Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Who's Allowing Dioxin Poisoning?

The world was shocked to learn of the dioxin poisoning of Ukranian opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko. As reported on CNN,
"Dr. Michael Zimpfer told CNN Sunday that he based his conclusion on a physical examination of the patient and "various blood tests" carried out at Vienna's Rudolfinerhaus Clinic and elsewhere.

Zimpfer told reporters over the weekend that the concentration of dioxin in Yushchenko's body was "1,000 times above the normal levels" and that he suspected "third-party involvement

The horrific consequences of this poisoning can be visibly seen in the scarring dermatitis across Yushchenko's face.

And yet, as recently reported by the Sierra Club, this Administration refuses to deal with dioxin pollution and allows dioxin-laced sludge to be used as fertilizer:
"October 17, 2003
Administration Refuses to Regulate Use of Dioxin-Laced Sludge as Fertilizer
The Bush Administration refused to regulate dioxin-laced sewage sludge for use as a farm fertilizer today. Dioxins, a highly toxic chemical compound, are known to cause cancer and damage to the neurological and immune systems of humans and animals, according to government and private experts. Americans' primary source of dioxin exposure comes from meat, milk, and other dairy products such as ice cream. Allowing sludge containing dioxins to be freely spread on dairy pastures is a health hazard because of the large amount of soil cattle eat while grazing. Land-applied sewage is the second largest source of dioxin exposure in the United States.

Also, as reported in a Montana report:
"The report, titled ‘‘Toxic Neighbors,'' was released by the National Environmental Trust late last week and analyzed pollution information gathered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2001.

Power plants are the largest source of toxic pollution in the nation, outpacing all other industries, the report found. In terms of overall pollution, Montana's power plants did not rank very high. The state ranked 40th in the country for toxic pollution from power plants.

But dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical formed from the burning of coal, was more prevalent in Montana pollution. Montana ranked 11th in the nation as a source of dioxin from power plants and PPL Generation LLC, which owns coal-burning plants in Montana and elsewhere, ranked third in the nation among power companies.

Montana produced 16.62 grams of dioxin in 2001, the report said.

‘‘That may not sound like a lot,'' said John Stanton, vice president of the National Environmental Trust and an author of the report. ‘‘But these chemicals are so toxic that you need only miniscule amounts, parts per trillion, to trigger carcinogenic effects.''

The story goes on to relate the Bush Administration position on Dioxin pollution and the company's preferences:

"There is currently no limit on the amount of dioxin that power plants can produce and the Bush administration recently quashed plans to establish a limit, Stanton said.

But Paul Wirth, a spokesman for PPL Corp., in Allenstown, Penn., said the company has ‘‘made significant strides in reducing emissions.''

The company favors a Bush administration plan that would reduce mercury from power plant pollution, but not put a limit on the amount of dioxin plants can produce

This might not be the Ukraine, but you may be finding more dioxin in your soup, the air you breathe and the land you walk on

As "Clean Water Action" reported in its endorsement of Kerry:

"By appointing officials from polluting industries to top posts in the U.S. EPA, Department of Interior and other federal agencies, President Bush continued a disturbing practice begun during his tenure as Texas governor."

They go on to contrast this with John Kerry's positions:
"In contrast, Senator Kerry has worked tirelessly to defeat polluting proposals that threatened communities and has favored an open, honest approach to environmental policymaking"

John Kerry, our land, our air, our water resources, and our children are calling you to pull us out of the water! We needed Kerry in 2004, but we shall have to wait for 2008!



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