The Alliance For A Clean Environment
“The Toxic Turnaround”
ACE has taken steps to try to reverse the dangerous toxic trend in the Greater Pottstown Area. At a press conference in January, 2001 ACE announced the “Toxic Turnaround” Initiative supported by Pottstown’s Mayor Nancy Jones.
Step 2 - Requested Reductions - Save Our Children’s Future (January, 2001)
ACE asked DEP to REQUIRE REDUCTIONS of hazardous air emissions limits on 5 year Title V air permits for Occidental Chemical and Waste Management based on the health crisis in this area.
Step 3 - Tooth Fairy Project (January, 2001)
ACE joined a national research project to measure the amount of strontium-90 radiation in baby teeth. There has been a great response by area residents in sending in baby teeth. Joseph Mangano, the national director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, will return to Pottstown to report preliminary results.
Step 4 - Childproofing Our Communities (March, 2001)
Because we live in an extremely toxic damaged region due to the continuous and ever-increasing hazardous air emissions from major polluting industries, ACE believe it is even more imperative for our region’s schools to take immediate action to childproof their schools. Reducing exposures to dangerous pesticides and cleaning chemicals at schools will reduce some of the additive risks and prevent some of the suffering and serous illnesses. Children can not avoid the poisons in their air from polluting industries. They are forced to breathe in the air and are exposed on the playgrounds and sports fields. Parents in their own homes can also start to take action to minimize chemical exposures to the children in their homes.
In March 2001 we joined CHEJ’s national campaign and announced our initial step in childproofing our communities. An ACE Regional Pesticide Coalition was formed to focus on awareness of the hazards associated with pesticide spraying in schools. We hope to present CHEJ’s recommendations for an integrated pest management program to each school. Eventually, we hope schools will minimize or eliminate hazardous pesticide spraying. We believe this effort will bring awareness for parents to do the same at home.
ACE is also working toward schools and parents using safer alternatives to hazardous chemical cleaning products, which pose unnecessary and avoidable risks to our children. ACE can supply schools and parents with suggestions for safer alternatives. Toxic mold is a serious health threat to our children. This must be taken seriously, identified, prevented, and eliminated. ACE has fact sheets on the health effects of toxic molds and other mold information.
Step 5 - Stop Dioxin Exposure Campaign (September, 2001)
EPA says that people living near sources of dioxin, like those in the Greater Pottstown area, are at far greater risk from dioxin than the general population – we not only get it in our food, we are also forced to breathe it. EPA confirms that dioxin is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humans. Dioxin stores in the body fat and can cause severe damage at parts per trillion in your body. Dioxin is not metabolized by humans. Our bodies have no defense against it.
Dioxin is passed on to our children – Babies are born with dioxin in their bodies. Dioxin causes low birth weight, birth defects, decreased IQ, learning disabilities, nervous system damage, hyperactivity in children, low sperm count, immune system damage (leading to increased infectious disease, asthma, and allergies).
Dioxin causes hormone disruption, miscarriages, infertility, endometriosis, and chloracne. Dioxin has even been linked with diabetes. Dioxin is a potent cancer-causing agent.
In September 2001 ACE joined CHEJ’s national campaign to stop dioxin exposure. In Pottstown, we face enormous risks from dioxin exposure, both from Occidental’s PVC production, and burning enormous amounts of Pottstown Landfill gas. Tragically, neither EPA nor DEP has measured for dioxin releases in our community nor done anything to control them. DEP refuses to consider dioxin releases in its air pollution permits, in spite of an obvious health crisis here already and two major sources of dioxin emissions.
Step 6 Proactive Health Initiative (October, 2001)
ACE has enlisted the expertise of national environmental health experts to get ideas for developing ways of reducing health risks and improving the quality of life in our toxic damaged community. This program would provide proactive assistance to those who are suffering from environmental exposures that result in disease. The model has been shared with elected officials and a number of medical professionals on the ACE Medical Advisory Board.
ACE is seeking funding to bring in environmental health experts, experienced in providing proactive help for this toxic damaged community. These experts would work with the community and its interested physicians and leaders to design the best comprehensive protocol possible for a plan which that ultimately result in clinical health care for the victims of our excessive hazardous exposures.
1. A comprehensive environmental and health plan for the future of the Greater Pottstown Area.
2. Moratoriums and reductions on known and proposed routes of exposure that pose a threat to human health.
3. Provide victims of environmental exposures with individualized assistance.
4. Environmental education programs for citizens and interested physicians.
This on-going program would;
a. reduce environmental disease
b. educate and train the public as well as medical and other professionals about environmental illnesses and establish preventive programs
c. establish preventive programs
d. collect valuable clinical data
e. reduce and eliminate exposures and restore public health in the area.
Step 7 The Bucket Brigade (April, 2002)
ACE announced a citizens air monitoring initiative. This will enable us to measure everyday pollution levels or respond to accidental releases from Occidental Chemical and the Pottstown Landfill. We will be able to take a “grab sample,” or a snapshot of pollution levels at any time, day or night, weekday or weekend. Goals of this initiative:
1. Effective pollution prevention.
2. Watchdog the major polluting industries that are left to test, monitor, and report their own hazardous air emissions. Buckets are a powerful right-to-know technique.
3. Force DEP to take their own measurements more accurately and respond to concerns more aggressively.
4. Use the data to make connections between health concerns and the hazardous emissions from these facilities.
Why is this necessary?
P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464
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