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Chemical Poisoning information on chemicals and solvents

#21 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 23 September 2003 - 04:07 PM

Shadows of DDT will haunt environment minister

Thursday, 11 September 2003, 1:55 pm
Press Release: Green Party

11 September, 2003
Shadows of DDT will haunt environment minister

Nelson Green MP Mike Ward said environment minister Marion Hobbs was displaying "twisted logic" by allocating money to cleaning up contaminated sites when, at the same time, charging ahead with the lifting of the GE Moratorium.

"While the Greens welcome the Government's efforts and funding to clean up contaminated sites in New Zealand, it seems ironic that it charges ahead into another potential ecological disaster," said Mr Ward, the Green spokesperson for Waste.

"The Minister for the Environment would be wise to contemplate the fact that the chemicals contaminating orchards, farms, timber treatment sites and agricultural chemical sites like Mapua were all once considered to be safe according to scientific communities around the world.

"New Zealand is lucky that the chemical contamination is relatively contained and can be cleaned up, but there can be no containment once GE is released to the environment.

"There will be no possibility of a clean-up, whatever the cost, once the moratorium is lifted.

"A cynic might suggest that this announcement is timed to deflect attention from the lifting of the GE moratorium, but all New Zealanders would be wise to remember that leading GE proponent, Monsanto was the same company that vilified Rachael Carson when she alerted the world to the dangers of DDT.

"They were disastrously wrong then. They are tragically wrong now.

"Attempting to clean up one tragedy at the same time as aiding and abetting another tragedy of vastly greater proportions is an exercise in twisted logic," said Mr Ward.

"It is an important reminder that mistakes made decades ago now cost millions to fix. Once we open the door to GE we may never go back, no matter how much money any future Government wants to throw at the problem."

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 09:53 PM

Bush steps up fight against European safety testingBy Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

21 September 2003

President George Bush is mounting an intensive campaign to force European countries to drop safety tests expected to save thousands of lives each year, internal US government documents seen by The Independent on Sunday reveal. Britain, which has been generally supportive, last week denounced the measures as "disastrously wrong".

The documents - which include diplomatic cables signed by the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell - show that the Bush administration has threatened Europe with trade sanctions if it goes ahead with the tests, which are designed to protect workers and the public from highly toxic chemicals.

It has already succeeded in weakening the proposals, even though they were approved in principle two years ago by EU governments and the European Parliament. And environmentalists fear that Mr Bush - with Tony Blair's help - will now succeed in emasculating them altogether.

The tests are designed to identify the most dangerous chemicals threatening Europeans, including cancer-causing and "gender-bender" substances, so that they can be controlled. Only a tiny proportion of the 100,000 or so man-made chemicals used in the EU has ever been tested for the effects on the people who use them.

It plans to reverse the burden of proof by getting industry to provide evidence of the hazards or safety of the chemicals it sells, rather than marketing them and waiting for governments to try to pick out the most dangerous ones when they have already done harm.

The European Commission estimates that it would prevent up to 4,300 cases of cancer a year among chemical workers alone; far more lives could be expected to be saved among the public at large.

The US pressure seems to be changing British policy. Up to now Britain has taken a generally favourable approach to the directive. But last week Patricia Hewitt denounced it as "disastrously wrong".

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  Posted 23 September 2003 - 11:51 PM

Still time for residents register for dioxin study

Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 11:42 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Still time for Paritutu residents to register for dioxin study
Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor issued a reminder today for current and former residents of the New Plymouth suburb of Paritutu to come forward if they want to be included in a study to assess non-occupational exposure to dioxins.

The community's concerns relate to uncertainty over whether they were exposed to dioxin as a result of past emissions from the nearby Ivon Watkins-Dow chemical plant and whether health effects have occurred as a result of that exposure.

Serum dioxin levels of selected residents will be tested to determine whether this population has been more highly exposed than other groups in New Zealand. Those residents will be selected on the basis of a complex modelling process designed to determine where those most likely to have been exposed would have resided at that time.

Mr O'Connor said it was important that all residents who lived in Paritutu between 1960 and 1987, who were willing to be part of this study, came forward to ensure the validity of the work.

"We want this process to be as robust as possible and it is important that all the people who may have been affected are considered for inclusion in this study.

"We had a very positive response to our first request in April, with a large number of people ringing to be included. But we want to give those people who had forgotten or had been putting it off, a last chance to register to take part," Mr O'Connor said.

For those people who want to take part, and who have not already provided their details, can ring toll-free 0508 ESR ESR (0508 377 377).

#24 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 24 September 2003 - 12:11 PM

Hazardous chemicals convention ratified

Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 11:38 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hazardous chemicals convention ratified

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has welcomed the news that New Zealand has ratified a key convention governing international trade in hazardous chemicals.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff, deposited the instrument of ratification in New York overnight.

In a joint statement with Associate Commerce Minister John Tamihere, Marian Hobbs stressed the importance of New Zealand’s ratification of the Rotterdam Convention.

"New Zealand is among the first 50 countries to ratify the Convention in New York and this underscores this government's commitment to ensuring that hazardous chemicals are managed appropriately throughout their life cycle," Marian Hobbs said.

The Rotterdam Convention is an information exchange programme for international trade in hazardous chemicals. The government recently amended the Import Control Act 1988 to enable New Zealand to ratify this Convention.

John Tamihere said the change to the Import Control Act was significant as it brought under one piece of law the export controls needed to meet international obligations relating to chemicals, products, organisms, wastes or other substances that pose a risk to human health or to the environment.

"The Rotterdam Convention requires exporters trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importers before proceeding with the trade. It gives importing countries the tools and information they need to identify potential hazards and block the import of chemicals they cannot manage safely," Mr Tamihere said.

Marian Hobbs noted that although its ‘prior informed consent’ procedures have been implemented on a voluntary basis since the 1980s, the Rotterdam Convention will not enter into force until 50 ratifications have been deposited.

The Convention is supported worldwide by the chemical industry and non-governmental organisations concerned with the safe use of chemicals.

#25 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 01:06 PM

Gulf War vets risk incurable nerve disease, studies find

23 September 2003

WASHINGTON: Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War may have an unusually high risk of a deadly and incurable nerve disease called ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to two US studies published yesterday.

While ALS is far from common among the veterans, it has appeared more than expected and at younger-than-usual ages, the separate studies found.

