cancer. In July, a new federal study showed a direct link between testicular cancer and PFOS, a PFAS chemical that has been found in the blood of thousands of military personnel. In a report delivered to Congress in August, Defense Department officials pushed back against health concerns raised by environmental groups and regulators. According to the report, most major weapons systems, their components, microelectronic chips, lithium-ion batteries, and other products contain PFAS chemicals. These include helicopters, airplanes, submarines, missiles, torpedoes, tanks, and assault vehicles; munitions; semiconductors and microelectronics; and metalworking, cooling, and fire suppression systems. Beyond cancer, some types of PFAS have been linked to low birth weight, developmental delays in children, thyroid dysfunction, and reduced response to immunizations.

Note: If the above link fails, you can read the article here.  PFAS are linked to serious health conditions: cancer, liver damage, hormonal disruption, reproductive issuesreduced sperm count, reduced immune response, and more. PFAS have also been found in 45% of US tap water. Read more on how war is hazardous to our health and environment in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


Common pesticides in food reducing sperm count worldwide, study says
2023-11-15, CNN News
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:37:43
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/15/health/sperm-damage-pesticides-wellness/index....

Pesticides used in our homes, gardens and lawns and sprayed on foods we eat are contributing to a dramatic decline in sperm count among men worldwide, according to a new analysis of studies over the last 50 years. “Over the course of 50 years, sperm concentration has fallen about 50% around the world,” said senior study author Melissa Perry. “While there are likely many more contributing causes, our study demonstrates a strong association between two common insecticides —organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates — and the decline of sperm concentration.” Organophosphates are the main components of nerve gas, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides and are also used to create plastics and solvents. They are widely used in agriculture on the crops we eat. We use them in structural applications within homes and buildings. N-methyl carbamates are structurally and operationally similar to organophosphates, killing insects by damaging their brains and nervous systems. The study, published ... in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined 25 studies around the world on the two chemicals. Those studies looked at 42 different levels of impact among 1,774 men in 21 different study populations. Men who were more highly exposed to the pesticides, such as those who work in agriculture, had significantly less sperm concentration than men who had the least exposure to organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates, the study found.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Court tosses EPA ban on pesticide linked to brain damage in kids
2023-11-02, The Hill
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:35:46
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4291117-court-tosses-epa-ban-pe...

A federal appeals court on Thursday is tossing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on a pesticide that has been linked to brain damage in children. The decision from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to send the rule back to the agency does not preclude the agency from reinstating the ban in the future. But it said the EPA needs to give greater consideration to whether there are cases where the pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, could be used safely. Chlorpyrifos has been used as an insecticide, protecting crops like soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit trees. The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for use in growing food in 2021. That came after a prior court ruling gave the agency just 60 days to either find a safe use for chlorpyrifos or ban it outright. The appeals court determined that this deadline contributed to a rushed decision from EPA that was ultimately “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling comes from Judges Lavenski Smith, Raymond Gruender and David Stras, two of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush and one of whom was appointed by former President Trump. The chlorpyrifos issue has ping-ponged between administrations. The Obama administration had proposed to ban its use on food, but the Trump administration reversed course and had proposed to allow some uses of the chemical. 

Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. See other concise news articles we've summarized about the harms of chlorpyrifos.


Food additive or carcinogen? The growing list of chemicals banned by EU but used in US
2022-06-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:18:05
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/23/titanium-dioxide-banned-c...

There’s a hidden ingredient used as a whitener in an array of foods. It’s called titanium dioxide, and while commonly used in the US, it’s being banned in the EU as a possible carcinogen. The additive, also known as E171, joins a host of other chemicals that are banned in foods in the European Union but allowed in the US. These include Azodicarbonamide, a whitening agent found in food such as breads, bagels, pizza, and pastries in the US, which has been banned in the EU for more than a decade. The additive has been linked to asthma and respiratory issues in exposed workers and, when baked, to cancer in mice studies. The Food and Drug Administration classifies these food chemicals, and many others prohibited by the EU, as “generally recognized as safe”. Chemical safety processes in the EU and US work in starkly different ways. Where European policy tends to take a precautionary approach – trying to prevent harm before it happens – the US is usually more reactive. And while the EU has consistently updated its methods and processes for evaluating new chemicals, some experts say the US system, set up more than half a century ago, needs updating. In the case of additives like titanium dioxide, manufacturers petition the FDA for its approval by submitting evidence that the substance is safe for its intended use. The FDA evaluates the application, and will authorize the additive if it concludes the data provided demonstrates that the substance is safe to use.

