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					Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by third party
conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee that the
information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary, please contact the
convener or the convening organization.
                National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures:
                          Community Conversation Summary Reports

Table of Contents
Conversations listed alphabetically by state


INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................................... 4
If viewing electronically, click on a conversation to link to the summary report



ALABAMA (MOBILE): NANCY SWAN JUNE 12, JUNE 15, JUNE 21 .................................... 5

12 AND JUNE 9 ......................................................................................................................................... 8
CALIFORNIA (ANAHEIM ): MICHAEL B AILEY/PEOPLE FIRST ORANGE COUNTY MAY

CALIFORNIA (LAKEPORT): SARAH RYAN/BIG V ALLEY R ANCHERIA EPA .................... 11

COLLABORATIVE/BAY AREA ENVTL HEALTH COLLABORATIVE ....................................... 14
CALIFORNIA (O AKLAND): MICHAEL KENT/ DITCHING DIRTY DIESEL

CALIFORNIA (ROSS): LISA WERTHEIM /TEENS TURNING GREEN ..................................... 17

SERVICES AND S AN FRANCISCO PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT .................................... 19
CALIFORNIA (S AN FRANCISCO): MICHAEL KENT/ CONTRA COSTA HEALTH


DISTRICT .................................................................................................................................................. 25
CONNECTICUT (WETHERSFIELD): HILARY NORCIA/CENTRAL CONNECTICUT HEALTH


COUNCIL, INC ......................................................................................................................................... 28
FLORIDA (J ACKSONVILLE): WYNETTA WRIGHT/E ASTSIDE ENVIRONMENTAL


ROUNDTABLE/SIERRA CLUB OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ............................................................. 30
FLORIDA (ORLANDO): KEN ZARKER/NATIONAL POLLUTION PREVENTION


DEPARTMENT ......................................................................................................................................... 32
FLORIDA (VERO BEACH ): JULIANNE R. PRICE/INDIAN RIVER COUNTY HEALTH


INC./CITIZENS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE......................................................................... 34
GEORGIA (S AVANNAH ): DR. MILDRED MCCLAIN/THE HARAMBEE HOUSE,


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM .................................................... 37
IDAHO (BOISE): MEGAN KEATING/IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE,

ILLINOIS (DECATUR): S USAN RENEE FERRE /R.I.P.P.L.E.S. ......................................... 39

PROJECT–CITY OF G ARY (CARE PROJECT) ........................................................................... 41
INDIANA: ELLEN SZARLETA/COMMUNITY ACTION FOR A RENEWED ENVIRONMENT

IOWA (W APELLO): ALANA L. POAGE/ LOUISA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH .................... 45
KANSAS (WICHITA): DEBRA DIANE HAHN ............................................................................... 47

CENTER .................................................................................................................................................... 48
MAINE (P ORTLAND): AMANDA SEARS/ ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY


LABORATORIES ..................................................................................................................................... 50
MARYLAND (SILVER SPRING): MEGAN LATSHAW/ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                                                                              Page 1
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by third party
conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee that the
information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary, please contact the
convener or the convening organization.
                 National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                           Community Conversation Summary Reports


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE INC. ................................................................................. 51
MASSACHUSETTS (W ALTHAM ): DR. LISA NAGY /THE PREVENTIVE AND


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE INC. ................................................................................. 52
MASSACHUSETTS (VINEYARD HAVEN ): DR. LISA NAGY/THE PREVENTIVE AND


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE INC. ................................................................................. 57
MASSACHUSETTS (AQUINNAH ): DR. LISA N AGY /THE PREVENTIVE AND


INSTITUTE ................................................................................................................................................ 62
MICHIGAN (SW DETROIT): TIFFANY H ARTUNG/SIERRA CLUB/KARMANOS CANCER

MINNESOTA (NEW BRIGHTON) : CATHI LYMAN-ONKKA ...................................................... 64

INSTITUTE) .............................................................................................................................................. 67
MISSISSIPPI (BILOXI): BILOXI BRANCH NAACP (GULF COAST RESOURCE

MISSISSIPPI (BILOXI): HIJRA HOUSE ........................................................................................... 69
MONTANA (CROW AGENCY): CROW ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STEERING


..................................................................................................................................................................... 71
COMMITTEE, THE APSAALOOKE W ATER AND WASTEWATER AUTHORITY, THE INDIAN
HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL, AND THE CENTER FOR NATIVE HEALTH P ARTNERSHIPS

NEW JERSEY (FREEHOLD): JEANE COVINGTON/MACEDONIA-FREEHOLD CHURCH 77
NEW JERSEY (KINNELON): CHRIS COLABELLA ...................................................................... 79
NEW JERSEY (MARLTON): EILEEN LUBERTAZZO ................................................................... 81

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STRATEGIES, INC. .......................................................................... 83
NEW JERSEY (VOORHEES): MARY LAMIELLE/NATIONAL CENTER FOR

NEW YORK (BROOKLYN): UPROSE AND SΊ S E PUEDE..................................................... 89

NY .............................................................................................................................................................. 92
NEW YORK (LAWRENCE AND NASSAU COUNTY): DONALD H ASSIG/CANCER ACTION

OHIO (BELLEVUE ): ED HEMEYER ................................................................................................. 96
OHIO (BRYAN): SHERRY FLEMING/WILLIAMS COUNTY ALLIANCE ................................. 98


...................................................................................................................................................................100
OHIO (CLEVELAND): MARK MCLAIN/NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH W ATCH, E ARTH DAY COALITION JUNE 24 AND JULY 15


...................................................................................................................................................................103
OHIO (COLUMBUS): P AUL ROSILE/OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION


SCHOOL (CKAS) ...............................................................................................................................106
OHIO (FAIRFIELD): DR. HEEKYOUNG CHUN AT CINCINNATI KOREAN AMERICAN


RESPONSIBILITY .................................................................................................................................114
OREGON (ASTORIA): MAYE THOMPSON/ OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR S OCIAL


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                                                                                        Page 2
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
                National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures


OREGON (EUGENE): LISA ARKIN/OREGON TOXICS ALLIANCE .....................................116
                          Community Conversation Summary Reports



OREGON (GRANTS P ASS): LISA ARKIN/OREGON TOXICS ALLIANCE ..........................121

RESPONSIBILITY .................................................................................................................................124
OREGON (HOOD RIVER): MAYE THOMPSON/O REGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL


COUNCIL ................................................................................................................................................127
OREGON (S ALEM ): RENEE HACKENMILLER-P ARADIS/OREGON ENVIRONMENTAL


KNOWLEDGE, ACTION, INC./RIGHT TO KNOW COMMITTEE ..............................................129
PENNSYLVANIA (SOUTH PHILADELPHIA): PROJECT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH,


AND CHILDREN’S OPTIMAL HEALTH ...........................................................................................130
TEXAS (AUSTIN): J ANIE FIELDS/CHILDREN’S E NVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE




US REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES A. GONZALEZ ....................................................................133
TEXAS (S AN ANTONIO): KYLE CUNNINGHAM /S AN ANTONIO METROPOLITAN
HEALTH DEPARTMENT-PUBLIC CENTER FOR E NVIRONMENTAL HEALTH/CO-HOST:


KING COUNTY CONVERSATION ONE ..........................................................................................135
W ASHINGTON (RENTON ): LOCAL HAZARDOUS W ASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN


MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN KING COUNTY CONVERSATION TWO ................................137
W ASHINGTON: (RENTON) MARGARET SHIELD/LOCAL HAZARDOUS WASTE


CHURCH OF CHRIST ..........................................................................................................................144
W ASHINGTON (SEATTLE): URBAN WILDERNESS PROJECT AND BETHANY UNITED


ORGANIZATION/VERONA JUSTICE COALITION .......................................................................146
WISCONSIN (MADISON): MARIA POWELL/ MADISON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

WISCONSIN (TOMAH): JAN P ATH/TOMAH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ...................................150




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                                                                           Page 3
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
           National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures:
                     Community Conversation Summary Reports


INTRODUCTION

The National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures is a project to
create a national action agenda — clear, achievable recommendations — that can help
government agencies and other organizations strengthen their efforts to protect the
public from harmful chemical exposures. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention
and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are project sponsors. The
National Conversation includes a broad range of groups and individuals—government
agencies, professional organizations, tribal groups, community and nonprofit
organizations, health professionals, business and industry leaders, and members of the
public — working to generate ideas and develop the action agenda. The National
Conversation Leadership Council will author the final action agenda, utilizing input from
six project work group reports and other members of the public who choose to
participate in web dialogues, community conversations, and other forums.

To gain the perspective of communities across the United States, interested members of
the public were encouraged to hold community conversations as part of the National
Conversation process. This document presents summary reports from community
conversation convened during May and June 2010. These reports were authored by the
conveners and/or facilitators of the conversations and appear here unedited. Conveners
utilized a “Community Conversation Toolkit” to facilitate the discussion and learn about
participant concerns, suggestions, values, and experiences related to chemical
exposures and public health. Conveners were asked to summarize results using a
standard template.