One of the studies was done by Dr Robert Haley, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre at Dallas - who has found much if not most of the published medical evidence supporting the idea of Gulf War Syndrome.

A second study by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institutes of Health reaches similar conclusions Both were published in the journal Neurology.

The VA released its preliminary findings in December 2001 and urged its benefits administration to consider paying benefits to Gulf War veterans with ALS.

Haley said the finding was significant because it was "only the third real cluster of ALS cases that's ever been documented."

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS or motor neuron disease, attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, swallowing and breathing, and eventually total paralysis.

It affects about 30,000 Americans, and is named after baseball player Lou Gehrig, who died of ALS.

About 5 per cent of cases are inherited but most are unexplained. But because ALS occurs at about the same rate globally, experts believe there must be a genetic weakness that underlies the disease.

Haley identified 17 Gulf War veterans under 45 who were diagnosed with ALS between 1991 and 1998, 11 of whom have died. None had a family history of ALS or similar diseases.

Haley calculated the expected rate of ALS among this age group and found 1.38 cases of ALS per year would be expected in the Gulf War veteran population in 1998. He found five cases that year.

The VA study found that troops deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and the Red Sea area had almost twice the risk of ALS as troops who stayed home.

They verified 107 cases of ALS. Of these 40 were from the 696,000 deployed troops and 67 from the nearly 1.8 million not sent overseas.

"This study addressed the question, 'Is there a problem with excessive occurrence of ALS among Gulf War veterans?"' said Ronnie Horner of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, who led the second study. "We found the answer to be yes."

Haley noted the studies involved very small numbers of people and did not mean that most or even many Gulf War veterans need to be worried.

"The best thinking in the ALS research world is that ALS only occurs in people with a rare genetic susceptibility," Haley said in a telephone interview.

"If you have that genetic makeup and you are exposed to many years of environmental toxins of one kind or another - and no one knows what they are - then you get the ALS. That is why usually only older people get it."

Haley said Sarin gas "appears to be central cause in Gulf War Syndrome," affecting about one of seven Gulf War veterans.

This may shed light on why ALS occurs.

"One of the prime suspects in civilian ALS is organophosphate pesticides. Guess what Sarin is? It is an organophosphate pesticide for humans," he said.

Earlier this year the Institute of Medicine reported that not enough studies have been done to link pesticides or any other chemicals to Gulf War Syndrome, a poorly defined group of illnesses seen in many veterans of the 1991 conflict.,00.html

#26 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 02:00 AM

Milk, ice cream, have pesticides:Study

Friday, 08 August , 2003, 16:36

It's not just soft drinks which are loaded with high levels of poisonous chemicals.

Years of indiscriminate use of pesticides in agriculture has contaminated almost everything, from milk and cheese to ice creams, sweets, and chicken, a scientist has said.

"However, the carbonated soft drinks are doubly dangerous. Besides being high in pesticides, they have very poor nutritional value and burden the digestive system," Prof S A Abbasi, senior professor and director, Centre for Pollution Control and Energy Technology at the Pondicherry University, has said.

Decades of indiscriminate use of pesticides in agriculture, which still continues unabated, as well as laxity in controlling pollution due to automobile exhaust, power plants and chemical industry have contaminated land, water and vegetation with harmful chemicals, he said.

"If any agency chooses to study pesticide levels of milk, cheese, ice creams, sweets, mutton, chicken or vegetables, one can safely forecast that higher than permissible levels of poisonous substances would be found in most of them," he said.

A WHO study several years back had revealed that pesticide levels even in human milk in India were alarmingly high, Abbasi said.

#27 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:05 AM

Toxic story rings bell with many

By MARTIN J. KIDSTON - IR Staff Writer - 08/01/03

For one Montana City woman, the phone just rings and rings and the calls keep rolling in.

Elizabeth Pritchard-Sleath, whose story "Toxic Motivation" appeared in the IR on Sunday, has received nearly 70 calls the past few days.

She's a bit surprised by the number of people calling her, claiming they too suffer from environmental poisoning.

"It's just been unbelievable," Pritchard-Sleath said. "There's some pretty interesting stuff out there that doesn't get into the press."

Pritchard-Sleath said that in 1992, while on the job, she was poisoned in increments by an insecticide sold as Dursban and manufactured by Dow AgroSciences.

The pesticide, she claims, left her with multiple chemical sensitivity and an impaired short-term memory. She's now party to a lawsuit against the chemical company. Dow Agro has yet to respond to e-mails and phone calls regarding the case.

"I still have a fair amount of neurological problems from that exposure," Pritchard-Sleath told the IR. "My life is much different now."

Pritchard-Sleath said she has received five calls from Libby residents expressing concerns over a creosote plant in that area. At least 11 callers phoned in from the Bitterroot Valley claiming to have been poisoned by organophosphate pesticides applied to area agricultural operations.

Calls have come in from Townsend, Bozeman and Butte, she said. Dozens of callers have dialed in from the greater Helena area, including one health care worker.

"She wants to talk about facts, but not over the phone," Pritchard-Sleath said. "It's really getting to be quite the situation."

The number of calls took Pritchard-Sleath by surprise. She plans to begin logging the calls, hoping to establish a trend based on origin of callers.

"They feel this whole issue with pesticide exposure is really getting brushed under the rug," Pritchard-Sleath said. "It seems to me that there's an awful lot of contamination going on in the state that goes unchecked.

"These people have been blown off. They're sick and they're credible people," she added. "I'm empathetic to their plight."

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 447-4086, or [email protected]

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:14 AM

Toxic motivation

By MARTIN J. KIDSTON,Helena Independent Record

HELENA – Poisoned by an insecticide in 1992, recent Carroll College grad Elizabeth Pritchard-Sleath now suffers the onset of multiple chemical sensitivity.

There are times when the smell of gasoline causes Elizabeth Pritchard-Sleath to feel frantic, and when the scent of diesel fumes causes her to forget.

Sometimes, her body aches but she can’t describe the pain, and her memory isn’t what it used to be.

“My life is much different,” said Pritchard-Sleath, setting down a magazine at Carroll College to discuss the changes her body has undergone this past decade. “It’s kind of scary, actually.”

Pritchard-Sleath wasn’t always this sensitive to her environment. But while on the job in 1992, she said she was poisoned by an insecticide marketed as Dursban and manufactured by Dow AgroSciences.

“I still have a fair amount of neurological problems from that exposure,” she said.

The onset of multiple chemical sensitivity has changed her life in more ways than one. While it triggered reactions to simple colognes and common fumes, it also sparked an interest in neuropsychology.

Whether it’s a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a leafy green salad topped with chopped red peppers and tomatoes, an orange sauce over a succulent duck breast, or a juicy golden apple ... farmers and growers in Europe depend on chlorpyrifos products to protect their major export crops.

— Dow AgroSciences

Recently graduated from Carroll College, Pritchard-Sleath will leave for Wales this September to pursue her master’s and Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology. While the program will enable her to counsel others suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity, it will also let her research the effects of neurotoxins on the inner brain.

“It seems to be an area of the brain we don’t know nearly enough about,” she said. “It’s a frontier area of the human anatomy.”

The work being conducted in Europe, she said, doesn’t get funded by the drug companies, “so they’re taking a more homeopathic approach.”

Aside from her academic pursuits, endless reading on the subject of multiple chemical sensitivity has turned Pritchard-Sleath into something of an expert on the dangers of organophosphates.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Dursban, which contains chlorpyrifos (a compound in organophosphates), was one of the most widely used insecticides in the United States in the 1990s. The product was used for indoor flea control, indoor foggers, paint additives, and direct pet care applications, such as shampoos, dips and sprays.

But the EPA found that most Dursban poisoning cases involved routine exposures in which the product was used as directed, like that involving Pritchard-Sleath. The most common symptoms of poisoning included chronic headaches, nausea, vomiting, problems breathing, muscular pains, and the onset of multiple chemical sensitivity.

As a result of her own poisoning, Pritchard-Sleath became party to a lawsuit filed against Dow Agro. The case has not been settled and the company didn’t respond to questions.

But literature provided by Dow Agro says that chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in Dursban, is an organophosphate insecticide. The product works by inhibiting certain enzymes that result in the accumulation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, at nerve endings. This prompts nerve impulses to over-fire causing mortality in the target pest.

“The pesticide is toxic to birds and wildlife and extremely toxic to fish and aquatic organisms,” the Dursban label reads.

Still, Dow Agro calls chlorpyrifos “a great success story in pest control today.” The company also says its product is safe to humans when used as directed.

According to Dow Agro, more than 3,600 studies have been conducted on products containing chlorpyrifos and their impact on human health and safety. What’s more, the company said that more than $100 million has been spent examining the impact of chlorpyrifos on the environment.

“In terms of human health and safety, no pest control product has been more thoroughly studied,” Dow Agro says.

But Pritchard-Sleath isn’t convinced. She suffers chronically from what she describes as an “aching pain, as if you have the flu.” Coupled with fatigue and memory loss, it isn’t far, she said, from what many military veterans have described as the so-called Gulf War Syndrome.

Pritchard-Sleath said such similarities only make sense, as organophosphates were created in World War I and deployed as a nerve gas in following conflicts. Some experts have even suggested a correlation between the possible combat application of organophosphates in Iraq and the Gulf War Syndrome.

“It turns out that Gulf War veterans were exposed to organophosphate pesticides,” said Pritchard-Sleath. “The people who are the most gravely ill of the veteran groups have problems with memory. Their short term memory is very poor.”


Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 447-4086, or by e-mail at [email protected]

Sunday, July 27, 2003

#29 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:19 AM

Weighing local risks of chemicals

By Lee Shearer
[email protected]

A couple of years ago, perchlorate was found in a well that once supplied water to Oconee County residents.

Trichloroethylene is emitted at a rate of 100,000 pounds a year by an Athens factory near a middle school.

And cars and trucks in Athens-Clarke County annually emit hundreds of thousands of tons of exhaust laden with benzene and other cancer-causing chemicals.

But is anyone really at risk from exposure to the chemicals?

Armed with $4.1 million in federal grant money, two University of Georgia scientists hope to develop a new model for chemical ''risk assessment,'' which would help answer questions like that.

Scientists know that many chemicals pose risks. But figuring out the extent of those risks can be tricky.

How, for instance, can their effects on children, who are developing rapidly, be accurately assessed? Or, how can the effects of combinations of chemicals be assessed?

Steve Fisher, head of UGA's Department of Environmental Health Science, and James Bruckner, a toxicologist with UGA's Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, recently got grants to use a new technique called ''pharmacokinetic modeling'' to measure the risks of several chemicals.

It's unethical to experiment on humans with potentially harmful chemicals, so for the most part scientists have had to base risk assessments on experiments with mice and other animals, or human medical records when workers are exposed to high levels of chemicals at work.

But for many reasons, the results of either type of analysis may not give an accurate comparison as scientists try to estimate the health consequences when humans and children are exposed to lower levels of a chemical.

According to Fisher and Bruckner, those reasons include the facts that:
People are usually exposed to multiple chemicals, not just one. That can greatly increase or even decrease risk, depending on the chemicals.

The effects of a chemical on the rapidly developing body of a fetus or newborn can be much different than the effects on an adult - often greater but sometimes smaller, depending on the chemicals.

Biologically, rats are simply not people, and studies that try to use the effect of a chemical on two pounds of rat to estimate how it will affect 150 pounds of adult human - or 20 pounds of child - can be off by a lot, sometimes overestimating, sometimes underestimating risks.

There isn't always a one-to-one relationship between ''external dose'' - how much of a chemical is taken into the body - and ''internal dose'' - how much winds up at a part of the body where it can do harm, Fisher said.

The UGA scientists will use lab studies for their new research. But by adding newly developed computer mathematical models that will take into account drug interactions, the metabolic rate of children and other factors, they hope to come up with a better way to calculate chemical risks.

''What we're doing is a much more refined method,'' Fisher said.

One grant will allow them to model the effects of a commonly used kind of pesticide called pyrethroids on the human body from birth through puberty.

In another project, they will look at how two other contaminants, PCBs and perchlorate, interact on the thyroid gland. Both chemicals are ''endocrine disruptors'' and can interfere with chemicals that regulate growth and development.

''We're trying to put these together in a mathematical model to be able to predict at any point in time what the interactions would be,'' Fisher said.

In other projects, they will examine the combined effect of two common groundwater pollutants, the solvents trichloroethylene and methylene chloride, and the health effects of low-level exposure to a jet fuel called JP-8 - a soup of hundreds of compounds.

Fisher and Bruckner will first study chemical effects on rats through all stages of development, then factor in the known biological differences between humans and the lab animals. Then they'll test the model's predictions with more lab work.
The models they develop could also be used to assess the effects of many other chemicals similar to the ones in the UGA experiments, Fisher said.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Monday, July 28, 2003.

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:22 AM

3290 people report health concerns over spraying operation


Almost 3300 people so far have reported health problems associated with the controversial painted apple moth eradication operation in West Auckland.

In a statement released today, the director of public health, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said the Ministry of Health had received the first summary of health concerns of people affected by the spraying programme being conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).

Of the 3290 who have reported health concerns, 1148 have been assessed by a doctor in conjunction with the Painted Apple Moth support service.

During this time, 619 people have been provided with practical support plans to assist in limiting their exposure to the spray.

Most of the concerns relate to asthma, irritation from the spray of the eyes, nose, throat, headaches, and aggravating of pre-existing conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivity, food allergy, skin conditions, respiratory tract, immune suppression and situational stress.

These figures are based on the number of people who have been drawn to the attention of the Medical Officer of Health as suspected of meeting the criteria for notification of disease "arising out of chemical poisoning of the environment".

The Ministry of Health will continue to receive monthly reports on the effects of the spraying from MAF .

The ministry has also commissioned an independent community consultation process to discuss and gauge health concerns relating to the painted apple moth spraying programme.

The eradication of the moth began in 1999 after the discovery in the Auckland suburb of Glendene and later Mount Wellington. Eradication efforts have included ground surveys, insect trapping, aerial and ground spraying with insecticide, removal of infected and possible host plants.

This work was originally conducted in a 900 hectare area of suburban Auckland encompassing some 4410 households and was extended in October 2002 to include about 160,000 residents.

#31 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:48 AM

NZDF Herbicide Investigation Documents released

Wednesday, 9 July 2003, 10:43 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

NZDF Herbicide Investigation Documents released
As part of the ongoing investigation into the use of herbicides in South Vietnam, Minister of Defence Mark Burton today forwarded previously unreleased documents to several MPs, including chair of the Health Select Committee Steve Chadwick.

The documents detail a 1967 incident in which it appears New Zealand troops were directly exposed to aerial spraying. They also make reference to the use of herbicides by New Zealand personnel in routine perimeter clearance.

The recollections of some veterans suggest that there may have been other incidents of direct spraying. Because they were not considered significant at the time, these incidents were never reported.

The New Zealand Defence Force will continue to search its archives thoroughly for documentation of any direct exposure, and any further evidence will be made available on an ongoing basis.

#32 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:54 AM

Gardeners warned of risks on poison land
10 July 2003

Hamilton residents on contaminated land are taking a risk if they eat vegetables from their gardens.

They were given the news at a meeting last night.

The meeting was called by Hamilton City Council to brief residents of Bailey Rd, Orchard Ave and Tramway Rd, after latest results of DDT and arsenic soil testing were released last week.

HCC manager environmental services Graeme Fleming said samples taken from the private properties had shown the levels of contaminants were above Health Ministry guidelines.

"Basically the levels suggest there is a possibility of long-term health effects," he said.

The council would continue talks with owners of properties which had vegetable gardens.

Remediation work –- involving expensive treatment or excavation of the soil at affected sites –- is being considered as an option, Mr Fleming said.

"We got an indication from people over the interest in that. Some were interested, some weren't."

It was up to individuals to make their own decisions on whether they continued to eat produce from their own gardens, said Mr Fleming.

Journalists from television, radio and The Waikato Times were locked out of last night's meeting.

The meeting attracted more than 30 residents.

At the start of the meeting HCC environmental manager Graeme Fleming invited people from outside the area to make themselves known.

He said the meeting was a private one and asked the residents whether they were comfortable with the media's presence.

A small group of residents wasuncomfortable with the public interest and immediately spoke out.

"I think they thought it was the one thing they could control," said a spokeswoman for HCC.

The Waikato Times asked some residents this morning for comment on what was discussed last night, but they declined to speak, instead referring inquiries to Mr Fleming.

Mr Fleming said unease with the media was due to a number of factors.

"They probably think it's a relatively minor issue, that the whole thing is blown up a bit."

Concern over property prices was another likely cause, he said.

"Everybody will be worried about that, but I don't think there will be any adverse effect after it all cools down a bit."

The meeting had gone well, said Mr Fleming.

More test results from other former orchard land in Hamilton should be available by the end of this week.,00.html

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Posted 31 October 2003 - 10:54 AM

EU launches chemicals crackdown

Posted Image

Chemicals found in many household items will be more tightly regulated, if plans put forward by the European Commission become law.
Under the draft proposals, which were published on Wednesday, companies will have to disclose basic data on all the chemicals they produce.

Around 30,000 chemicals will undergo tests to prove their safety if the proposals are enforced in 2005.

But some campaigners say the regulations do not go far enough.

Harmful substances

The new legislation, known as Reach (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), has been hailed the most important regulation in 20 years.

It will totally change the way chemicals are controlled.

For the first time chemical companies will have to subject each substance to official screening before it can be licensed for use.

At the moment only 10% of chemicals on the market have undergone such stringent tests, and there is concern that ordinary houshold products may contain harmful substances.

According to Labour Euro-MP David Bowe, everyday objects such as computers, fabrics, cleaning products and food containers may "contain cocktails of chemicals, the effects of which are largely unknown."

He added: "The cutting edge of laboratory tests of forty years ago now seem hopelessly out of date."

The Reach process will identify potentially harmful chemicals - like those which cause cancer or damage genetic material - and classify them as "substances of very high concern".

One of the goals of Reach is to ensure such chemicals are phased out and replaced with safer alternatives.

Glaring loophole

Some pressure groups feel the legislation is an important move but the regulations are not nearly tight enough.

After a substance of very high concern has been identified it will not automatically be banned.

Instead the company producing it will have to demonstrate "adequate control" over its circulation.

According to Greenpeace that represents a glaring loophole.

Greenpeace's toxics campaigner, Oliver Knowles, said: "Our concern is that it will be business as usual and companies will just carry on producing dangerous chemicals.

"This is because the proposals do not define what they mean by 'adequate' controls."

Greenpeace says intense pressure from industry has taken its toll and Wednesday's draft could be weaker as a result.

Mr Knowles said: "We are disappointed at the way Reach looks at the moment but we will keep on campaigning."

One measure pressure groups want to see in place is "mandatory substitution", which would mean companies had a legal obligation to replace dangerous chemicals with safe ones.

But manufacturers say these measures could lop whole percentage points off countries economic output and make millions jobless as companies quit the EU for more business friendly climes.

Animal welfare

The RSPCA fears Reach would cause animal testing to skyrocket.

RSPCA senior scientific officer, Barry Phillips, said: "We are concerned that not enough has been done to avoid the suffering of millions of animals.

"We are extremely disappointed that the proposals simply prescribe the continued use of traditional methods of assessing safety.

"Although the proposals encourage the use of sources other than animal tests, they also include specific requirements for animal tests.

"A more thoughtful approach is required, avoiding animal tests that may not be useful. Animals must not suffer and die just so a form can be filled in."


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  Posted 08 November 2003 - 01:42 AM

What the Chemical Industry Fears

(Published October 30, 2003)
by Monique Harden and Nathalie Walker*

During mid-October, we attended a conference in Miami sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), called "Communicating in a Volatile World." ACC is the trade association for the 180 largest manufacturers of chemicals in the U.S. Until recently, ACC was known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association. (See .)

The ACC conference was a real eye-opener. It revealed the ACC's genuine fears about the accomplishments of environmental health activists. In particular, ACC communications staff and presenters at the conference conceded that the work of coalitions like the Collaborative on Health and the Environment ( ) and Health Care Without Harm ( ) has effectively raised public awareness about the health dangers of toxic chemicals in the environment and in consumer products.

They also concluded that the success of these coalitions is due to their diversity of members and supporters who include community groups, environmental justice organizations, health professionals, and researchers who focus on body burden and low-dose chemical exposures, shareholder/investment institutions, and consumers.

Here are the salient details of the various presentations at the conference:

I. Communications Strategy - Winning the "Media War"

** Find a "credible and comforting" person to drive the message of the chemical industry in times of disaster or in response to environmental/health issues. This person may not be your company CEO, it may be the fire chief, or the mayor.

** In chemical disasters and facility emergency drills, focus the message on the response and coordination among the chemical company, fire department, police department, hospitals, Red Cross, etc. Do not refer to the chemicals or facility/transportation failures that caused the disaster.

** Conduct intensive media training with company staff - both corporate and local facility personnel. Videotape them in mock television interviews, in which they are grilled by a reporter asking them "sticky" questions. Replay the videotape and critique their performance, and repeat as often as necessary. Through this exercise, determine those who are most effective, and use them to represent the company before the media.

** Invite local officials, fire departments, and other emergency responders to media training events that are organized by your people. The benefits are that you develop camaraderie and trust with local officials, and they have the same messages as your company to present to the public in the event of a crisis.

** Turn media strengths into your strengths. The media wants a quick response, so give them one: "the incident is under investigation." This means nothing, but satisfies the "media monster." Another effective statement to use: "We don't know all the facts, but here's what we're doing to respond...." This is also very reassuring, without giving away too much information or showing liability.

** Keep track of a timeline of actions - no action is too small to be left out - that you can feed to the media to keep them satisfied.

** Get your "credible and comforting icons/faces" in front of the media instantly saying, "We are taking action and are prepared to do the following." Make sure you have invested the necessary time in coaching the icons; videotape mock news reporter interviews/press conferences, and give critiques for improvement.

** Don't forget that media outreach is not enough, especially if it's hostile to you. Go door-to-door to get your message out. Create and distribute your newsletters with at-a-glance graphics that positively show your response.

** Don't respond publicly in a defensive mode because it angers people, and shows you to be cold and unfeeling. Even if you have the potential to be sued over the disaster, you must remember the court of public opinion, and act in a way that gives comfort; example: set up a family assistance fund; pay for people to stay at a local hotel if they have to evacuate from their homes.

** Remember that the first person in the media who makes the decision about who is to blame can decide your fate because it is extremely difficult to get them to change their minds, and even if they do, it is likely to occur when the public has lost interest in the news story. Thus, you want to be the first to proactively go to the media with statements that focus on your response, not the cause.

** You can't have government officials doing press conferences without you; you have to drive/craft the message. Partnership-building long before a crisis takes place is critical to ensuring your primary role in handling a disaster.

** Take steps to be prepared in advance of bad news:

(1) Wake up every morning telling yourself that a disaster can occur today. And ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with it. (2) Keep in mind how the internet can be used by people who are adversarial. Information circulated on the internet gets into less reputable media, and then bleeds into mainstream media. It's a good idea to develop "dark sites" - websites that are not activated until a disaster/crisis/issue occurs - with sufficient company information that is already in the public domain, generic information about response plans, pages for updates and press releases, contacts for more information, and blank areas to fill in with information specific to the crisis. For example, two hours after an employee at a Lockheed Martin facility in Mississippi shot co-workers, the company had activated a website informing the public about the shooting, and announcing a memorial fund.

(3) Prepare a checklist of all actions that need to take place; the American Chemistry Council will have a media/crisis checklist available on its website by mid-November; carry all important phone numbers with you at all times, from facility managers to I.T. [information technology] persons.

(4) Select a space that will be available to you anytime you need to hold press conferences to discuss a crisis; make sure that the space is comfortable to the media with lots of phones, computer connections, food, and doesn't block cellular connections.

(5) Recruit a team of people who are "go to" people in time of crisis; make sure they can reach each other at any time, not just in the office.

(6) Remember that the quickest one wins. Your goal should be to have your statement to the media before anyone else does. If you don't, or you wait to start putting together a statement with clearance from company attorneys, etc., you will lose. Be prepared to be the first to contact the media in the event of a crisis, even if you don't have all the information.

(7) Make sure that company lawyers don't create barriers to public statements. Even if the statements only provide basic information about your company and simply state that you are coordinating an emergency response with officials, recognize that such statements go a long way to comfort the public and let them know that you care and are prepared for the crisis. Don't speculate on the crisis, especially its cause. Instead, focus your statements on the company's employment numbers, positive economic impacts, and plans to coordinate with local officials to deal with the problem.

(8) Endurance is important. There really is no such thing as a media deadline anymore because of 24-hour news cycles. So keep the media continuously updated even if it is to repeat your message.

(9) Know your plant managers and have a positive relationship with them. Remember that some of them are "good ol' boys" and need intensive media training to be viewed positively by the public.

II. What the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Fears

** Some time in November, 2003 news coverage by 60 Minutes, CNN, the New York Times, and a reporter in Pennsylvania named Prine (who easily broke through security systems at a local chemical facility on more than one occasion) will characterize chemical facilities as unsafe and a danger to the public.

** The American Chemistry Council's (ACC's) lack of preparation to respond effectively to this upcoming news coverage, which ACC's communication staffers blame on disagreements among ACC members regarding financial support for a PR campaign. Also, the resources and tools for members and non-members to respond to this upcoming negative news will not be ready on the ACC website until mid-November.

** Information drawing the connection between toxic chemicals and human health; in particular, emerging reports on body burden and low-dose chemical exposure and chemical trespass lawsuits.

This topic is such a hot issue for the ACC that they canceled a presentation at the conference because they didn't want us to hear the information. This presentation focused on what environmental groups and their funders are up to in promoting body burden testing and chemical phase-outs, as well as negative public reaction to toxic exposures and what the ACC can do about it. However, the power point presentation for this topic was part of the hand-outs everyone was given, and it reveals a lot.

** The use of the internet by many diverse activists to spread awareness about the health impacts of chemicals in products. A case study involving the issue of chemicals leaching out into food when plastic containers are microwaved was the focus of one presentation titled, "Integrated Issues Management on the Web."

** The use of "value-based" messaging by activists. Example: "A chemical-free world for the future of our children."

** The hydra-headed impact of activists organized into networks or coalitions in which members target several aspects of one issue with the support of the full network. For example, community activism around local chemical facilities, health studies that focus on mothers and children, shareholder activism, and outreach to major customers of chemical products.

** The Precautionary Principle

** The likelihood that members of the ACC will not support the multi-million dollar PR campaign called "essential2."

** The impact of a disaster, like Bhopal, occurring at a chemical facility that is not prepared to handle the bad PR, and will be used to bring down the entire industry.

** Targeting industrial chemical processes and storage as part of chemical plant safety investigations, policies, and media scrutiny.

** Resistance by chemical companies to engage in thorough media training and preparation because they fear news reporters, and routinely listen to their lawyers, who typically advise them to shut down communication so as not to incur liability.

III. Allies or Potential Allies Who Can Help the ACC Craft Credible & Comforting Messages for the Public

** "For Hire" media/public relations experts on damage control

The individuals listed below participated in a "Blue Ribbon Panel on Crisis" at the conference. They have extensive experience in damage control PR involving 9-11, plane crashes, the Duke University blood transfusion disaster that killed a young girl, communities devastated by natural disasters, and disasters involving chemical plants or the transport of chemicals. They also have either held (or are still holding) key positions in federal government, or have worked in print or broadcast media.

James Lee Witt, former Director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration ("FEMA"), who now runs his own consulting firm.

Peter Goelz, former Managing Director of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, who is now Senior Vice President and Director of worldwide crisis communication at APCO Worldwide.

Chet Lunner, Assistant Administrator in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Maritime and Land Security, Transportation Security Administration. Chet's work focuses on chemical disasters occurring on cargo ships, trains, and trucks.

Richard Mintz, former Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, who now directs crisis communications and issue management capabilities for the firm Burston-Marsteller; also previously worked for CBS News and Hillary Clinton.

Kent Jarrell, Senior Vice Pres. for litigation communication and crisis management at APCO Worldwide. We overheard him say in a side conversation that he told the Chlorine Institute that "dark days are ahead." Kent is working with the Chlorine Institute. He has intervened in emergency drills involving chlorine compounds. He described a drill that took place in Los Angeles based on a disaster scenario of chlorine gas escaping from a canister located inside a shopping mall. The companies he represents found out about the drill after it was planned, and got involved in the implementation to share their "expertise," which involved media work to congratulate the local emergency responders for their capabilities to protect the public. The media work was geared to take the focus off the fact that the drill involved the dangerous effects of chlorine gas. He noted that news coverage did not even mention the word "chlorine." Kent said that he is involved in a similar drill involving a Georgia Gulf vinyl chloride plant in Louisiana.

Morrie Goodman, ACC Vice-President for Communications, who formerly headed media relations for the Federal Emergency Management Administration ("FEMA") during Witt's appointment, organized this conference, and hoped to get the consultation and partnership of these experts for ACC. Also, Morrie congratulated himself for his work in coaching ACC President Greg Lebedev for the 60 Minutes interview. Greg did not attend this meeting. Immediately following the ACC conference, Morrie was terminated.

Jerry Hauer, Asst. Secretary at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of Public Health and Emergency Preparedness. Jerry was invited to speak on the "Blue Ribbon Panel on Crisis," but did not show up.

** Federal agencies and officials, especially those involved in Homeland Security

"Based on our relationship with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we were able to share with them our research showing the safety of microwaveable plastics and get them to publish a favorable statement.... Since the FDA has a liaison department in a university in every state, those departments are also publishing newsletter articles and fact sheets that spread our message." -- Kathleen McBride, ACC, "Integrated Issues Management on the Web" panel presentation.

Also, as referenced above, Chet Lunner from the Department of Homeland Security presented information on what chemical companies can expect from his office: new regulations covering all modes of transportation of chemical substances; determination of transportation links in the nation that have the greatest vulnerability; and federal aid given to address areas of vulnerability.

** Universities and academic institutions

It was recommended repeatedly throughout the conference that risk communicators should be identifying third parties from universities and academic institutes who can be recruited into delivering to the public a positive message for the chemical industry. Conducting joint research projects with universities was also encouraged.

** Local officials and emergency responders

Research prepared for the ACC shows that the public has a negative view of the chemical industry largely because of facility leaks, fires, and explosions. The researcher noted that such events can be covered for weeks in the news. Risk communicators were advised to "buddy up" and "partner" with local officials in setting up community programs that involve emergency response, chemical safety, and the media. Most all panelists encouraged risk communicators to do media trainings with local officials, police, and fire departments, public health officials, and any other emergency responder to ensure that their message will be the same as the chemical company's PR. Another oft-repeated recommendation was for chemical company PR people to meet regularly with local officials to build a relationship so that the officials can take on "faith" that chemical plants are secure.