Note: Unlike other countries, the U.S. is known to raise objections to the regulation of toxic chemicals in our food, with its regulatory agencies having deep financial ties to powerful food and agrichemical industries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


In our blood: how the US allowed toxic chemicals to seep into our lives
2023-09-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-24 17:01:23
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/13/us-environmental-protecti...

For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was ... seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical. PFOA is just one of dozens of modern-day chemicals that are found in the bodies of the majority of Americans. Research has also shown that more Americans are facing a growing number of ailments and disorders, from autoimmune disease to developmental disorders such as autism and some cancers. Scientists are increasingly concerned these two truths are linked. Scientists have accumulated enough data to conclude with confidence that humans face significant health risks from exposure to common commercial chemicals, and that regulations designed to protect them are failing. Due to flaws in federal regulation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is perennially playing catch up. The majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing. Kyla Bennett, a former EPA employee [said] that at recent rates of review, it would take thousands of years to assess all 86,000 chemicals currently approved for use. EPA staff ... say the agency’s chemical programs remain understaffed, overwhelmed and burdened by still-ineffective regulations and a persistent culture that enables the chemical industry instead of counterbalancing it.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health issues from reliable major media sources.


Chemical industry used big tobacco’s tactics to conceal evidence of PFAS risks
2023-06-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:44:33
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/07/pfas-3m-dupont-chemical-i...

In 1953, a paper developed for cigarette maker RJ Reynolds detailed possible cancer-causing agents in tobacco, but the document would remain hidden from public view for decades. In the interim, the industry told the public: “We don’t accept the idea that there are harmful agents in tobacco.” The chemical industry, it seemed, took note. Just a few years later, DuPont scientists found PFAS enlarged lab rats’ livers and likely caused birth defects in workers. Still, the company told its employees the cancer-linked compounds are “about as toxic as table salt”. Like the tobacco industry before it, the chemical industry managed to keep PFAS’s health risks hidden from the public for decades. A new peer-reviewed study dissecting PFAS producers’ public relations strategies provides a smoking gun timeline composed of industry studies and comments from DuPont and 3M officials showing they knew the dangers, but publicly insisted the chemicals were safe. Between 1961 and 2006, the authors identified dozens of instances where DuPont or 3M scientists discovered or acknowledged PFAS toxicity internally, but did not publish the findings or report them to the EPA, as required under federal law. DuPont’s chief toxicologist in 1961 found rats’ livers enlarged at very low doses of exposure, a health impact recognized as “the most sensitive sign of toxicity.” The report recommended PFAS be handled “with extreme care” and that “contact with the skin should be strictly avoided.”

Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Glyphosate Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline in U.S. Adults
2023-08-29, The Defender
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:37:36
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/glyphosate-depression-cognitive-d...

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?
2023-08-05, The Hill
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:26:06
https://thehill.com/homenews/nexstar_media_wire/4133806-map-does-your-drinkin...

So-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected? If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT). EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts. PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals that are used to make nonstick pans, food packaging, fire-fighting foams, to-go boxes, furniture, rugs, clothing and more. The chemicals are so ubiquitous it would be nearly impossible for most Americans to rid their home of them. The chemicals are both extremely common and potentially dangerous. Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage. Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Chemical companies’ PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger
2023-08-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:24:40
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/03/chemical-companies-pfas-p...

When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as “the largest drinking water settlement in American history”, and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic “forever chemicals”. A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great ... the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by big tobacco in the 1990s. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver conditions, immune disorders, birth defects and other health problems. The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated private wells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from dental floss to cookware to clothing, and have been found to contaminate food, soil and air.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Why did the National Honey Board hire a PR firm that works for the pesticide industry?
2023-08-08, U.S. Right to Know
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:16:54
https://usrtk.org/pesticides/national-honey-board-porter-novelli/

In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].

Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.


Common Chemical Strongly Linked to Parkinson's
2023-05-23, Smithsonian Magazine
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:59:31
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/common-chemical-strongly-linked-to-...