The summaries are being analyzed by the National Conversation team to determine
themes, ideas, and areas of interest that arose in across the conversations. The
Leadership Council will utilize this report (available late summer 2010) in drafting the
action agenda. The Leadership Council will also have access to the individuals
summaries included here. Work groups may also use community conversation input in
refining their recommendations.

For more information on the National Conversation, visit the project web site at
www.atsdr.cdc.gov/nationalconversation. Please direct questions to
nationalconversation@cdc.gov.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                                Page 4
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by third party
conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee that the
information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary, please contact the
convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Community Conversation Summaries

ALABAMA (MOBILE): NANCY SWAN JUNE 12, JUNE 15, JUNE 21

Location: Mobile, Alabama
Convener(s): Nancy Swan
Dates of conversations: 06/12, 06/15, 06/21 (2010)
Participants (#): 27
Convener e-mail: nancy.swan@gmail.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Immediate and long range health effects of Gulf oil spill, especially from those living
close to areas of contamination. Many worry over fumes and oil chemicals on
vulnerable, elderly, immune compromised, those with asthma, children, and those
allergic to oil products. There is a lack of transparency about names and the toxic nature
of chemicals released and their effects on health. Collusion between businesses and
government compromises integrity of production of public health and chemical
exposures reported to public.

Widespread soil contamination and water pollution, and the impact of chemical pollution
on water and food supply and its impact on health is a big concern. Toxic waste dumps
of coal ash in Perry County above Mobile Bay, and lack of investigation into confirmed
child cancer cluster near Mobile Bay have been two big news stories.

Lack of chemical information on products and timely information from industries polluting
chemicals into the environment is rampant. The public, especially children, are not being
informed about dangers to health from oil spill and other contaminations. Tourism is the
primary concern of both President Obama and the governors, and they have
encouraged the public to come into contaminated areas without warning of the health
dangers

There are huge inequalities when fighting for protection from chemical exposure and
public health against heavily financed big businesses, lobbyists, and industries.
Government is not being stronger than them in order to protect public health. Lack of will
and a plan in government to protect from chemical exposures, disasters, and they fail to
report and investigate danger zones.

There is a need for an educated populace and stronger academic courses to help
spread chemical information and make it unbiased by government or industry. Lack of
public activism may stem from the confusion or not understanding current government
programs, agencies, and chemical companies, and the health effects of chemical
exposure and environmental pollution.

Lack of oversight over chemicals and weapons in military arsenals is another concern.
Another minor concern is vaccines and chemicals in foods and medicines.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                         Page 5
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

There was polite disagreement over whether public health and chemical exposures
should be regulated by more government action or by more personal responsibility.
Those desiring more personal responsibility reported failure and mistrust of government
agencies and too much influence of big business on government decision makers.
Those wanting more government responsibility were concerned that the public lacked
adequate information, education, and experience to protect their own health and make
responsible decisions, citing lack of public participation and confusion over terms and
data.

VALUES that participants thought were important:

In order of priority listed on their worksheets:

    1. Transparency from government and businesses.
    2. Prevention rather than just monitoring chemical exposures
    3. Justice- chemical protection and separate standards for vulnerable populations,
       minority, and underprivileged, sick, elderly, and especially children.
    4. Personal responsibility- need for better educated and informed public.
    5. Education- Schools, colleges, media, government, and businesses should do a
       better job of educating about public health and prevention, symptoms, and
       dangers of chemical exposure.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:
         Government should 1) take a stronger role in preparing and dealing with
chemical and environmental disasters, 2) be independent from influence from industries
they should monitor to maintain trust and integrity, 3) factor in the environmental impact
of public health and chemical exposure before luring industry into areas instead of just
considering the number of jobs it will bring in, 4) Better educate public about health
dangers from chemicals and take a more active role in preventing chemical exposures,
5) Instead of using the public as guinea pigs to monitor public health and impact of
chemicals on adults and children, the government should take a precautionary approach
and prevent harm from chemicals and improve public health, 6) provide oversight of
storage, use, and disposal of toxic and hazardous substances in our nation’s schools
and investigate reports of toxic injuries 7) bystanders need to be included under
protection of material safety data sheet information, 8) should not take money campaign
contributions, or favors from businesses or those they are to monitor or regulate.
         Businesses using potentially toxic chemicals and hazardous substances should
1) list all chemical ingredients in products, 2) Provide better training of workers to protect
not just themselves but others in the vicinity, 3) should follow the golden rule rather than
greed when it comes to safety, 4) not be allowed by government to declare bankruptcy
or secret settlements to avoid responsibility and public information about damages to
public health or chemical injury, 4) prove they can operate safely before given license to
do business, 5) be required by the federal government to put up a large bond to pay for
any damage to public health and the environmental instead of making taxpayers pay for

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                         Page 6
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

it, 6) not be allowed to “greenwash” advertising or products to make unhealthy products
sound environmentally and chemically responsible, 7) media, television, and print
advertisers should also be held responsible for promoting products and medicines that
have been proven to harm public health or cause chemical injuries.
         Organizations and Non-profits need better funding to level the playing field
against the influence of highly financed businesses. Organizations need to concentrate
more on prevention of chemical exposure, better education about protecting the public
from chemical injury, and better public health programs rather than using the poor and
underprivileged as something to monitor and report about.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Three success stories were shared. Health Schools Network reported that nine states
now require use of certified green cleaning products. Recent concern over childhood
obesity has improved healthy options on lunch menus and many schools have removed
snack machines from campuses. The Sierra Club had a positive effect on the public
health of Louisiana. Positive changes can be accomplished through the work of
dedicated people, but more public education and involvement is needed to accomplish
more.

           The lessons learned from the failure stories were 1) that our government
health agencies are too underfunded and understaffed and have not been given the
proper direction and authorization to adequately protect public health and protect its
citizens from chemical exposure, 2) the public has a prevailing lack of trust in their
government health agencies due to conflicts of interest and past failures, 3) government
has given businesses a pass or been too easy on them for safety violations, and allowed
negligent businesses to avoid responsibility while making tax payers do so, 4) there is a
need for greater transparency, 5) there should be an investigation into the right of
negligent companies to buy secrecy through confidentiality contracts (denying first
amendment right to free speech by those they injured and to employees) to continue to
market or produce dangerous chemicals and products.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

All three groups agreed that they would like to have regular meetings, so that they can
get organizations and activists involved in discussions and increase participation by the
public.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                         Page 7
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


CALIFORNIA (ANAHEIM): MICHAEL BAILEY/PEOPLE FIRST ORANGE COUNTY MAY 12 AND
JUNE 9

Location: Anaheim, California
Convener: Michael Bailey/People First Orange County May 12
Date of Conversation: May 12, 2010
Participants (#): 9
Convener e-mail: michaelebailey@cox.net

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

These included (1) Low income People have to live in areas where rents are less. (2)
These areas tend to be closer to busy urban freeways and interchanges, railroad yards,
and ports, and airports. (3) Chemicals in transportation fuels and exhaust can create or
inflame asthma, heart trouble, cause some kinds of cancers, cause miscarriages, and
can lead to babies being born with disabilities that can last a life time. (4) Some
participants live near oil refineries and working oil wells that create additional exposure
to chemicals in the drilling and refining processes. (5) There is a high level of chemical
exposure in the household through the use of dish washing soaps, laundry detergents,
fertilizers, and insecticides. (6) Household chemicals can get into the water system
through storm water runoff or dry weather water runoff through gutters and storm drains
into rivers, creeks, and coastal waters causing pollution of the drinking water. (7) Some
people toss out their chemical containers into creeks or along creek banks.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

(1) Will natural, organic chemicals work as well as manufactured chemicals do? (2)
Should the transportation system be improved in ways that de-emphasize oil products
and emphasizes hydrogen and all-electric power?
Some discussion followed. It was mentioned that Johnson Wax has a product called
pyrethrum that is a totally natural insecticide that comes from the chrysanthemum flower
and is said to be very effective without using any manufactured chemicals.
Also, it was brought out that the City of Burbank is running its first all-hydrogen power
transit bus. The Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railway is operating the first all-hydrogen
power railroad switch engine in service anywhere in its large Los Angeles yards. And
the German Federal Office of Goods Transport is now running a fleet of all-electric
powered vehicles with a hydrogen cell that automatically recharges the electric batteries
when they get low so the vehicles don't need to be taken out of the field. The hydrogen
can be manufactured using solar power and all-electric vehicles can be recharged using
either a hydrogen cell or solar power, and none of these options create chemical
interactions that would cause more pollution. People would like to know how these new
technologies stack up beside old 20th Century technologies in terms of effectiveness
and ease of use.
Participants wanted more information on:
Nanotechnology is an important part of manufacturing processes in the 21st Century.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                         Page 8
Some participants wandered if these will cause more chemical exposures and

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

environmental problems, especially clean up issues. They wanted to know if there were
any kind of natural elements like some kind of bacteria or fungus that might be used to
safely and effectively clean contamination resulting from nanotechnology?

VALUES that participants thought were important:

We agreed on several important values including: (1) There should be created a system
of tests to accurately test all chemicals found contaminating drinking water sources to
determine if they can cause cancer or other health problems; (2) Drinking water sources
should be retested every so many years to see if contamination levels are being
significantly reduced or eliminated; (3) We should eliminate diesel particulates in the
same way as we eliminated lead in gasoline. (4) People can make better personal
decisions on their environmental health if they are informed. (5) Part of an outreach
effort must take into account health literacy. Labels and other important information
need to be provided at a reading level everyone can understand. A typical person
usually reads about 3-4 years below the level they were at when they graduated or quit
school. The information needs to be presented in alternative formats for disabled
persons like large print, braile, pictures, and the websites with information need to be
accessible to card readers.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

The Orange County Health Department, California Department of Public Health,
CalEPA, USCDC, USEPA should form task forces up-down-across organizational lines
and between and among organizations to develop integrated strategies leading to much
reduced risk from chemical exposures. Federal agencies should take the lead in
developing state-of-the-art fixed and mobile laboratories to measure air and water
chemical toxins, what makes them up, how many and what kinds are there, how do they
interact with other chemicals, and what can be done to reduce or eliminate them. These
labs should be accessible to state, county, city, special districts (water agencies)
governments. Do outreach to let peoplhe know how and to who to complain on water or
air pollution. This could be done by putting an announcement in peoples' water bills or in
mailers and card hangers for people who live in apartments and condos who don't pay
water bills. Environmental Justice is an important issue and people need to know that
everyone has the right to clean air, clean water, and safe food to eat.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

A major success we looked at was the elimination of lead in gasoline in California.
CalEPA passed regulations on lead in gasoline. The goal of eliminating the lead was a
cooperative effort that included oil companies, car manufacturers, and parts and
components manufacturers with the assistance of the state. The results were different
formulations of gasoline to continuously lead levels, catalytic converters to clean car
exhaust, and new cars built to run on cleaner fuels. Today, the major chemical problem
in air pollution is the particulates that come from diesel exhaust.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                         Page 9
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Participants are concerned that if there is no government regulation or oversight in the
area of chemicals and chemical exposures that corporations will put on the market
compounds that may be great at killing weeds or insects but also create serious
problems for the environment and people’s health. There must be government
involvement to ensure that the chemicals are safe to use.

Did the group make any plans about a follow up meeting about local action?

People First is made up of disabled persons in the regional center system. The Orange
County Chapter had 9 participants that came from all parts of the county. We are mostly
in independent living programs, though one member is in a group home. All of those in
independent living programs have a Section 8 HUD Housing Voucher. We held our
conversation at Westview Vocational Services in Anaheim on May 12, 2010 in the
afternoon. We would like to approach the Regional Center of Orange County and
Orange County Disabilities Area Board 11 on the idea of an outreach program to all
regional center clients, independent living, supported living, and group home staffs on
how clients can reduce the risks of chemical exposures and how to make choices on the
best products to reduce exposure to household chemicals. No date as yet been set for
this.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 10
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

CALIFORNIA (L AKEPORT): SARAH RYAN/BIG VALLEY RANCHERIA EPA

Location: Lakeport, CA
Convener(s): Big Valley Rancheria EPA
Date of conversation: 07/23/2010
Participants (#): 16
Convener e-mail: sryan@big-valley.net

Participants’ main concerns included:

Tribal members are very concerned about contamination in their traditional foods such
as fish, deer and tules (lake reeds). Mercury in fish, pesticides in local plants are
present and should not be.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

The level of contaminants in our food products – if it’s on the shelves it must be safe.
Contaminants include pesticides in produce and and other contaminants in consumer
products.

Values that participants thought were important:

Justice
Prevention
Transparency

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

The government should do more to protect us from contaminants in our daily products.
Stronger laws, not allowing chemicals to be used when they are going to stay in our
environment. Tribes should be included in decision making since their traditional foods
are being contaminated by local activities.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

It is important that government responds to the people with regard to concern about
contaminants.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Some people wanted to continue discussions at local Tribal environmental meetings.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 11
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports



Location: Anaheim, California
Convener (s): Michael Bailey/People First Orange County June 9
Date of Conversation: Monday, June 9, 2010
Participants (#): N/a
Convener e-mail: michaelebailey@cox.net

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

People First Orange County held its meeting on June 9, 2010 at the Westview
Vocational Services Office in Anaheim. The second discussion on hazardous chemicals
took place within the framework of the main Chapter meeting. This time the main
concern was air pollution and the diesel particulates in it that cause significant health
problems. Also discussed was the issue of disposing of old or no longer needed
medications

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

N/a

VALUES that participants thought were important:

We thought that diesel particulates and the chemicals that make them up was of great
importance especially since information was brought out of a scientific study from
Harvard that said certain chemical atoms in the particulates could attach themselves to
the body's genes after being breathed in and result in serious damage by causing the
gene involved to stop working. Many disabled persons must live in lower income areas
where costs are usually less but chemical exposures from air and water pollution and
other sources are higher.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

At the same time as our meeting, we heard that the California Air Resources Board was
studying the issue of diesel particulates and air pollution from major Southern California
Railroad Yards, that the Air Board staff had made recommendations on controlling
pollution at the yards from various classes of locomotives, from cargo handling
equipment, from drayage trucks, and from heavy maintenance and repair equipment,
and that the Air Board staff was asking for comments. WE talked about what the staff
was proposing and thought we would like to comment. In addition, several People First
members also did their own letters. Many disabled persons live by or close to major
freeways, ports, rail yards, truck service centers because costs are usually less in these
lower income areas. But reducing pollution at the train yards can have a positive impact
well beyond the yard boundaries. The drayage trucks that operate on freeways and
major surface streets to and from the yards will be emitting less diesel particulates for


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 12
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

their entire trip not just the segment at the train yard and the same holds for the
locomotives.

On the issue of safe disposal of old or no lo0nger needed medications, the Regional
Center of Orange County is setting up an outreach program that will reach independent
living program clients and independent living, supported living, and group home staff on
proper medication disposal.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

The main things we learned are that change is never easy and never just happens, it
must be made to happen by caring people. And that action to reduce these chemical
exposures would not be happening without people speaking up. Speaking up is critical
for change. .

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

Follow Up: We plan to talk about the issue of different kinds of chemical exposures and
what might be done to reduce them especially as they relate to the disability community.
But we have no plans for special meetings. The discussion would take place as one part
of the regular chapter meetings.

Finally, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to participate in this very important
project. It has opened peoples' eyes on some important problems and has gotten steps
to be taken toward addressing them. I think more will happen as we move forward.
Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 13
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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CALIFORNIA (O AKLAND): MICHAEL KENT/ DITCHING DIRTY DIESEL
COLLABORATIVE/BAY AREA ENVTL HEALTH COLLABORATIVE

Location: Oakland, California
Convener(s): Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative/Bay Area Environmental Health
Collaborative
Date of conversation: March 31, 2010
Participants (#): 6
Convener e-mail: mkent@hsd.cccounty.us

Participants’ main concerns included:

    •   Different communities have different concerns based on what is in their area
    •   Type of exposure may affect some people’s concern
    •   Communities are going to focus on exposures that relate directly to them
    •   Find a way to really monitor what is actually in the air
    •   All the monitoring that’s been done is great but we don’t know if any of it is real
    •   E.g. communities are concerned with cumulative impacts – toxins in the air
    •   Risk assessment is very problematic in EJ communities
    •   The science is inadequate when looking at communities
    •   Risk assessment is discriminatory, not health protective
    •   Household exposures are big concern, especially for parents
    •   Confusion over how to protect children from many toxic chemicals
    •   Everyday exposures are very concerning
    •   Government needs to regulate more because it’s very confusing right now and
        hard to keep track
    •   Generational differences in concerns probably exist.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Participants had little disagreement.

