If you haven't seen it yet, USA Today is doing a series called "toxic legacy". First was lead, then mercury, and today, plastics. Well, really it's about BPA. We've dicussed BPA here before and I'm not going to rehash it. The article is good but doesn't give a lot of new information if you have been following this issue. One of the things that most people what to know is who to believe. And when you have two committees (NIEHS & CERHR) coming up with different takes on it, you don't know who to trust. You know how I feel about it. A great look into how the different panels reached their different conclusions was written by Bette Hileman in Chemical and Engineering News (Sept 3rd 2007edition). I highly recommend reading it.
A lot of other people share my concerns about the CERHR panel (unjustified or non-sensical exculsion of studies, lack of experts on BPA,...etc. One of the big questions that I continue to have is that the CERHR's justification for getting rid of some studies based on the route of administration is so wrong headed and blind to the principles of toxicokinetics (that's the study of how/where/how much the compounds move around in the body), that it seems as if there has to be another motive. I don't want to suggest some nefarious motives, but the ony other option seems stupidity.
Meanwhile, the EPA says it's on it. Or...er...will be, in...uh...several years. Gee, thanks. Don't they get it that that is so unbeliveably unacceptable to the public? I swear, most EPA employes you hear in the news talk as if they don't even work in the public health field at all. It's like they are academic scientists, nothing more. I take that back, even the academics are taking more action. Sheesh.
PS Take a look at the sidebar on the lead page about the decrease in the blood lead levels in cities. Look at DC. Is that due to the lead pipe issue being mitigated? That's striking! I knew that the situation was bad but if that's the main reason for the huge decrease, it was more like a disaster.
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Thinking about whether or not we as a society will ever take meaningful action to reduce exposure to bisphenol-a, or phthalates, PBDEs, PFOA, etc. for that matter, sometimes makes me tired. Bisphenol-a use runs to the billions of pounds per year. We can't even get rid of perchloroethylene use in dry cleaning in a timely manner, and it uses only a few hundred million pounds a year, has commercially viable substitutes and regulatory programs in place that are committed to phasing it out.
Washington DC lead --
complicated. I just grabbed one reference off the first page Google found, because I happened to recall the news was out there. You can do better.
The cohort of children born in those five years between 2001 and 2006 who lived in DC and drank tap water will be fascinating to study as they grow up.
Look at this one. The water agency switched from chlorine to chloramine, the pH of the water changed, a lot of lead compounds washed out of the pipes:
"... A recent article in Scientific American.com reports that corrosion scientists warned about potential conflicts between these two rules, to no avail. One of a group of scientists, who wish to remain anonymous, is quoted as saying, "We were concerned that drastic changes in water treatment could disturb scales and mobilize metals."ii
According to EPA chemist Michael Schock, chlorination makes water highly oxidizing, causing lead to settle out on the inside walls of pipes as lead oxide scale (PbO2). Chloramination, on the other hand, reduces the oxidizing potential of water, dissolving lead oxide scale, and releasing lead into water...."
every government should take action against these toxic pollutants. the problem is that there are large corporations benifiting from this toxic chemicals.
The real problem here is the bureaucracy associated with all government agencies b/c they are too big and too unwieldy. Overhaul the gov and probs like this will go away.
The "bureaucracy associated with all government agencies" is not so associated by chance. It is built in to the natural operation and incentives of government. Overhaul the government and problems with this will go away for a little while, but will always return. Plus, of course, the task of "overhauling the government" is a bit easier said than done, especially since so much of the government in question consists of these bureaucracies, who are mainly concerned with avoiding such overhauls and devote a great deal of energy to ensuring that this doesn't happen.
So the best first option is to try to have as little as possible done by the government in the first place, and only task the government with those few tasks (pretty nicely outlined in the Constitution) that it is necessary to entrust to the government. Do everything else privately to the maximum extent possible. And then be sure to watch the few governmental processes *very carefully* and keep them in check.
Approximately 500 residents of SouthCentral PA are fighting a legal battle to stop the introduction of chloramine into our drinking water system. We are in litigation with DEP and PA American Water. If anyone reading this can offer studies other than those from Plewa, Richardson, Bull and Reckhow, please send me the cites or e-mail me the copies. If anyone of you knows of a toxicologist or oncologist who is willing to testify about this stuff, that would be a huge help. We have been successful in delaying the startup which was supposed to occur in August of 07, but we need to convince the Environmental Hearing Board to pull the operating permit to stop PAWC's plan to use chloramine. Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated.
Update on bisphenol A.
The scientific community has not reached consensus on the potential health effects of BPA to humans, but they are getting closer.
This week, an independent panel of scientists, the BSC reviewed the National Toxicology Program's Draft Brief on BPA. The NTP's highest levels of concern in the Draft did not reach "concern" or "serious concern" for any effect. Furthermore, the BSC peer review of this Draft recommended lowering the levels of concern about the effects of BPA on puberty in females and effects on the mammary gland from "some concern" to "minimal concern".
This means that all but two effects are rated as of "negligible" or "minimal" concern and two (neural and behavioral and prostate) are of "some concern". These levels of concern differ from those recommended by the NTP CERHR BPA Expert Panel in only 1 area (the prostate). http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/files/BSCactionsBPA_508.pdf
We have been successful in delaying the startup which was supposed to occur in August of 07, but we need to convince the Environmental Hearing Board to pull the operating permit to stop PAWC's plan to use chloramine. Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated.