Sunday, September 9, 2007
On CBS 60 minutes, blame was discussed, as regards the EPA, and Christine Todd Whitman who was EPA director at the time. If they were discussing exposure of average New Yorkers in Lower Manhattan, Whitman was the one to explain, but the EPA doesn't regulate worker exposure. The federal agency with that responsibility is OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, headed by then Assistant Secretary of Labor John L. Henshaw. The question I pose is, did those in New York handling the project request OSHA help, and did Henshaw respond. Given the political atmosphere of the time, one would expect Rudy Giuliani to seek the best help available, and get it easily. How could anyone in the US government refuse such a request just after 9/11? It would have been political suicide.
In order to learn from the failures of our 9/11 response, we better look to those in a position to protect the volunteers and workers on the pile for answers. OSHA regulators ensure safety in construction, mining, manufacture of building materials, demolition of buildings and all other industrial and construction work in the US; clearly, they had the expertise to know what protection was appropriate. So tell us, Mr. Gullianni and Mr. Henshaw, What was done to harness the formidable resources of OSHA and use their knowledge to protect the people on the pile? Why was their protection so poor that we have a secondary disaster?
Mr. Giuliani, Did you ask for advice from OSHA on how to protect workers on the pile? If so, when? Why were so many exposed to toxic injury?
Mr. Henshaw, did OSHA provide (or offer) assistance or advice on worker protection for those working to save or recover victims of the WTC disaster? Did OSHA inspectors monitor conditions in which people on the pile worked?
If any of you can shed light on this question, please post a comment. If we don't learn from such disastrous mistakes in our past, we condemn ourselves to repeat them in the future.
Friday, September 7, 2007
I consumed too much of this stuff when I cooked in it, stored in foil and drank from aluminum cans. A former FDA director and proponent of Pure Food Law promoted eliminating it from the food supply, but it is exempted from testing by law, due to classification as GRAS (Generally Accepted As Safe). That's why the FDA applies no restrictions and requires no testing. Given how common it is in our natural and commercial environment, aluminum may be the most difficult toxic material to avoid.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
None of these chemicals are likely to kill in concentrations present when the car gets to you, but they aren't the best compounds to breathe. If you aren't eager to lose more brain cells or stress your organs more than they are, consider driving with a window open a bit, at least for the first few weeks. Some suggest that you keep that window open for the first 6 months.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
- Check out the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS. Any chemical used in manufacturing must have an MSDS so workers and employers know how to handle it safely. A quick google search for 'chemname' MSDS will usually get a few hits with material data safety sheets for the chemical. If not, dig deeper and expect to find problems.
- Contact the manufacturer and ask about published information and health studies.
- Search on-line, or better still, get help from a librarian. (Yes, there really are still librarians out there)
If you find WAY too much contradictory information to draw a conclusion, dig deeper; you may find books on the stuff, and you may be inspired to do some serious reading. I promise you this- research a few food additives or household chemicals this way, and you'll learn far more than just the answers than you were looking for. You will start to understand the stuff you put in your body. There's a powerful education waiting for you, and it can change your life!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Calcium propionate – Toxic preservative, too many known health effects to list
Xanthan gum – Viscosity additive – fermentation product – allergy risk, possible irritant
Red 40 (2-Naphthalenesulfonic acid) – Dye, not considered toxic in small quantities, but known to cause adverse behavioral effects in children, acute allergic reactions in some adults and other problems
Sodium caseinate – considered hazardous in case of ingestion – biodegrades into more toxic products, generally a problem for people with dairy allergies
Methylparaben – preservative, hazardous ingested in quantity, suspected carcinogen
Propylparaben - preservative, hazardous ingested in quantity, lethal toxin <1%>
Carrageenan – thickener from seaweed – suspected carcinogen, toxic inhaled, slightly hazardous ingested