A study of military veterans has shown the strongest evidence yet that the widespread chemical trichloroethylene (TCE)–used in spot removers, office products and dry-cleaning–is linked to Parkinson's disease. The research focused on service members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1975 and 1985, when levels of TCE in the base's water reached 70 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's limit. After accounting for demographic factors, Camp Lejeune veterans were 70 percent more likely to develop the movement disorder than service members stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, where the water was uncontaminated. The large study, published last week in the journal JAMA Neurology, adds to a handful of smaller, earlier papers that found a link between TCE and Parkinson's. TCE, which can be in liquid or vapor form, has been commonly used since the 1920s, including as an inhaled surgical anesthetic and in several cleaning products. Today, it's primarily used in making refrigerants and degreasing metal equipment. The chemical breaks down slowly and can be detected in the air, water and soil. It's also found in one-third of U.S. drinking water. The Camp Lejeune drinking water was contaminated with TCE and other chemicals from 1953 to 1987, per the study, due to leakage from underground storage tanks, industrial spills, waste disposal sites and a dry-cleaning business.

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


A potentially cancer-causing chemical is sprayed on much of America’s farmland. Here is where it is used the most.
2022-10-10, NBC News
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:57:12
https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/toxic-herbicides-map-showing-high-use-s...

Every day, farms across the country use a potentially cancer-causing chemical that is in the world’s most common weedkillers. And data shows that it’s most used in the Midwest and parts of the South. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, has been in use for nearly 50 years. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in a 2015 report that the chemical “is probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate’s main use is in agriculture. Weedkillers containing it are used on nearly half of all planted acres of corn and soybeans in the U.S. They’re also used on acres of farmland where wheat, oats, fruits and cotton are grown. Pesticide residue testing from the FDA found glyphosate residues on a wide variety of crops, including oats, soybeans, cranberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, apples, cherries and beans. A 2020 Department of Health and Human Services report notes that the greatest potential exposure is among farm workers and gardeners that use glyphosate-based herbicides and those who live near farms, manufacturing plants ... and hazardous waste disposal sites. For the general public, the report notes that exposure to glyphosate typically comes by touching or eating food or water containing residues. Some studies have found a link between increased cancer rates and higher levels of exposure. Several peer-reviewed studies have also suggested that herbicides containing glyphosate may disrupt hormones and alter the gut microbiome

Note: Don't miss the interactive map of glyphosate usage available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Recycled and reused food contact plastics are 'vectors' for toxins – study
2023-05-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:55:29
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/27/recycled-reused-food-plas...

Recycled and reused food contact plastics are "vectors for spreading chemicals of concern" because they accumulate and release hundreds of dangerous toxins like styrene, benzene, bisphenol, heavy metals, formaldehyde and phthalates, new research finds. The study assessed hundreds of scientific publications on plastic and recycled plastic to provide a first-of-its-kind systematic review of food contact chemicals in food packaging, utensils, plates and other items and what is known about how the substances contaminate food. "Hazardous chemicals can accumulate in recycled material and then migrate into foodstuffs, leading to chronic human exposure," the study's authors wrote, noting bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic as a common example. The study ... identified 853 chemicals used in PET recycled plastic and many of those have been discovered during the last two years. The most commonly detected were antimony and acetaldehyde, while potent toxins like 2,4-DTBP, ethylene glycol, lead, terephthalic acid, bisphenol and cyclic PET oligomers were also most frequently found. The review also highlighted widespread "illicit" recycling in which industry uses non-food grade plastic made with flame retardants and other toxic compounds in recycled food packaging. Despite strict regulations on which types of plastic can be used for food contact, studies identified [contaminated materials from] recycled electronics in the US, South Korea and European markets.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto and the Merchants of Poison
2022-12-23, CounterPunch
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:51:49
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/12/23/monsanto-and-the-merchants-of-poison/

Last week, the report Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide was published by authors Stacy Malkan, Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé. [In 2012], pesticide and processed food companies spent $45 million to defeat a ballot initiative to label GMOs (genetically modified foods) in California. This campaign was led by Monsanto, one of the planet’s largest producers of GMOs. Monsanto created a PR storm through the mouths of so-called third-party “experts” from across the fields of academia and science. It was later revealed that these allegedly neutral voices were closely tied to Monsanto. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate—the chemical contained within herbicides that most GMO crops have been engineered to resist—is likely a human carcinogen. Thousands sued Monsanto claiming that their exposure of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based product, Roundup, caused their cancers. Monsanto employees ghostwrote scientific papers on the safety of glyphosate and strategized how to discredit journalists and scientists raising concerns about the pesticide. Major universities, including University of California Davis and University of Florida, played a significant role in legitimizing and amplifying pesticide industry product-defense efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ... also provided essential aid and cover for pesticide industry propaganda.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and science corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Pesticide Industry’s Playbook for Poisoning the Earth
2020-01-18, The Intercept
Posted: 2023-04-17 13:40:36
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/18/bees-insecticides-pesticides-neonicotinoi...

