PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has required PFAS, cancer-causing chemicals used in manufacturing, in firefighting gear for years despite cancer being the leading killer of firefighters. An extensive investigative two-part story by E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg reveals not only the dangers of current equipment standards but the lengths the NFPA has gone to hide them.

Why This Matters: A study of 30,000 firefighters from 2010 to 2015 found that firefighters have an increased risk of many different cancers including: leukemia, malignant mesothelioma, bladder and prostate cancers, lung cancer, brain cancer, and digestive and oral cancers.

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Interview of the Week, Justin Onwenu, EJ Community Organizer in Detroit click button

Interview of the Week, Justin Onwenu, EJ Community Organizer in Detroit

This week we talked with Justin Onwenu, a Sierra Club community organizer in Detroit working on environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Justin is a member of Michigan Governor Whitmer’s Environmental Justice Advisory Task Force and the Democratic National Committee’s Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis.  Here are some of the highlights. On Environmental […]

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Bayer Forging Ahead with New GE Corn That Can Withstand 5 Herbicides

Bayer Forging Ahead with New GE Corn That Can Withstand 5 Herbicides

Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, is “forging ahead” with developing genetically engineered (GE) crops that could be used with at least five herbicides at once, Lisa Held reported last week in Civil Eats.

Why This Matters:  The fact that Bayer is likely to get approval for this new crop, which would be resistant to the active chemical in Roundup, suggests that the losses in court had and will continue to have little impact on the company’s trajectory. Just because these herbicides won’t “harm” GE corn does not mean they won’t harm us.

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Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Stop Selling Baby Powder Due To Asbestos Contamination

Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Stop Selling Baby Powder Due To Asbestos Contamination

Using the “cover” of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the largest healthcare product companies in the world decided to stop selling in the U.S. and Canada its “signature” talc-based baby powder product due to concerns over whether it was contaminated with toxic asbestos that thousands of women alleged caused their ovarian cancer.

Why This Matters:  This is another case of a company knowing that their product contained harmful chemicals and selling it anyway — like the oil companies that knew about the greenhouse gas effect of burning petroleum.

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J & J Pulls 33,000 Bottles of Baby Powder After Asbestos Traces Are Found in Testing

J & J Pulls 33,000 Bottles of Baby Powder After Asbestos Traces Are Found in Testing

Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the makers of baby powder and many other baby and beauty products, was forced to recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.  The recall caused retailers like Target and CVS Drug Stores to remove all 22 oz J&J baby powder products from their shelves, even those not covered by the recall, and stock prices for the company took a hit.

Why This Matters:  J&J has maintained that its powder products do not contain asbestos — but now that the government testing revealed traces of asbestos, the company is at even greater risk of losing the public’s trust.

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Nearly 250,000 Students At Risk Due to Proximity To Active Oil and Gas Wells

Nearly 250,000 Students At Risk Due to Proximity To Active Oil and Gas Wells

A Newsy analysis released last week found that more than 600 U.S. schools are located within 500 feet of an active oil or gas well, and more than 1.4 million people across the U.S. live within the 500-foot danger zone. 

Why This Matters:  Kids should not have to go to school near active oil and gas wells with toxic air emissions that put them at higher risk for cancer and respiratory problems.  Research from the Colorado School of Public Health has found that people living within 500 feet of an oil or gas facility have a cancer risk that is 8 times higher than the EPA’s accepted threshold.

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