Values that participants thought were important:

    •   Transparency should include having understandable labeling
    •   Real time monitoring of any activity that effects air quality and requirement to
        report out to the general public
    •   There is an industry interest in keeping information from the public and they are
        powerful interests
    •   Must shift the burden of proof
    •   Industry should be required to meet some standard of safety before it can be put
        on the market
    •   Personal responsibility is not sufficient to protect people some people are not in a


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 14
        position to make some decisions, e.g., kids


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   Look at access to healthy foods, many people live where it’s not available –
        personal responsibility is unfair for many communities
    •   How are agencies going to restore justice in most affected communities
    •   The Principles of Environmental Justice must be applied to any approach
        adopted
    •   The Precautionary Principle must be adopted
    •   For most, there would not have to be as much lifestyle changes as people think if
        those with the most resources changed theirs, e.g., moving from an economy
        based on profit

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

    •   Need process for community to sit down with businesses to help them change
        their business model
    •   Different stakeholders need to build guiding principles to work together – should
        occur at the beginning of a process
    •   Need adequate health standards – what exists now is worker exposures
        standards but not community exposures and standards need to be enforceable
        and come with penalties for violations
    •   Land use issues – local government doesn’t include health concerns – federal
        government needs to step in and develop some standards in land use issues,
        e.g., distance between freeways and schools, etc.
    •   Local jurisdictions are making some changes mandatory e.g., ban on Styrofoam
        packaging for food
    •   Help business understand how to adopt safer practices that are more profitable –
        government should help business identify ways to become less dependent on
        toxic chemicals in ways that are profitable
    •   Government could better educate business for making changes
    •   Need to address the root causes of exposures, e.g., water contamination in
        California’s Central Valley is a result of Big Agriculture not containing their animal
        waste

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

    •   Multifaceted stakeholder processes can successfully implement policy changes
        to ordinances and secure resources to implement programs
    •   Relocation of a full community can be necessary in certain cases to protect their
        health
    •    Successes came when there was a community initiated process, multifaceted
        approach.
    •   Having the information, such as monitoring data and the science, shifted the
        debate
    •   Rerouting the freeway in diverse community
    •   The science made the difference when advocating to close a factory
    •   Education that leads to a common vocabulary is very helpful

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 15
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   Community researchers – being able to employ independent researchers
    •   Need to know what a regulatory agency does, authority and jurisdiction – when to
        go to get something addressed/solved
    •   Delaware Department of National Resources and Environmental Control has an
        ombudsman and that has changed the nature of the interaction
    •   Need more ombudsmen positions in regulatory/governmental agencies
    •   Building partnerships aids in success
    •   Making the case to decision makers with data produced by community members
    •   Community organizing and community building
    •   With community leadership, data analysis is richer
    •   Using secondary data or Agency data is not very straightforward – need to be
        demystified for community to be able to use it to influence policy

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Most of the people attending already belong to a local collaborative addressing an
environmental pollution issue (diesel pollution).




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 16
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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CALIFORNIA (ROSS): LISA WERTHEIM/TEENS TURNING GREEN

Location: Ross, California
Convener: Lisa Wertheim/Teens Turning Green
Date of conversation: June 17, 2010
Participants: 45
Convener e-mail: lisa@teensturninggreen.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

Toxic Chemicals and how to reduce their exposures in their lives, schools, businesses,
and communities.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Everyone seemed very interested in the topic. Pricewise was the main concern and
affordability of products that are less toxic.

Values that participants thought were important:

    •   Become more informed consumers so they can be armed with information to
        select least toxic products.
    •   Make small changes in their lifestyle from eliminating one toxic product in their
        home and choosing a greener alternative
    •   Do one thing
    •   The FDA does not regulate the personal care and cosmetics industry. They must
        become educated to protect their health
    •   Inform their friends, family, community, and spread the word

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

    •   Hold additional forums
    •   Do their own research on EWG’s website: cosmetic database.com
    •   Make their own household products
    •   Get involved in our movement, join our campaign, and help advocate for change
    •   Advocate for a change to greener alternatives on their school campuses.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

This is a community that has had little to no information relating to toxic chemical
exposure. This was all new information to them. This community uses some of the most
toxic brands. The cheapest brands are often the most toxic. They do not shop at natural
foods stores.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 17
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Students are less likely to collaborate with their peers outside of their community. Local,
community-based actions are best. It’s hard to get people to come out to the forum.
Need to have better publicity and community outreach next time.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

We do plan to meet again in the Fall and have the community do better outreach to
invite a larger number of participants. Include more NGO’s to collaborate on the event.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 18
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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CALIFORNIA (SAN FRANCISCO): MICHAEL KENT/ CONTRA                 COSTA HEALTH SERVICES
AND S AN F RANCISCO P UBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Location: San Francisco, CA
Convener: Contra Costa Health Services, San Francisco Public Health Department
Dates of conversations: June 17, 2010
Participants: 13
Convener E-mail: mkent@hsd.cccounty.us

Participants’ main concerns included:

    •   Household chemicals need to be completely eliminated
    •   Septic systems get polluted and pollute ground and water
    •   NHANS Biomonitoring program should be expanded and include more rural
        information on pesticide exposures; focus on summer exposures; more
        chemicals should be studied; fenceline communities focus, the information
        should be widely shared
    •   CDC should be biomonitoring around the Gulf Coast right now and reporting
        what is found
    •   Reverse the burden of proof and make proponents of chemicals prove safety
    •   Environmental monitoring is needed and results should be published
    •   Communities with highest incidence and communities with higher exposure
        because they are on the fence line should be focused on for data
        collection/analysis
    •   Health data tracking – every disease should have a registry
    •   Well published data must be available to everybody for use as well as for general
        informational purposed
    •   Linking health to environmental exposures should be a priority
    •   HIPPA needs to be reformed, especially with the electronic health reporting to
        still protect privacy but allow access to information that can be used to better
        protect the public’s wellbeing
    •   Some folks are hiding behind HIPA rather than sharing the information
    •   Cancer should not be the “only” or the main health outcome concern
    •   Need to get baseline information and go forward studying how the health of study
        subjects is affected
    •   Need to protect the communities being studied to avoid stigma
    •   Build trust, cultural competency – researchers should build community
        relationships as allies
    •   HIPPA is important, the protections are good but some changes can occur and
        still be protective
    •   This project’s Report must be organized in a way to ensure that it doesn’t sit on a
        shelf but is a vehicle to get real changes – TSCA reform and more regulation like
        REACH in Europe
    •   Get stronger message out from the government

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 19
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   Public health should be part of core instruction in medical education
    •   Government focused effort to change the culture of medical education is needed,
        leave the practice of focusing on medication and sick care and move to
        prevention, wellness and health
    •   Need curriculum changes, public health needs to be taught
    •   Public Health should be ratcheted up into clinical practice
    •   Need better data on chemicals
    •   Simple, easily understandable labels on consumer products and what the health
        risk is must be mandated to protect public health
    •   Your concern depends on where you live and your economic status
    •   Plenty of research but no standards have been adopted as result
    •   Our Court system protects polluters by sealing records as part of settlements
    •   Construction sites need to be regulated before, during and after clean up, during
        the complete construction activity
    •   People growing up near superfund sites need to be studied
    •   Capping contaminated sites is not good public health
    •   What are we breathing – need to focus on the air we are being forced to breath
    •   Free health care is necessary to address exposures in the US
    •   Pesticides in parks, school yards as well farm land need to be studied and better
        regulated
    •   Government agencies need to go a little out of their boxes to make changes
    •   Legal protection of trade secrets is a real barrier to protecting the public’s health
    •   In the US, corporations are protected not people- the economic system does not
        support public health
    •   We want health and our own money both – a sustainable economy is better
    •   Good health is an excellent economic policy
    •   The gap between rich and poor indicates the health of a country/county/city
    •   Need systemic change – justice/equity are very important
    •   Cleaning up our production system will help our economy in the long run
    •   Cost-benefit analysis – we must include the externalities (disposal/destruction
        costs, health impacts costs, etc.)
    •   Corporations must embrace change
    •   People who have been exposed need to have health care and health education
        must provide the caretakers for the next 4 generations
    •   Legacy exposures are not being dealt with because there is no authority to
        enforce anything
    •   Renters exposure in old, substandard housing is not addressed anywhere, for
        example asbestos “legal” abatement is either not done or done incorrectly
    •   Household exposures include mercury vapor lights if broken and there is no
        warning on bulbs or labels
    •   Consumer safety products agencies should be requiring labeling and clean up
        methods
    •   Need programs to properly handle household exposures
    •   Strong mechanisms are needed to force property owners, etc., to respond

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 20
        appropriately – landlord/tenant laws are not sufficient. Examples:


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

            o    Person loss of sense of smell as result of exposure to a pesticide that
                 was not identified on the labeling of a Baer paint product which was below
                 the “percentage” level that requires label identification
            o Industrial pollution such as hexavalent chromium polluted soils in West
                 Oakland, LA, NOLA not addressed and land being reused
            o Closed PG&E site reused for Public Housing without being cleaned up in
                 Daly City, CA an example of government ignoring exposure potential
    •   Historical use of sites in Redevelopment areas that were not carefully
        investigated should be thoroughly investigated
    •   Lead in old kitchen tiles that people prepare food on should be addressed
    •   Viewpoint C is the common one
    •   Endocrine disruptors a smaller concern than daily household exposures
    •   No assessment of levels of exposure with products that have been in use for long
        period of time, e.g., furniture with fire retardants; this is possibly an environmental
        justice issue

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Nobody expressed disagreement with concerns raised by other participants.