In 2013, the European Union called for a temporary suspension of the most commonly used neonicotinoid-based products on flowering plants, citing the danger posed to bees — an effort that resulted in a permanent ban in 2018. In the U.S., however, industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem. Lobbying documents and emails ... show a sophisticated effort over the last decade by the pesticide industry to obstruct any effort to restrict the use of neonicotinoids. Bayer and Syngenta, the largest manufacturers of neonics, and Monsanto, one of the leading producers of seeds pretreated with neonics, cultivated ties with prominent academics ... and other scientists who had once called for a greater focus on the threat posed by pesticides. A study published in peer-reviewed journal PLOS One found that the American landscape has become 48 times more toxic to insects since the 1990s, a shift largely fueled by the rising application of neonics. “Generally, we see the U.S. waiting longer than the EU to take action on a variety of pesticides and other chemicals,” said [Willa] Childress ... with Pesticide Action Network North America. Part of the divergence, Childress continued, stems from a regulatory system in the U.S. that assumes chemical products are generally safe until proven hazardous. In contrast, the EU tends to use the “precautionary principle,” removing products that may cause harm.

Note: Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto and their dangerous use of glyphosate. These revealing documents expose years of pesticide industry disinformation, attacks on scientists and journalists, and Monsanto’s deep influence on US regulatory agencies to manipulate science and prioritize profits over public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


The links between pollution and miscarriage: ‘This is the stuff nightmares are made of’
2023-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-04-02 20:12:16
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/29/the-links-between-pollution-a...

The world we live in is slowly poisoning every single one of us. And the chemicals doing the most damage are byproducts of the fossil fuel industry, agribusiness and manufacturing. There doesn’t seem to be the appetite at a regulatory or governmental level to stop it. In Australia, 50,000 agricultural, industrial and veterinary chemicals are being used; 1,500 are suspected to interfere with endocrine function, which is essential to the healthy working of our reproductive and hormonal systems. Only a very small number have been tested. Microplastics, which can cause inflammation in the body, is being found in our blood streams and also in the placentas of unborn fetuses. Walking down a major intersection during rush hour can expose you to as much particulate matter as a major bushfire event. Even if chemicals are tested, the testing regimen means that chemicals are only being tested in isolation and not in conjunction with others to see how compounds react. Also, they might be tested for carcinogenic effects ... but the test subjects aren't monitored for other ill-effects, such as endocrine disruption. Some effects take place long after the research has concluded. Some of these chemicals can stay in the body forever. Or affect the way our DNA functions. There’s even an Australian website (not widely enough publicised) called yourfertility.org.au. It has an entire section on chemicals in our environment and what to avoid, stating that “avoiding these chemicals may increase the chance of having a baby”.

Note: The above was written by Isabelle Oderberg, author of Hard to Bear: Investigating the science and silence of miscarriage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


How microplastics are infiltrating the food you eat
2023-01-03, BBC News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:37:57
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230103-how-plastic-is-getting-into-our-food

Microplastics have infiltrated every part of the planet. One study estimated that there are around 24.4 trillion fragments of microplastics in the upper regions of the world's oceans. But they aren't just ubiquitous in water – they are spread widely in soils on land too and can even end up in the food we eat. Unwittingly, we may be consuming tiny fragments of plastic with almost every bite we take. In 2022, analysis by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental non-profit, found that sewage sludge has contaminated almost 20 million acres (80,937sq km) of US cropland with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often called "forever chemicals", which are commonly found in plastic products and do not break down under normal environmental conditions. Sludge is commonly used as organic fertiliser in the US and Europe. Due to this practice ... between 31,000 and 42,000 tonnes of microplastics, or 86 trillion to 710 trillion microplastic particles, contaminate European farmland each year. Plastic particles can also contaminate food crops directly. A 2020 study found microplastics and nanoplastics in fruit and vegetables sold by supermarkets and in produce sold by local sellers. Crops absorb nanoplastic particles from surrounding water and soil through tiny cracks in their roots. Chemicals found in plastic have been linked to cancer, heart disease and poor fetal development. High levels of ingested microplastics may also cause cell damage which could lead to inflammation and allergic reactions.