* Monique Harden and Nathalie Walker, two attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana, are the co-directors of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, a public interest law firm that provides a full range of legal advocacy services to support communities in achieving their fundamental human right to a clean and healthy environment. They have represented communities in the South to achieve important environmental justice victories, and have impacted national environmental policies. Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, 1050 South Jefferson Davis Parkway, Suite 333, New Orleans, LA 70124; phone: 504-304-2275; fax: 504-304-2276. E-mail: [email protected] and [email protected]


#35 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 10 November 2003 - 08:02 PM

Subject: [Fwd: FW: [Fwd: FW: Reusing Water Bottles]]

The word is spreading

> Hi everyone,
> Reusing Water Bottles - Is A NO NO
> "Many are unaware of poisoning caused by re-using plastic bottles. Some of
you may be in the habit of using and re-using your disposable mineral water
bottles (eg. Evian, Aqua, Ice Mountain, Vita, etc), keeping them in your car
or at work. Not a good idea. In a nutshell, the plastic (called
polyethylene terephthalate or PET) used in these bottles contains a
potentially carcinogenic element (something called diethylhydroxylamine or DEHA). The bottles are safe for one-time use only; if you must keep them longer, it should be or no more than a few days, a week max, and keep them away from heat as well. Repeated washing and rinsing can because the plastic to break down and the carcinogens (cancer-causing chemical agents)

can leach into the water that YOU are drinking. Better to invest in water
bottles that are really meant for multiple uses. This is not something we
should be scrimping on. Those of you with family - to please advise them, especially children."

> Regards
> Graham Bauer
> Workplace Health and Safety Officer
> Department of Natural Resources and Mines
> Level 4 Mineral House
> 41 George St
> GPO Box 2454
> Brisbane Q 4001
> Phone: (07) 32247829
> Fax: 32248607
> Email: [email protected]

#36 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

  • Group: Guests

  Posted 11 November 2003 - 07:05 PM

Tests find toxins in body of E.U. environment chief

Friday, November 07, 2003
By David Milliken, Reuters

BRUSSELS, Belgium The European Union's environment chief said Thursday her body contained 28 potentially toxic chemicals as she gave a practical demonstration of the case for new safety rules that are opposed by the industry. :huh:

A blood test on European Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom for human-made compounds commonly found in televisions, carpets, furniture, and food highlighted the presence of DDT, a pesticide the E.U. banned from farms in 1983 after it was found to harm wildlife and attack the nervous system. :o

"In just a couple of generations we have accumulated thousands of chemicals that were not there in our grandfathers' and grandmothers' bodies," Wallstrom told a news conference.

She helped launch the proposed new chemicals safety law last week, which would mean that tens of thousands of chemicals developed before 1981, and exempt from checks under existing E.U. safety rules, would be reevaluated for safety.

Industry has said the proposed rules will cost jobs and has criticized a concentration by environmentalists on what it says are minute traces of chemicals in the body. It also points out many chemicals have been very useful.

Chemicals such as DDT do not break down easily and build up in the fat of humans and other animals. Significant quantities are transferred to babies while they are in the womb or breast feeding. :angry:

Toxicopathologist Vyvyan Howard, who presented Wallstrom's test results, said levels of chemicals in her blood were average but would have been two to three times higher before Wallstrom gave birth to her two sons.

"If you breast feed a child for six months, it will get 17 percent of its lifetime dose of chemicals," Howard said.

Chemicals that mimic the body's hormones could be especially damaging at small doses, he added.

"There are many bad players that work at low dosages and affect development. There is a complete change in the way toxicologists are thinking about dose."

Howard said it was near impossible to determine the effects of particular combinations of chemicals on humans because of the sheer number of human-made compounds in the environment.

But Wallstrom said early action in withdrawing potentially unsafe chemicals was essential.
:huh: :o

#37 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 14 November 2003 - 10:15 PM

Another injured by solvents and kicked in the teeth.

Attached File(s)


#38 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 15 November 2003 - 08:56 AM

Teen died after inhaling aerosol
15 November 2003

A 16-year-old girl who died after inhaling the contents of a can of air freshener was "playing with odds you don't want to play with", a drug expert says.

The Maori girl, whose name has yet to be released, was among a group of young people drinking alcohol and experimenting with aerosol substances at a party in a Lambeth Crescent house, in the Christchurch suburb of Casebrook, on Thursday night, police said.

The girl's death comes after a week in which police fielded several calls relating to substance inhalation. It was suspected end of school year pressures were prompting students to experiment.

Christchurch Coroner Richard McElrea said yesterday that provisional findings showed the girl's death was due to asphyxiation from inhaling aerosol propellants or solvent compounds. "This case highlights the danger of inhalant abuse, which can lead to rapid death. Coroners in New Zealand have considered several such cases in recent years," Mr McElrea said.

Graeme Bisseker, national director for Christchurch-based support group Drug Arm, said the girl was one of an unlucky few who could fall victim to "huffing" inhalants or solvents.

"There seems to be a small percentage of people who have a propensity for being vulnerable to it. If you have five people huffing, one might die and the other four might have a 30-second high and walk on," Mr Bisseker said. Huffing in combination with abuse of other drugs also increased the risk.

While most solvent and inhalant abuse was by people roaming the streets, it was often experimented with. "It's always a problem with adolescents huffing because of the availability of the chemicals."

The 16-year-old's death came as the Alcohol Advisory Council announced it was holding a national summit to help Maori identify and respond to alcohol problems.,00.html

#39 Guest_Gidday_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 26 November 2003 - 12:31 PM

Campaigners Call on MAF Scientists to Front Up

Wednesday, 26 November 2003, 8:46 am

Press Release: West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying

Anti Spray Campaigners Call on MAF Scientists to Front Up

WASP has joined with a coalition of Auckland anti spray groups in calling on MAF scientists and officials to front up at a public meeting to explain to the community why spraying is still continuing for the Painted Apple Moth despite no finds having been made for at least 6 months.

The Meola Creek area has had no finds since December last year, yet spraying is set to continue every 21 days until February and probably longer. Some areas are due to receive aerial sprays every 8 days.

The Tussock moth spraying in east Auckland 6 years ago was halted as soon as no further moths were found.

MAF are also gearing up for a new aerial spray campaign for the Fall Webworm moth over Mt Wellington and east Auckland.

In continuing to aerial spray MAF are hiding behind the decisions of a group of faceless scientists.

A letter was sent last week to Peter Thomson, Director of Forest Biosecurity, MAF requesting an urgent public meeting so MAF scientists and technical staff can answer the community's questions on the rationale behind the continued use of this extreme eradication tool.

We are still awaiting a reply.

Spraying is next scheduled for December 1 and 9.