Values that participants thought were important:

    •   Government needs to have integrity: US EPA allowed disbursement chemicals to
        be used in the Gulf because there was a big stockpile without care for the
        consequences to the environment
    •   Public needs to be informed consumers: concept of inerts needs to be fleshed
        out to provide protection. Inert ingredients must be disclosed.
    •   Even if regulated, how would we monitor? Funding for implementation of any
        regulation, including monitoring must be included in any regulatory process
    •   National economic policy that is supportive of a green economy is needed
    •   Military budget cuts and taxing the rich needs to happen
    •   Who benefits and who does not should be analyzed before approval given
    •   If people are being harmed, we should take action no matter the inconvenience
    •   Personal responsibility is not the answer, the problem is much bigger
    •   Personal responsibility is not the correct way; the Precautionary Principle is the
        proper approach
    •   Burden of proof on safety of a particular chemical/compound/substance should
        be on the proponent of the use
    •   Efficacy of risk assessment: it should be a component of a much broader
        assessment
    •   What is needed is an alternatives approach with risk assessment being one of
        the components
    •   Health assessments should be done honestly, corporations should not do them.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 21
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

    •  Community groups should be provided funding to identify independent qualified
       assessors
   • There must be corporate responsibility and responsibility for harm should be
       placed on management including both civil and criminal penalties
   • Right-wing thought blames the victim
   • Values change necessary: we need to be looking at over-consumption and
       government should be involved in changing the values
There was general disagreement with Values B and E in this section

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

    •   There was general agreement with all 4 view points
    •   Public involvement comes too late under current practices because the general
        public is kept out of the process until after decisions are made
    •   Not enough infrastructure exists in community groups to be truly effective. They
        need more technical resources which should be provide by government
    •   Government needs to have ombudsmen positions to better represent the public’s
        interest
    •   Partnership building needs to occur between communities and
        universities/schools to support more technical expertise from the community
        perspective
    •   Direct support of communities needs to be incorporated into education;
        community support internships should be required in professional schools.
    •   Funding from private industry to professional schools will have a negative effect
        on the integrity of the research done and will negatively affect perception of the
        results
    •   Government should zealously regulate within its mandates
    •   US EPA is un-zealous in many instances: E.g., a power plant built and operating
        without a permit in CA was allowed to make a settlement with very light penalty
    •   There is too much compartmentalization, too many different departments with
        different standards
    •   Need to completely overhaul our environmental laws to address the community
        exposures of today
    •   Need to establish the “Agency of Everything” to oversee, direct and regulate all
        current regulatory agencies with strong citizen input
    •   Whistle blower protection needs to be strengthened
    •   Government needed when people don’t have the ability to make choices
    •   Support needs to be provided time to develop he background to be actively
        involved in policy adoption (commissioners, elected officials, etc.)
    •   NGOs are often dependent on government for funding (or corporations) so get
        bought off
    •   TSCA reform introduced because of community pressure and independent
        science
    •   NGOs have often led the way by putting on economic pressure
    •
Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 22
        Government only relying on industry science


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   BCPR needs to be used much more
    •   Cumulative impact analysis must be used
    •   There is going to be systemic change in 50 years no matter what because of
        climate change and chemicals reform
    •   ATSDR needs to set up funding to support community participation in CBPR, etc.
    •   Legacy chemicals and clean up, clean up, clean up
    •   Community should be at the table because we have the true expert knowledge
    •   Relying on market pressure to force change may be good but it takes a long time
        and is not fair to the unprotected consumer

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

    •   Success and failure: MTB removal from gas in CA was a partial success, the
        science was really tight. The political and educational foundation had to be laid
        for the change to be accepted. But, it should have been classified as a nerve
        agent but was not. Public participation needed along with other factors to have
        full success in these efforts.
    •   Failure: Corporate dominance of the process. We cannot muster enough
        opposition to overcome the influence of the corporations. People need more
        institutional power
    •   Failure: When EPA defined levels of lead in soils for residential land use, OMB
        said cleaning up to background level was too much and sent EPA back to do
        another modeling and get a higher value. This was not based on science, it was
        based on politics.
    •   Failure: In CA, the last CEQA debate took out newer, more protective regulations
        as a result of pressure from industry and some city elected officials
    •   Success: SF Public Utilities Commission Sewage Plant is using more agitation
        of their standing pools to eliminate mosquitoes laying eggs rather than applying
        pesticides because of community objections to spraying.
    •   Community groups need access to the law, having an organization that has
        scientists, legal support and organizing expertise (such as Communities for a
        Better Environment) is necessary
    •   There are lots of trust issues – community groups need power and government
        needs to be available to support these groups
    •   Campaign spending reform to limit corporate influence is necessary
    •   Communities need to be in control
    •   Failure: Childhood leukemia study, a massive loss of trust occurred – there were
        many attacks on scientific and government credibility based on solid experiences
    •   Success and failure: Safe Cosmetics Act – passed in 2005 but only about 250
        corporations have reported as required by 2010. it has been a success because
        it has raised awareness but no resources were provided for follow up and
        enforcement so it is failing
    •   Fibroids are becoming epidemic in women of color
    •   Must respond to what concerns others as well


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 23
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   New Jersey Fact Sheets – are a semi-success but people also lie on these
        pieces of information
    • Politicians continue to lie to us on health issues and on pollution
    • People need to get back into government
    • Economic stimulus was not long-term and has not really done us any good
    • Rules don’t apply equally to all players
    • Punishment required – regulatory process must include criminal consequences
    • Success and failure: PBDE’s – advocacy groups working with scientists have
        proven its danger. US EPA Region 9 convened the first group on fire retardants
        and included corporate representatives, scientists, fire marshals and the general
        public. This was not done under TSCA. We now need regulatory response to get
        it out of our lives
    • In the US it is okay to poison people
    • We need TSCA reform, we need safer products and safer designs
    • Government should take precautionary approaches
    • There needs to be more resources devoted to research and development on
        safer alternatives
    • Success and failure: other examples where good laws are passed but not
        enforced for the protection of the public
                 Clean Air Act
                 Clean Water Act
                 Superfund Law
                 Auto Emissions Standards
It may take longer but communities/citizens need to be in control

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
No

______________________________________________________________________________




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 24
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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CONNECTICUT (WETHERSFIELD): HILARY NORCIA/CENTRAL CONNECTICUT HEALTH
DISTRICT

Location: Wethersfield, Connecticut
Convener: Hilary Norcia/Central Connecticut Health District
Date of conversation: June 14, 2010
Participants: 14
Convener e-mail: HNorcia@NewingtonCT.Gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

    •   Concerns expressed during introductions: Learn more about chemical
        sensitivities, exposures to pesticides, hidden hazards, pets’ exposure to
        pesticides, and concerns prompted by oil spill.
    •   Chronic disorders that may be caused by toxic and persistent exposure; There
        are concerns about the serious health implications of chemical exposure and the
        direct relationship between chemicals and various health issues.
    •   Since people are living longer, they are exposed to chemicals for longer periods
        of time.
    •   Unfortunately, there are situations where chemical exposure is simply
        unavoidable.
    •   It is difficult to find information. There needs to be good, reliable resources
        available to the public that support their claims with scientific research.
    •   Resources seem to biased or unreliable. There is a definite fear of what we don’t
        know.
    •   The exposure of fish and other animals accumulating toxins in their bodies, which
        are then consumed.
    •   Undefined methods of documenting case studies or monitoring individuals. There
        is a need to move from thinking globally to thinking locally.
    •   The exposure of children to chemicals and pesticides both at home and at
        school. Children should receive education in school about the dangers of
        chemical exposure.
    •   There is an absence of a “chemical police”, which forces families to fear a
        “hidden chemical monster”. There is no central agency that could provide
        information about the safety of products.
    •   Companies focus on profits rather than the long-term health of the consumer.
        There is a lack of trust of companies.
    •   Mercury and lead levels in the environment and overall exposure.
    •   There is inadequate labeling of products, especially those that children use.
    •   It is too difficult to get information from companies about the chemicals in their
        products. There is fear that companies are hiding what ingredients are in their
        products. Example: BPA.
    •   The general public will not adopt chemical safety practices because they are an
        inconvenience to families even though this is a serious safety, environmental,
        and health issue.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 25
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   Allergies in young children seem to be more prevalent. How/why are these
        allergies developing at higher rates in children.
    •   There are not alternatives and safer options for consumers.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

    •   There was little disagreement. The only differences were in levels of concern –
        some people were very concerned, others were a little concerned, while many
        were simply confused.