Note: There seems to be no part of the planet that is unaffected by the pervasiveness of microplastics, from being found in human veins, human lungs, flying insects, and in 90% of table salt, to heavily polluting our skies and now spiraling around the globe through Earth’s atmosphere. Read more on simple ways that you can reduce microplastic pollution and consumption in your life, and support the many organizations making a meaningful difference to address this issue.


How pesticides impair our senses
2023-02-15, BBC News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:35:53
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230215-how-pesticides-harm-human-health

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that prioritises soil and environmental health by minimising synthetic inputs. [Farm manager Tim Parton] switched to using biologically active inputs after experiencing headaches and skin rashes from using pesticides. After sheep dipping, which involves immersing sheep in insecticide and pesticide mixtures to eliminate parasites, lumps would often show up on his arms. "I would be a mess, but if I went to the doctors, they would say 'you've just had a reaction' and would not take it seriously," he says. Since adopting a biological farming method, Parton has not experienced any negative health impacts. He has not had to use any phosphorus and potassium fertilisers on his crops for over 10 years. He says he has observed a big increase in insect and bird species since he stopped using pesticides. Pesticides may be responsible for the loss of smell in honeybees and salmon. Despite global regulations on pesticide use, one study estimates that about 385 million cases of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning occur among farm workers each year. A 2020 study found that of the estimated 860 million agricultural workers worldwide, 44% are affected by pesticide poisoning annually. Acute health impacts can range from seizures to respiratory depression. Pesticide exposure has been associated with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson's disease. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to sensory deterioration.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Vinyl chloride's invisible threat: Thousands of pounds are released every year in the U.S. as part of
2023-02-20, CBS News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:33:41
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vinyl-chloride-ohio-train-derailment-thousands-p...

Vinyl chloride entered the spotlight after the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment. But the hazardous substance has been around for decades and is everywhere — from buildings and vehicle upholstery to children's toys and kitchen supplies — and factories have been emitting the EPA-designated toxic chemical into the air for years. The train that derailed had the manmade and volatile compound on board, prompting temporary evacuations. But the derailment isn't the first time vinyl chloride has alarmed experts. Experts say that the volatile compound, "used almost exclusively by the plastics industry," has "leached into groundwater from spills, landfills, and industrial sources," and that people who live around plastic manufacturing facilities "may be exposed to vinyl chloride by inhalation of contaminated air." According to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which "tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment," there are 38 TRI facilities in 15 states — mostly around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. — that use vinyl chloride, emitting about half a million pounds of the substance every year. The problem begins at vinyl chloride's origins. It's generated from ethane, which is obtained through fracking natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethane production hit a monthly record last year of more than 2.4 million barrels per day. The global PVC market is expected to become a $56.1 billion industry within the next 3 years. 

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


History of DDT ocean dumping off L.A. coast even worse than expected, EPA finds
2022-08-04, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2023-01-29 20:56:19
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2022-08-04/ddt-ocean-dumping-in-l-a...

After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse ... than what scientists anticipated. In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels. Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges. Other chemicals — as well as millions of tons of oil drilling waste — had also been dumped decades ago in more than a dozen areas off the Southern California coast. “That’s pretty jaw-dropping in terms of the volumes and quantities of various contaminants that were dispersed in the ocean,” said John Chesnutt ... who has been leading the EPA’s technical team on the investigation. “This also begs the question: So what’s in the barrels? There’s still so much we don’t know.” These revelations build on much-needed research into DDT’s toxic — and insidious — legacy in California. As many as half a million barrels of DDT waste have not been accounted for in the deep ocean. Women face greater risk of obesity, earlier menstruation and possibly breast cancer if their grandmothers were exposed to DDT during pregnancy, researchers say.

Note: Back in 2020, LA Times wrote an excellent investigative piece on the history and background of this unsettling issue. Consider watching a brief and shocking video of how the US government made the public believe DDT was so safe you could eat it and spray it on children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Microplastics can cross placenta into unborn babies, study shows
2022-12-28, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-01-16 13:02:53
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/microplastics-in-humans-baby-placen...

