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Toxics

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Thursday, November 1, 2001

Nationwide sampling by a coalition of public interest groups* found dangerous levels of arsenic on the surface of “pressure treated” wood purchased at The Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. These twin giants of the home improvement industry aggressively promote their concern for the environment, but they stack their shelves with highly hazardous lumber infused with the arsenic-containing pesticide CCA.

 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2001

In February 2002 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a phase out of the pesticide CCA, or chromated copper arsenate, an arsenic based chemical mixture used to preserve so-called “pressure-treated” lumber. CCA is 22 percent arsenic by weight, and the Agency noted when it announced the ban that “arsenic is a known human carcinogen.” Children who play on arsenic-treated play structures and decks are at particularly high risk.

 

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Monday, July 16, 2001

Sources of drinking water for more than 7 million Californians and unknown millions of other Americans are contaminated with a chemical that disrupts child development and may cause thyroid cancer, but is unregulated by the state or federal government, according to an investigation by Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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Sunday, July 1, 2001

Sources of drinking water for almost 7 million Californians and unknown millions of other Americans are contaminated with a toxic legacy of the Cold War: A chemical that interferes with normal thyroid function, may cause thyroid cancer and persists indefinitely in the environment, but is unregulated by the state or federal government.

 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

A group of California parents who feel they were misled by ABC News correspondent John Stossel revoked their permission for ABC News to use their children's images or voices in his latest program. The original footage had to be cut at the parents' request.

 
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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

The Healthy Building Network (HBN) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) today petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban arsenic-treated wood in playground equipment and to review its safety for use in other consumer items.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced today that it has filed legal notice to sue the manufacturers of wooden playground equipment treated with arsenic.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2001

The East Coast's leading manufacturer of wooden playground equipment, PlayNation Play Systems, Inc., announced today that it will discontinue the use of arsenic-treated lumber, becoming the first national playground manufacturer to exclusively use arsenic-free preserved wood in the construction of treated wood playgrounds.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2001

The American gun industry is in big trouble. Hunting is fading as a sport. Guns are seen by most of the general public as either weapons of crime or dangerous toys owned only by a shrinking minority of Americans. As a result, the civilian firearms market is becoming smaller and more concentrated.

 

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Monday, April 30, 2001

Lead is the most prevalent contaminant at Superfund sites across the country (EPA 2001a). The highly toxic metal triggers more Superfund cleanups than any other industrial chemical or waste product in the environment. Lead is considered the number one environmental threat to children’s health by the federal government, and at very low levels is linked to subtle developmental delays and reduced I.Q. in children (EPA 2001b, 2001c).

 

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Friday, April 13, 2001

Government recommendations for fish consumption could expose more than one in four expectant mothers - 1 million women - to enough mercury to put the health of their fetuses at risk, according to a new computer investigation released today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).

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Sunday, April 1, 2001

On January 12, 2001, government health officials issued new advisories warning women to limit fish consumption during pregnancy to avoid exposing their unborn children to unsafe levels of methylmercury. Methylmercury can cross the placenta and cause learning deficits and developmental delays in children who are exposed even to relatively low levels in the womb. The principal exposure route for the fetus is fish consumption by the mother.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Independent scientific monitoring by the Environmental Working Group found dangerously high concentrations of a partially banned pesticide in the air San Joaquin Valley residents breathe. One-third of ambient air monitoring samples detected the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which the federal government has recently banned for home use as unsafe for children but remains the most widely used agricultural insecticide in California.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2000

In September 2000, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that every single one of the 289 persons tested for the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate (DBP) had the compound in their bodies. The finding passed with little public fanfare, but surprised government scientists, who just one month earlier had rated DBP of little health concern based on the scientific assumption, which later turned out to be wrong, that levels in humans were within safe limits. DBP causes a number of birth defects in lab animals, primarily to male offspring, including testicular atrophy, reduced sperm count, and defects in the structure of the penis (CERHR 2000).

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Wednesday, October 18, 2000

 A new computer investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), using data generated by Texas and other state governments, shows Texas Gov. George Bush has the worst anti-smog record in the country.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Based on the evidence presented, the millions who watched the original broadcast might well have answered Walters’ questions in the affirmative. After viewing the segment, Walters said she might “cry.” The ABC News investigation seemed to offer compelling proof that millions of consumers were very wrong, indeed, about the benefits of organic food. Even more consumers saw the program when ABC News re-aired Stossel’s investigation on 20/20 on July 7, or in the somewhat condensed form the news division distributed July 11 for use by its affiliates, through ABC World News Now.

 

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Monday, July 17, 2000

The state has almost never ordered cleanup or assessed fines for the thousands of underground gasoline storage tanks leaking MTBE and other toxic chemicals into California’s water and soil, even when the leaks have been known for more than 10 years, according to a study by Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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Saturday, July 1, 2000

Federal environmental laws were created through bipartisan efforts in the 1970s to toughen and standardize a patchwork of inconsistent state pollution control laws. The establishment of environmental standards across state lines produced a dramatic improvement in the nation's environment. Yet almost unnoticed during the 1990s, there was a fundamental shift in environmental law enforcement authority away from U.S. EPA and back to the states. Now, three decades after passage of the nation's clean air and water laws, major polluters are slipping through the growing gaps in environmental enforcement.

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Thursday, June 29, 2000

Half of major industrial water polluters in California are operating with expired pollution permits, according to state and federal data analyzed by Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Friends of the Earth (FOE).

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Thursday, June 29, 2000

Half of major industrial water polluters in California are operating with expired pollution permits, according to state and federal data analyzed by Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Friends of the Earth (FOE).

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