Values that participants thought were important:

    •   Prevention: phasing out toxic chemicals and replacing them with safer
        alternatives; educating communities about the inherent risks of chemical and
        toxins encountered on a daily basis.
            o Comparison to smoking (knowledge, education, honesty, regulation etc.)
    •   Knowledge and Education: educating children; continuing scientific research;
        essential part of prevention; more reliable information available to the public.
    •   Transparency and honesty: companies need to be more open about the
        ingredients in their products and the effects of each ingredient; companies need
        to take more responsibility;
    •   Regulation/Oversight: Government needs to regulate big businesses more;
        companies must have responsibility and accountability for the chemical
        exposures they cause; companies should also be responsible for the negative
        outcomes of their products; government has the power to enforce regulations.
    •   Justice: some communities are exposed to more chemical than others; public
        has the right to know about the ingredients in their products and their harmful
        effects; companies must address the problems they cause and individuals should
        not be responsible.
    •   Expectations and Convenience: need to change mindset that chemicals are the
        best, fastest solution; a lot of effort is now needed to find out what is in products
        and investigate the hazards of common chemicals; demands for convenience
        should be checked, limited and more realistic.

Participants noted key steps that groups should take, including:

    •   Effective cleaning alternatives to products that contain chemicals should be
        promoted and used.
    •   Lawn chemical treatments should be regulated, limited and modified to use safer
        lawn care alternatives.
    •   People who own apartments, hotels, condominiums, etc. should notify
        residences about chemicals/pesticides being used.
    •   Government and public health groups should encourage organic gardening,
        green cleaning, education programs, and information about pesticides.
    •   Government needs to recognize and advertise the financial savings/incentives of

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 26
        adopting more environmentally friendly practices.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

    •   There should be an efficient, effective way to notify the public about dangerous
        chemical exposures in emergency situations.
    •   Groups in the community (workplaces, schools, public venues) should host
        “fragrance free” meetings and events, continuing to make them more socially
        acceptable.
    •   Schools should make an effort to limit chemical use that would cause children to
        be exposed to harmful chemicals. Schools need to educate children about
        chemical exposure and the environmental and health consequences of toxic
        substances.
    •    Society must change their expectations and mindset about current standards.
        “Counter cultural” ideas must become accepted and encouraged in communities.
    •   Businesses need to ensure that their products (food, beverages, cleaning
        products, gardening products) are safe for people to consume

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

    •   The importance of respect of yourself and others, especially in terms of health.
    •   Local governments need to be encouraged and motivated by their constituents.
        Individuals need to be informed about where their representatives stand on
        environmental issues and support non-profit organizations that promote
        chemical-free, safer alternatives.
    •   Companies need to prove that their products are safe to consumers.
    •   The government must ban and phase out chemicals that are known to be toxic
        and very dangerous. Stringent policies and standards to control chemical and
        toxin exposure must be enforced too.
    •   Public health departments need to promote, regulate, investigate and provide
        information about the health and environmental issues related to chemical
        exposures.
    •   Schools can play an essential role in educating children and future generations
        about how chemical exposures can be controlled.
    •   Businesses must be voluntarily more transparent, instead of waiting to be forced
        to change their practices. This would lead to more immediate, beneficial
        changes. Businesses must promote integrity, honesty, and accountability.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

    •   Send postcards/letters to senators and representatives about acts and new laws
        concerning chemical exposures. Ex) Toxic Substances Control Act
    •   Communicate with physicians that toxic chemical screens and evaluations of
        chemical sensitivities should become commonplace.
    •   Use Public Health Department as a tool for causing beneficial changes and
        educating the public through the use of grants and tax dollars.
    •   Encourage increased participation of residents in policy making that impact these
        environmental and health issues before serious problems ensue.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 27
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


FLORIDA (J ACKSONVILLE): WYNETTA WRIGHT/EASTSIDE ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL, INC

Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Convener(s): Eastside Environmental Council, Inc.
Date of conversation: June 30, 2010
Participants (#): 11
Convener E-mail: Wynettawright@bellsouth.net

Participants’ main concerns included:

1. Air Quality - area suffers higher incidences of respiratory illnesses
2. Remediating contaminated sites.
3. Health concerns:
    • Higher infant mortality than other areas of City
    • Higher incidences of childhood obesity
    • Need for community gardens
    • Need for community health center (affordable/accessible)
4. Hiring/jobs for ex-felons

Participants disagreed on whether to be concerned about certain issues,
including:

    •   Apathy (some residents feel that nothing will ever change)

Values that participants thought were important:

1. Transparency - no hidden agendas from politicians and government officials.
2. Convenience - Training/workshops to educate residents on limiting exposures to
chemical or hazardous substances.
3. Prevention - Less reliance on chemicals; seek natural alternatives to household
chemicals and hazards. (building scientific capacity)
4. Justice - Fair treatment and assistance with environmental issues impacting the
community.
5. Personal responsibility - Teaching healthy choices, increase exercise, better food
choices for a healthy diet to reduce obesity.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Community groups continue to inform, educate, and empower the community to address
environmental issues through effective interaction with local, state, and federal officials.
Seek public/private partnerships to offer solutions to current concerns.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 28
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Successes: EPA held public meetings/workshops to inform community on remediation
of highly contaminated neighborhood site
Failure: Private owner of site failed to follow thru on promises/commitments made to
community. Filed bankruptcy to avoid issue.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes. A follow-up meeting is planned to capitalize on momentum from this meeting.
Other groups will be invited to participate in a larger, more focused meeting to address
community concerns raised during national conversation discussion.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 29
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


FLORIDA (ORLANDO): KEN Z ARKER/NATIONAL POLLUTION PREVENTION
ROUNDTABLE/SIERRA CLUB OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

Location: Orlando, Florida
Convener: Ken Zarker/National Pollution Prevention Roundtable/Sierra Club of
Central Florida
Date of conversation: 5/26/2010
Participants: 8
Convener e-mail: kzar461@ecy.wa.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

The group agreed that viewpoint C was of highest interest. Concerns about the large
number of chemicals and lack of testing. Concerns for kids, concerns that most
Americans don’t “know” what toxic chemicals are contained in a product, and assume
that products on the shelf are safe. Most average people are just too busy or it’s not a
priority. Fear and Greed are what people respond and act.

The Gulf BP oil spill has raised concerns about the use of toxic disbursements and has
made the public more aware of toxics. This helps create action when it affects you
personally. Chemical are everywhere, but it is mostly invisible to us. It doesn’t look like a
smoke stack or end of pipe like typical pollution sources.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

None

Several values that participants thought were important:

Fair- What is fair?
Need legislative action to require testing. Right to know; precaution/prevention is key.
How do we move towards a green economy? Manufacturers should have the
responsibility for their products and government needs to provide oversight and
regulation to ensure the safety of products. It comes down to Ethics – what right for the
common good? People have the right to thrive in their communities, especially the next
generation of children that is being robbed of their potential resulting from chemical
exposure. Some of the group members expressed a sense of “feeling powerless” to
affect changes that are needed for protecting future human & the environment.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Use the media to get interest on the topic. Promote the use of safer products. Volunteers
can drive actions in the community. Will a “system failure” lead to sustainable change?
Use the failure to help generate in success. Take personal steps to impact change,
share the success with others.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 30
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures
include:

Personal action makes a difference
Share the success with others

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
Submit article to the FL Sierra Club newsletter, work with state environmental & health
agencies on chemical exposures. Green parent.org; Bloomingdales; Doctors &
pediatricians; green building architects; religious groups; “toxics” are a ticket to get in the
door; passed the tipping point




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 31
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


FLORIDA (VERO BEACH): JULIANNE R. PRICE/INDIAN RIVER COUNTY HEALTH
DEPARTMENT

Location: Vero Beach, Florida
Convener: Julianne R. Price/Indian River County Health Department
Date of conversation: April 1, 2010
Participants: 25
Convener e-mail: Julianne_Price@doh.state.fl.us

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Main areas of agreement: All but one person, who happened to own a local junkyard,
chose viewpoint C (very worried about everyday exposures to chemicals). When the
community leaders were specifically asked if they thought Viewpoint C was
representative of the community’s feeling and perception, all agreed this was the case.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

Only one disagreement occurred and it was with the only individual who chose Viewpoint
B (slightly concerned). This individual was the owner of the local junkyard and
contended that many chemicals, such as petroleum, were not as toxic as people
believed them to be. No one seemed to relate to this statement or generally agree.

Participants wanted more information on: Research on what specific chemicals and the
amounts of these chemicals that existed in perceived and actual contaminated sites
within their community. Many sites were discussed as needing to be investigated, and
are thought to be contaminated.