Microplastics have been found to cross the placenta into unborn babies, a shocking study reveals. Scientists warn it is impossible to stop children ingesting the tiny plastic particles as well as even smaller nanoplastics, which can be found almost everywhere. Microplastics have also been found in newborn children, the researchers add. Infants ingest microplastics from baby bottles, toys, textiles and food packaging. When microplastics end up in household dust, children can ingest them by playing and crawling on the floor. Microplastics contain other harmful chemicals as well as plastic, such as phthalates and metals added for colour, stabilisation or as a biocide. When microplastics end up outdoors, for example as particles from car tires, this plastic core is often coated with air pollution and car exhaust. Study author Kam Sripada from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said: “It’s quite possible that children are more exposed to microplastics than adults, similar to children’s greater exposure to many other environmental toxic chemicals. “No one knows exactly how much microplastic a child ingests, but several studies now suggest that today’s children absorb microplastics in their bodies as early as at fetal age. “Children do not have a fully developed immune system and are in a very important phase of their brain development. “This makes them particularly vulnerable. Nano and microplastics are so miniscule that they can travel deep into the lungs and can also cross into the placenta.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace
2022-12-15, NPR
Posted: 2023-01-03 00:43:20
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/15/1142915184/ortho-toluidi...

The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Study links in utero ‘forever chemical’ exposure to low sperm count and mobility
2022-10-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2022-10-10 13:10:48
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/05/pfas-sperm-count-mobility-tes...

A new peer-reviewed Danish study finds that a mother’s exposure to toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” during early pregnancy can lead to lower sperm count and quality later in her child’s life. PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are known to disrupt hormones and fetal development, and future “reproductive capacity” is largely defined as testicles develop in utero during the first trimester of a pregnancy, said study co-author Sandra Søgaard Tøttenborg. PFAS are a class of about 12,000 chemicals typically used to make thousands of products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in humans and the environment and do not naturally break down. A growing body of evidence links them to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney disease and decreased immunity. The study ... examined semen characteristics and reproductive hormones in 864 young Danish men born to women who provided blood samples during their pregnancies’ first trimesters between 1996 and 2002. Mothers with higher levels of exposure more frequently raised adult men with lower sperm counts, as well as elevated immotile sperm levels, meaning their sperm did not swim. This exposure also increased the amount of non-progressive sperm – sperm that do not swim straight or swim in circles. Both issues can lead to infertility. The ubiquitous chemicals are estimated to be in 98% of Americans’ blood.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Microplastics found deep in lungs of living people for first time
2022-04-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-06-06 18:07:55
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/06/microplastics-found-deep-...

Microplastic pollution has been discovered lodged deep in the lungs of living people for the first time. The particles were found in almost all the samples analysed. The scientists said microplastic pollution was now ubiquitous across the planet, making human exposure unavoidable and meaning “there is an increasing concern regarding the hazards” to health. Samples were taken from tissue removed from 13 patients undergoing surgery and microplastics were found in 11 cases. The most common particles were polypropylene, used in plastic packaging and pipes, and PET, used in bottles. Two previous studies had found microplastics at similarly high rates in lung tissue taken during autopsies. People were already known to breathe in the tiny particles, as well as consuming them via food and water. Workers exposed to high levels of microplastics are also known to have developed disease. Microplastics were detected in human blood for the first time in March, showing the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year. The research, which has been accepted for publication by the journal Science of the Total Environment, used samples of healthy lung tissue.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


These Chemicals Disrupt the Sexual Development of Children - And They're Everywhere
2021-12-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-12-27 01:14:56
https://theintercept.com/2021/12/07/epa-dinp-phthalates-child-sexual-developm...

Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. “I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics,” she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group’s request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano’s claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates — an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year — seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


EPA Withheld Reports of Substantial Risk Posed by 1,200 Chemicals
2021-11-01, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-11-28 20:20:49
https://theintercept.com/2021/11/01/epa-toxic-chemicals-reports-withheld/

The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents “a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment.” Until recently, the agency had been making these reports — known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them — available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals’ serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Synthetic chemical in consumer products linked to early death, study finds
2021-10-12, CNN News
Posted: 2021-11-22 00:08:41
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/12/health/plastic-chemical-early-death-wellness/i...