Phone the MAF Hotline on 0800 969696 to check whether aerial spraying is going ahead on these days. Be aware: MAF are denying they intend to spray on the 9th ie: every 8 days. The details of this were published in a Public Notice in the NZ Herald 14 November. The next spray on Dec 1 comes less than 2 weeks after the previous one.

Permanent Evacuations We are hearing of more and more people selling up and leaving Auckland permanently to get away from the spray. We would especially like to farewell Jane who has worked tirelessly on the legal side of the anti spray campaign. Thank you for all your hard work and lobbying Jane and especially for your role in getting the legal opinion from Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

Health Issues Genetic Damage: After 2 years of aerial spraying more and more reports are coming in of extremely high numbers of babies being born in west Auckland with hare lips and cleft palates.

West Auckland also has an unusually high number of cases of a very rare brittle bone disease with at least one baby currently fighting for life.

We are also hearing of high numbers of stillbirths, miscarriages and other birth problems.

Many reports are being received of children suffering from serious allergies, skin and stomach problems they have never had before. People are still being hospitalised with severe asthma.

We know of hundreds who are still being evacuated by MAF to motels each spray.

Our thoughts go out to Lynn whose husband is in hospital with meningitis and whose mother, also in the spray zone, has been admitted to hospital with a heart attack.

There have been other reports of cases of meningitis in the aerial spray zone and meningococcal disease was considered in MAF's Health Surveillance report following the east Auckland Tussock Moth spraying.

ACC Claims A number of people (mainly with no pre-existing conditions) have had their ACC claims accepted for spray related illness. We have also heard that several of the spray plane pilots have suffered health effects and have also had ACC claims accepted. You may want to revisit your doctor and ask them to press your case.

Flesh eating disease: Further to the earlier reported case of the Henderson man who developed this after cutting himself whilst gardening, we have heard of 2 more people in the spray zone, one of whom lost a finger. Both cases contracted this from gardening.

Do you use Zoo Doo compost? A number of birds died after the first spray over the zoo and two valuable white rhinos have since died from a "soil bacterium". Also a mother gibbon uncharacteristically killed one of its twin babies earlier this year and tried to kill the other. Apparently this is unheard of - only the male gibbon is known to kill its offspring.

On "The Zoo" TV programme a young lion had a cancerous lump removed from its forehead and an orangutan and its baby died. The mother died of "septicaemia". Cancer cases: We have been told of a 7% increase in cancer cases in Auckland this year - thought to be due to the spray's effects on the immune system.

Quote of the Month Martin Elliott, Principal Fraser High School, Hamilton (Waikato Times 4.11.03): "When I employ staff I don't actually ask them whether they are allergic to moth spray! A senior Maf official told me that he thought that our eight serious cases were an aberration: "It was like contagious paranoia where people feed off the psychology of the propaganda spread by the anti-spray brigade." It took a lot of my self control not to reach across the table and yank his testicles out through his throat."

Website of the Month Check out this brilliant new Hamilton anti spray website. It will provide you with more than a laugh or two. It started life as but MAF threatened legal action. Especially check out "A Lighter Side". Read all about Ivan Box (as in gear box) and the evil Peat Khan-(as in Genghis Khan)-Pie (as in Pecan Pie). PLUS the goings on at Aer'gate with Drs Baddie and Frankly Smelly who may sound vaguely familiar.

Peter Thomson (Ian Gear's boss) from MAF Head Office in Wgtn has been spending a lot of time in Hamilton observing the spray programme. Funny he has never dared show his face in the Auckland spray zone. You might like to phone his office in Wgtn on 04 474 4100 or phone his boss - Murray Sherwin on 04 474 4231 and invite them to morning tea in your garden on spray day.

Two Hamilton Bishops - David Moxon (Anglican) and Denis Browne (Roman Catholic) issued a press release on the first day of spraying raising their concerns for people's health, particularly that of children.

Human Rights - Have your Say Now The NZ Human Rights Commission is gathering information from the public concerning their views on the status of human rights in NZ. (Human rights? What human rights?) See
for the On-Line Questionnaire due in by November 30.

People can also make a submission by letter. This forms an important part of their first round of public consultations. They are looking for evaluations on how people presently feel NZ is doing on human rights issues, what recommendations they have for improvements, what issues should receive priority status etc. They are going to use this for their submission to the government recommending possible changes and new directions for the future development of human rights in NZ. This document and its processes are also being followed by the United Nations Council on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Faceless Mad Scientists and MAFia Here is a list of some of those responsible for the decisionmaking behind the continuation of aerial spraying. You might like to send them a Christmas message thanking them for yet another spray filled Christmas and New Year. You might like to tell them exactly what their decisions have cost you and your family. You could even send them a bill for all your medical and relocation expenses or just tell them what you think of them. Just highlight, copy and paste all these into the To: field of a blank email.

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

These were originally members of MAF's Painted Apple Moth Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The name was later changed to the Science Advisory Group (SAG). Shortly after I received this in my Inbox:

"Poor little science members of the old Painted Apple Moth Technical Advisory Group ... when it was changed to the Science Advisory Group they went from TAG members to SAG members. All that active tagging became sad and sagging. Well what can you do with a sagging one after all?

Well they've solved all that .... Ian Gear changed the name . . . the testosterone levels have been restored ... they are now called STAG!!! (Science and Technical Advisory Group) yippee .... get out there and blast them, zap them, stamp the beasties out ... we are big strong stags, and all will bow down before us."

#40 Guest_NoRehab_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:42 PM

Moth spray health issues identified

Nov 28, 2003

An OSH report into aerial spraying for the Asian gypsy moth in Hamilton has highlighted failings with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's medical processes.

The Occupational Safety and Health report was requested by the principal of Fraser High School because a number of staff were showing more serious health problems than MAF had anticipated.

The report says MAF needs to improve medical reporting systems to identify workplaces where many people are affected by spraying.

Fraser High principal Martin Elliot agrees MAF needs to better document where people are getting sick. He says all his staff who were ill lived outside the spray zone.

Elliot is one of many who believe the BTK spray used in Hamilton is more toxic than the one used in Auckland. He says he's seen the proof in the form of blisters and breathing difficulties among his staff.

Many parents whose children attend schools in the spray zone chose to keep their children at home.

Frankton Primary School reported up to half its pupils absent on spray days, and those who did attend wore masks to go outside.

MAF has said the spray is very similar to the one used in Auckland and is being applied in a similar concentration,...423-1-6,00.html

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