VALUES that participants thought were important:

The most important value listed was “Prevention”. Participants said that if they know
how to prevent exposures, then this is the best way to ensure they don’t occur. The
second value that about 2/3 of participants chose in addition to “Prevention” was
“Transparency”. Again, participants expressed that if they are aware of what’s in their
community, they can better manage and address chemical exposures. Many felt that
Value A (Transparency) and Value C (Prevention) go “hand-in-hand” and were one in
the same.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

The majority indicated “Success”, meaning that the community feels like through
strengthening ties with existing community groups, stakeholders, local government, and
private industry that such partnerships would ensure success in addressing existing and
potential chemical exposures. The few responses that indicated “Failure” were because
the Gifford community has already experienced “Failure” and collectively, have made

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 32
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

great efforts recently to accomplish many of the bullet items in A. There was only one “I
Don’t Know” response.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Viewpoint C (encourage partnerships) was selected by all participants. Additionally,
viewpoint B (transparency—involve members of public in decisions that affect their
health) was selected by the majority of participants. It was unanimous that private
industry, community organizations, government, and residents should strengthen their
communications and relationships as they relate to chemical exposures in their
community. The community felt that higher levels of government should also perhaps be
involved in the issue and discussion of chemical exposures in their community as some
sites are permitted by federal and/or state entities. The grants available to assist with
such issues are also primarily awarded by federal agencies which lent itself to their
reasoning to achieve a solution.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes. Particularly, the private business owner of the junkyard was discovered to be a
valuable partner and was invited to attend a few of the scheduled community meeting to
be held this month. Also, the specific sites of perceived or actual contamination were
recorded and the facilitator agreed to pursue investigations to determine whether or not
they were chemical exposures. The EPA CARE grant and EPA Brownfield grant were
named to be useful funding sources to pursue, also.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 33
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
           National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                     Community Conversation Summary Reports


GEORGIA (SAVANNAH): DR. MILDRED MCCLAIN/THE HARAMBEE HOUSE, INC./CITIZENS
FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Location: Savannah, Georgia
Convener: Dr. Mildred McClain/The Harambee House, Inc./Citizens for
Environmental Justice
Date of conversation: April 8, 2010
Participants: 20
Convener e-mail: cfej@bellsouth.net
Participants’ main concerns included:

     1. Health and Wellness
     2. Effects on the Environment
     3. Allergies

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

None

List several values that participants thought were important:

1.   Clean air and Water
2.   Chemical free food
3.   Collaboration between government, Industry and the Public
4.   Health over profits
5.   Community separated from Industry

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

1.   Government must stop the production of harmful chemicals
2.   Educate the community
3.   Restrict pesticides and chemicals that affect health and wellness
4.   Community should have voice and should inform government

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

1.   Study and analyze examples
2.   Look at race, class, and culture differences as they relate to successes and failure
3.   How to appeal to the masses
4.   Community must stand-up

Summary

     a. Elect government representatives that are concerned about our environment

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 34
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                     Community Conversation Summary Reports

      b. Put in place checks and balances that will hold government and industry
         accountable
      c. Develop and practice environmental safe habits in our homes and schools
      d. Make sure these habits are passed from generation to generation
      e. Ensure that our government and industry are on the same accord with the
         community
      f. Teach the people about the harmful effects of all chemicals and what can be
         done about exposures
      g. Change the nature of ATSDR

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Group wanted to continue to receive information as well as meet again

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

Rev Cutters group discussion, and answered questions:

(1)      The adverse affect it has on our children, community, residents and our
         chronically ill. The children who are still developing and the elderly who are being
         ill are our main topics.

(2)      Putting a value on community life. Separating community from profiteering
         Industries.


(3)      Hudson Hill citizens coming together to voice their opinion with the Harambee
         House-CFE

      (a) Analyze water, soil, air and housing strict regulation.
      (b) Analyze devote their correct policy, practices for adherence, remediation
          enforcement.
      (c) Develop a community plan of action that encompasses all stockholder being
          involved for needed adhesive remediation enforcement chance, with a method of
          measuring prompt and efficient health improvement
      (d) Continued monitoring for assured quality health for cleaner air, water, and soil.
          For the next 10-20 years we need a variety of prevention acts.

Community Conversation

Mr. Barries group discussion, and answered questions

(1) Concerns

         Health effect (long and short term) as it applies to the general public


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 35
(2) Value

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                        Community Conversation Summary Reports


            We believe that government, companies and the public should not value profit
            over human health issues.

(3)    Role

             Inform and educate the community about areas of their life, such as health and
            educate them on how to minimize or rid themselves of particular hazard
(4)         Success/Failure

            -- Studying examples around the country where positive effects have acquired
            after issues have been identified and corrected.

Community Conversation

Group discussion understanding the issues list important points—Tool Kit

      (1)      Why are 1000 exposed every day
      (2)      Need better scientist in order to protect the public
      (3)      Strengthen policies, and practices
      (4)      Increase public Involvement and understanding
      (5)      How are people exposed and how can we get involved
      (6)      It is hard for people to know which exposure poses the most threat to there
               health
      (7)      Create an agenda daily
      (8)      These groups of people face higher risk, children, elder, people of color and
               low-income communities.
      (9)      Although some chemicals can enhance our life, there are other chemicals
               decorate.
      (10)     We must improve scientific knowledge, modernize policies, use best
               practices
      (11)     Knowing that anyone, not just those that work around harmful chemicals.
               Anyone can bring home harmful chemicals.
      (12)     What makes exposure harmful? This question is often complicated, requiring
               information about the source, route, dose and potential health effects, as well
               as knowing about our health states
      (13)     We must have these conversation so that more of the public will become
               educated on the health affects of short and long term exposure
      (14)     Once educated we move forward into protecting all people regardless of race
               or states. With education and enforcement of the laws the general public will
               learn to live safer and greener lives
      (15)     This 2 year program is an attempt to acquire there goals
      (16)     Our main concern is the health effects and the risk chemicals poses to the
               general public



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 36
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


IDAHO (BOISE): MEGAN KEATING/IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND W ELFARE,
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

Location: Boise, Idaho
Convener: Megan Keating/Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Environmental
Health and Assessment Program
Date of conversation: June 10, 2010
Participants: 13
Convener e-mail: keatingm@dhw.idaho.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

Participants’ main concerns were that they did not know who to trust about whether or
not a chemical was dangerous. Participants felt that there were too many conflicting
views and they didn’t know who to believe. Participants also assumed that the
government was there to protect people from harmful chemicals, but they weren’t sure if
the government was actually protecting them.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

People disagreed about whether companies did a good job of labeling chemicals in
products and the possible risks associated with the products. Some people felt that
companies should be required to list information about chemicals on their products.
Other people felt that companies are already doing a good job of labeling the types of
chemicals in their products and providing information on how to safely use the product.

There was also disagreement as to whether companies should have to list all of the
ingredients in their products. Some participants felt that in order to protect their patent, a
company should not have to list all of the ingredients in their products. Other participants
felt that people’s health and well being were more important than a product or patent.

Values that participants thought were important:

Participants thought efforts should be made to make household chemicals safer. They
also felt that safer alternatives to chemicals should be used when possible.

Participants felt that the government should stop exposures to chemicals with known
risks and that areas where people are at a greater risk of chemical exposure should be
addressed.

Some participants felt that it should be required for companies to put labels on products
with chemicals.

The public should be given more knowledge about chemicals and their risks so that the
government will be more honest in protecting the public from chemicals.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 37
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Insurance companies could have inspectors who visit manufacturers check to make sure
they are complying with regulations and check for the safe use of chemicals. Companies
who do not comply with the regulations and using chemicals safely should then have to
pay more for insurance.

The government should have an agency that can provide resources to the public about
chemicals. The participants were not sure who the public would call if they had questions
about chemicals. The government needs to do a better job of advertizing the resources
that are available to the public.

Participants also thought that politicians and representatives could take steps to get the
public more involved with reducing exposure to chemicals.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Chemicals may be responsible for many of the illnesses we experience in our
communities. Chemicals can cause long lasting health effects and there should be more
awareness and efforts made to protect individuals from them. There should also be more
efforts to protect individuals who are or could be vulnerable to chemicals, by keeping
products with chemicals away from them.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

The group did not make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 38
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports



ILLINOIS (DECATUR): SUSAN RENEE F ERRE /R.I.P.P.L.E.S.

Location: Decatur, Illinois
Convener: Susan Renee Ferre/R.I.P.P.L.E.S.
Date of conversation: June 24, 2010
Participants: 6
Convener e-mail: suzanrenee@comcast.net

Participants’ main concerns included:

    1) People need to know facts/ info about chemicals in products including trade
        secret chemicals
    2) Injuries occurring with improper disposal of items by industry and general
        consumers
    3) Difficult to maintain standards as more chemicals increase especially water
        quality
    4) Overseas industry operating without environmental control
    5) Decreased home ventilation for increased energy efficiency leading to health
        problems
    6) Consumer education
    7) Dealing with exposures after the fact instead of using prevention
    8) Consumer awareness of chemical exposure issue and health risks especially
        pregnant and breast feeding women
    9) Chemophobia-confusion leading to fear of chemicals
    10) People need to know
    11) How much is too much?