Synthetic chemicals called phthalates, found in hundreds of consumer products such as food storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume and children's toys, may contribute to some 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths a year among people ages 55 to 64 in the United States, a new study found. People with the highest levels of phthalates had a greater risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to the study published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution. Phthalates are known to interfere with the body's mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and they are "linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems," according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Even small hormonal disruptions can cause "significant developmental and biological effects," the NIEHS states. Prior research has connected phthalates with reproductive problems, such as genital malformations and undescended testes in baby boys and lower sperm counts and testosterone levels in adult males. Often called "everywhere chemicals" because they are so common, phthalates are added to consumer products such as PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, rain- and stain-resistant products, medical tubing, garden hoses, and some children's toys. Other common exposures come from the use of phthalates in food packaging, detergents, clothing, furniture and automotive plastics.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office
2021-07-02, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-07-19 15:05:56
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/02/epa-chemical-safety-corruption-whistleblo...

Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists’ conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Study finds alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in US mothers’ breast milk
2021-05-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-06-06 21:52:34
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/13/pfas-forever-chemicals-br...

A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. “These harmful chemicals are contaminating what should be nature’s perfect food,” said Erika Schreder, a co-author. PFAS, or per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 9,000 compounds that are used to make products like food packaging, clothing and carpeting water and stain resistant. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down and have been found to accumulate in humans. They are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, plummeting sperm counts and a range of other serious health problems. The peer-reviewed study ... found PFAS at levels in milk ranging from 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to more than 1,850ppt. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ... recommends as little as 14ppt in children’s drinking water. Studies of older children and adults have linked the chemicals to hormonal disruptions and suggests PFAS harm the immune system. Among steps that the authors recommend pregnant women and mothers take to protect themselves are avoiding greaseproof carryout food packaging, stain guards like ScotchGard, waterproof clothing that uses PFAS, and cooking products with Teflon or similar non-stick properties.

Note: PFAS may be partially responsible for sharply declining human fertility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame
2021-01-06, Huffington Post
Posted: 2021-05-23 15:39:47
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-rumsfeld-and-the-s_b_805581

The chemical additive aspartame is very potentially a cancer and brain tumor-causing substance that has no place in our food. The reasons and means by which [Donald] Rumsfeld helped get it approved are nefarious at best, criminal at worst. Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA’s own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer. According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue and depression. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president January 21, 1981. Rumsfeld, while still CEO at Searle, was part of Reagan’s transition team. This team hand-picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., to be the new FDA commissioner. One of Hayes’ first official acts as FDA chief was to approve the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on July 18, 1981. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus, pretty big money in those days.

Note: Donald Rumsfeld also made millions on bird flu drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People's Bodies
2017-10-24, Time
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:46:54
https://time.com/4993877/weed-killer-roundup-levels-humans/

The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide’s possible contributions to poor health in certain communities. The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples during that time. The percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. [Researcher Paul] Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats. While Roundup was developed to eliminate most weeds from genetically modified crops — and thus reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on them — recent studies have found that many weeds are now resistant to Roundup. That means growers are using more Roundup, which could only exacerbate potential negative health effects on people who consume those products.

Note: Bayer recently agreed to a $10 billion settlement over claims that its glyphosate-containing product RoundUp causes cancer. Meanwhile, Mexico is banning glyphosate and GMO corn. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs from reliable major media sources.


From chicken to tomatoes, here's why American food is hurting you
2019-05-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-06-09 18:56:11
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/28/from-chicken-to-tomatoes-here...

Our food and our health are deeply connected. American healthcare spending has ballooned to $3.5tn a year, and yet we are sicker than most other developed countries. Meanwhile, our food system contains thousands of chemicals that have not been proven safe and many that are banned in other countries. Instead of potentially hazardous substances being banned from our food, as they are in, say, Europe, chemicals of concern are typically considered innocent until proven guilty. As a result, we are the guinea pigs in our own experiment. For decades weve operated on the principle that if we can selectively kill off the unwanted parts of the natural world, we can control our futures. Farmers operate that way, but also homeowners, highway crews and landscapers. We spread herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones and various other toxins which kill everything around. Even good things. Were becoming aware of the loss of what we can see: bees, butterflies, the diverse plant life of our ecosystems. We also need to worry about the invisible microbiome and fungi in the soil that nurture life above, store carbon and absorb water. By trying to control crops with herbicides, antibiotics and pesticides, weve actually bred bugs, weeds and diseases that are resistant to our control. And our chemical onslaught will have long-term effects. Our fertilizers and pesticides leach into groundwater and streams, head out to sea and create dead zones. They also leach into our drinking water.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pesticides could wipe out frogs by turning them female, study finds
2018-06-04, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-06-02 12:48:57
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/frog-pesticides-female-fertility-ch...

