4/7/14 Media Advisory: Environmental Health Protection Candidate Asks St. Lawrence County Legislature When Dialogue on PCBs and POPs

Environmental Health Protection Candidate Asks St. Lawrence County
Legislature When Dialogue on PCBs and POPs

Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00 PM

St. Lawrence County Courthouse, Legislative Board Room, Canton, NY USA

St. Lawrence County has a long history of PCB releases to the
environment.  Three industrial facilities in the Town of Massena used
and released PCBs for several decades before the substances were
banned in the 1970s.  Open waste burning creates and releases PCBs.
This source of PCB releases has been of major significance ever since
plastics became a large part of the waste stream.  A state wide ban on
open waste burning took effect in 2009.  The practice continues but at
a decreased level of activity.

Everyone in St. Lawrence County, everyone on Earth has a body burden
of PCBs and the other persistent organic pollutants (POPs).  Some of
the other well known POPs include:  dioxins, DDT, Mirex, Toxaphene and
brominated flame retardants.  The World Health Organization recommends
action to minimize the exposure that children receive to these
chemicals.  POPs exposure is linked to increased risk for diseases and
disorders, including:  cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune
disease, autism, ADHD, obesity, reproductive problems, cognitive
impairments and immune system dysfunction.

Minimizing exposure involves a simple, straightforward process of
education and decision making.  Providing the general public with
information on the damages to health that are associated with exposure
to POPs and making known the fact that POPs are contaminants of all
animal fats goes far to fulfill the educational component of this
process.  Educated people then have the opportunity to choose to
consume little or no animal fats.  In the case of flame retardants,
household and vehicle interior dust are significant sources of
exposure.  Regular cleaning addresses these sources.

“Earth Month 2014 is a great time to push forward with environmental
health protection.  When will the St. Lawrence County Legislature
enter into dialogue on the subjects of POPs body burden, disease risk
and exposure minimization with concerned residents of this county and
the Akwesasne Reserve?  There is much opportunity to improve public
health by taking action to minimize exposures.  The dialogue that we
seek is a promising avenue  to governmental action.  I believe that
the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will someday soon set
about creating its own POPs exposure minimization educational
outreach.  Talking about PCBs and POPs is the place to start.”-Donald
L. Hassig


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