A widely used pesticide could be placing frog populations in danger by diminishing their ability to reproduce properly. Not only does exposure to the chemical linuron a potato herbicide reduce male frog fertility, it skews the sex ratios of growing tadpoles significantly towards females. The devastation pesticides have caused to insect populations has been well documented, with German scientists warning of an ecological Armageddon when they found numbers had plummeted by 75 per cent in the countrys nature reserves. Knock-on effects further up the food chain are thought to be behind the disappearance of many bird species from the European countryside. But pesticides can have toxic effects on other animals too, and there has been a distinct lack of research into their effects on amphibians. To improve this situation, ecotoxicologist Dr Cecilia Berg of the University of Uppsala and a team of ... researchers set out to investigate the effects of linuron in the West African clawed frog. They found that the tadpoles grew ovaries substantially more than they grew testicles, an effect the team attributed to the endocrine disrupting or hormone disrupting properties of linuron, which could hinder production of testosterone. The male frogs exposed to the chemicals as tadpoles were less fertile and had certain feminine characteristics. While linuron is not licensed for use in the UK ... it is widely used in other parts of the European Union (EU) and North America.

Note: Don't forget that humans drink the water contaminated by these chemicals, too. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Children's IQ Could Be Lowered by Mothers Drinking Tap Water While Pregnant
2017-09-19, Newsweek
Posted: 2017-09-24 20:41:49
http://www.newsweek.com/childrens-iq-could-be-lowered-drinking-tap-water-whil...

Adding fluoride to public drinking water for dental purposes has been controversial since the practice first began in 1945. A new study suggests that prenatal exposure to this chemical may affect cognitive abilities and that children born to mothers exposed to high amounts of fluoride could have lower IQs. The study ... found an association between lower intelligence and prenatal fluoride exposure in 299 mother-child pairs in Mexico. Even when other possible factors were taken into account, such as exposure to other chemicals, results continually showed that higher prenatal fluoride exposure was linked to lower scores on tests of cognitive function in children at age 4 and then again between 6 and 12. The mothers in this study did not have fluoride added to their water. In Mexico, fluoridated salt is the main way that women get salt into their diet, says Hu, unlike in the U.S., where fluoridated water is the main avenue. The data could renew the debate about the safety of adding fluoride to tap water, in part because experts have not been quick to dismiss the findings. "This is a very well-conducted study, and it raises serious concerns about fluoride supplementation in water," says Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician who studies potential links between environmental exposures and health problems at New York University. Trasande ... also explains that fluoride is known to disrupt thyroid function, which in turn is crucial for brain development.

Note: Another Newsweek article and this MSNBC article also raise serious questions about the benefits and risks of fluoride in our water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


100,000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn For Decades Until Now
2017-07-26, The Intercept
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:30:17
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/26/chemical-industry-herbicide-poison-papers/

For decades, some of the dirtiest, darkest secrets of the chemical industry have been kept in Carol Van Strums barn. The ... structure in rural Oregon housed more than 100,000 pages of documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others. As of today, those documents and others ... will be publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers. The library contains more than 200,000 pages of information and lays out a 40-year history of deceit and collusion involving the chemical industry and the regulatory agencies that were supposed to be protecting human health and the environment, said Peter von Stackelberg, a journalist who along with the Center for Media and Democracy and the Bioscience Resource Project helped put the collection online. Van Strum didnt set out to be the repository for the peoples pushback against the chemical industry. But [in 1974] she realized the Forest Service was spraying her area with an herbicide called 2,4,5-T. The chemicals hurt people and animals. Residents ... filed a suit that led to a temporary ban on 2,4,5-T in their area in 1977 and, ultimately, to a total stop to the use of the chemical in 1983. For Van Strum, the suit was also the beginning of lifetime of battling the chemical industry. We didnt think of ourselves as environmentalists, that wasnt even a word back then, Van Strum said. We just didnt want to be poisoned.

Note: The herbicide 2,4,5-T is a main ingredient of Agent Orange. As recently as 2012, Monsanto, a manufacturer of Agent Orange, agreed to pay $93 million to settle claims of this poison's pollution of a US town. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


How the US Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide
2016-08-10, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-08-14 22:08:23
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/10/how-the-u-s-spies-on-medical-nonprofits-a...

As part of an ongoing effort to exploit medical intelligence, the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract medical SIGINT from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort? the author wrote, identifying a suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called black budget proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and terrorism.


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