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Water quality
Valid risk versus benefits on chemicals
Exposures to fetuses thru mothers
Exposures at work

Values that participants thought were important:

Transparency
Honesty
Social Responsibility-companies doing the right thing, communities doing the right thing
Personal Responsibility-read instructions, learn about issues
Knowledge
Hope
Simplicity(of message)
Consistency (of message)

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 39
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Availability (of information)
Faithfulness with public trust-ensure social responsibility

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

*******(This wasn’t listed on our discussion point-we were asked about partnerships)***
    1) Look for unlikely partnerships
    2) Look for an expert
    3) Need to re-educate public who have misinformation from previous education on
        issues related to chemicals
    4) Advocacy
    5) Fiscal partnerships/volunteers
    6) Develop vision for communities-common goals

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

    1) need for knowledge on chemical exposures and interactions by management,
       need as job requirement
    2) need for experts in circle of preparedness for chemical exposure event
    3) need for unlikely partnerships

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes, we are planning on meeting again within a month or so. We will contact those
unable to attend the first meeting.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 40
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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INDIANA: ELLEN SZARLETA/COMMUNITY ACTION FOR A RENEWED ENVIRONMENT
PROJECT–CITY OF GARY (CARE PROJECT)

Location: Gary, Indiana
Convener: Ellen Szarleta/Community Action for a Renewed Environment Project–
City of Gary (CARE Project)
Date of conversation: June 28, 2010
Participants: 52
Convener email: eszarlet@iun.edu
Participants’ main concerns included:

Main concerns among participants include the following: the cumulative affects of toxic
chemicals and pollutants in water, land and air and how their health is affected by toxins
through the foods they eat, solid waste and industry.
    1. Health Concerns: Chemicals used in the home affecting our health; Exposure to
       chemicals at work affecting health; the increased number of children with
       asthma, diabetes, and autism related to chemical exposure and not genetics;
       high rate of asthma the black community; in children deaths in this area caused
       by diseases; babies born with 3 heart ventricles instead of 4; increase cases of
       multiple sclerosis in young people; chemicals harmful to pregnant and child
       bearing women leading to children with low birth weigh; many people and
       children faced with respiratory problems; Electrical transfusions contain PCB
       chemicals; in Whiting, many members in families have been diagnosed with
       cancer. It’s now affecting us, what will be impact on future generations? Being
       raised in industrial area where there is so much cancer.
    2. Water Quality Issues: how tap water is processed; toxins in storm water;
       chemicals dumped in water system; prescription drugs and pharmaceuticals
       entering our drinking water; affecting groundwater supply and pollution of local
       lakes such as Lake Sami Jo.
    3. Land Issues: safety of underground storage tanks; landfill issues for residue in
       the area.
    4. Air Quality Issues: steel mills emissions and pollution; airborne asbestos from
       demolition projects; toxic affect of pesticides and lawn care products; impact of
       pollution and air pollution; chemicals on public and private lawns; chemical
       spraying; Is there a good time to spray.
    5. Solid Waste Issues: waste disposal process - other communities dumping
       illegally in ours; hazardous waste sites near residential communities; industry
       dumping.
    6. Food Issues: Chemicals in processed food; Styrofoam endocrine disrupter when
       oil is hot and placed in microwave using Styrofoam and plastic leading to
       contamination; growth hormones in animals.
    7. Industry Pollution Concerns: US Steel is starting a new coke process and BP
       is processing Canadian crude oil in Northwest Indiana; no fruits on trees, no
       worms around as in the past due to fall out from industrial pollution; lack of

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 41
       information about chemicals used in industry.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Some participants were confused about what was in products and side effects of
products.
There was some disagreement about whose responsibility it was to alleviate exposure to
chemical toxins - individuals or governments.


Values that participants thought were important:

    1. Transparency - Continuous on going public education is needed. Information
       should be available to everyone including the younger generation and topics
       should be discussed in schools. Federal government should provide quarterly
       reports on measurements that include toxins. Labeling should increase.
       Corporations should have equity accountability to the community.

    2. Convenience - There should be a balance between personal responsibilities -
       what we are willing to give up i.e. processed food and the choices we make
       about foods we eat.

    3. Prevention - Use Precautionary Principles as benchmark whenever a chemical
       is being introduced into society – public should know what harm chemicals could
       do. EPA would be helpful; Public should be notified so we can understand who
       entities are. If a chemical cannot be proven safe then it should not be approved.
       More stringent regulatory and oversight by government is needed i.e. the Gulf Oil
       Spill. We need the government to step up research for health impacts. Industries
       should stop killing the environment. Toxic chemicals and landfills should not be
       placed in residential communities. Government should do more research prior to
       deaths - 50,000 people should not have to die to prove a chemical is harmful.

    4. Justice - Environmental justice needs to be incorporated into laws and there
       should be equity for poor and affluent communities. People of color have been
       fighting for Environmental Justice for a very long time. Only when more people,
       including those not of color, begin to be affected by some of the same
       environmental problems will change take place. Environmental justice funding
       should be based on need and enforcement based on areas of worse abuse.
       Corporations must have equitable environmental accountability to community.

    5. Personal Responsibility - Citizens and groups must band together to be an
       effective agent of change in the communities and create a “Values” environment;
       Organize community around specific issues and obtain grants to address them
       like the CARE Partnership has. Individuals should be proactive instead of
       reactive. What we’re doing right now – discussing and hearing peoples’ concerns
       is a start. Each individual has a personal responsibility to find out about harmful

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 42
       chemicals and how they their affect health. Make both politicians and citizens


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

        accountable. Each of us should read labels to find out what chemicals are in
        products and if there are side effects. Use natural environmentally safe products
        whenever possible.

    6. Also listed under this topic: Local authorities should demolish unsafe
       dilapidated vacant buildings which have mold and asbestos and remediate
       existing buildings - especially in schools. Federal, state and local governments
       should provide more monies for public education and awareness. Federal, state
       and local governments should invest monies wisely in creating and maintaining a
       green environment such as switching from old energy sources to more energy
       saving i.e. purchasing government transformers. Federal, state, and local
       authorities work together to establish air monitoring sites and create regular and
       safe disposal programs for drugs. Agencies like CDC and others should do more
       research relating to chemical impact on health. Local governments could have
       several collection days throughout the community so people can bring in their
       toxic chemicals. It’s difficult for some participants to hone in on “Values”, it was
       not really clear what was being asked.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

    1. Organizing field trips to different places
    2. Identifying how decisions regarding disposal (including routes that chemical
        follow) are made at the local level.
    3. The “green” initiative.
    4. Learning how other communities dispose of toxins.
    5. Orient workers on safety and universal precautions.
    6. Push for more government regulation to stop various sources like the Contained
        Area Management Unit, and MIDCO 1 and 2 locations (Superfund)
    7. Sanction and look for better solutions, including hold manufacturers liable.
    8. Environmental turnaround is needed and we must eliminate animal testing.
    9. We need to know more about the effect of toxins on the liver and its ability to
        process medications.
    10. Educating yourself about pesticides and other chemicals
    11. Providing homes with carbon monoxide detectors
    12. Successes include:
        a. DDT ban and lead testing for children
        b. Times when individual discovers/finds information on their own
        c. Using self awareness and common sense regarding chemical exposures at
             home
        d. There was a successful alert regarding lead exposure of residents
        e. Increased personal awareness of chemicals in the home
    13. Failures include:
        a. The inability to monitor for the effects of drugs on children
        b. The introduction of Viagra without sufficient testing and research on health
             impacts
        c. My father’s black lung disease resulting from work in the steel mills

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 43
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

        d. Lack of proper disclosure; need for warnings
        e. Placing money and business over health and people

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures:

    1. Public input is critical; the people in the community are the critical voice.
    2. It’s important that these meetings are facilitated and information is conveyed up
        to EPA
    3. The Environmental Justice Division unites the voice of the people including low
        income and poor communities
    4. Grants and partnerships with involvement from everyone
    5. There are new policies in place
    6. Non-profits, corporate and the public are involved in these issues at different
        levels
    7. There is a need to contact Sen. Lugar and Sen. Bayh to voice our opinions and
        to put more pressure on the current administration
    8. We need answers to the following questions:
        a. How can we dispose of toxins and when and how can we protect ourselves?
        b. Who’s responsible for making policy decisions?
        c. When and how will the effort reach the grass roots?
        d. What city agency is in charge of environmental issues?
    9. There is a need to go door-to-door to talk about environmental issues.
    10. Proper notices need to be included on prescription medicines regarding their
        disposal
    11. Public needs more access to information on chemicals
    12. Government and non-profits need to focus on education and research so people
        have the power to run their own programs and do take more control of organizing
        the community
    13. Discovering that BP could have avoided the spill by spending $500,000 on a
        piece of equipment
    14. Non-profits need to be a force to get bad products off the market and promote
        organics; we need to work to make organics affordable
    15. We need nonprofits to act as intermediaries and help simplify these
        overwhelmingly complex issues and clarify the actions that citizens can take.
    16. Tear down vacant buildings
    17. Businesses should stop killing the environment
    18. Better structure and communication between agencies aimed at improving public
        education and encouraging public cooperation

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

The group decided to continue the conversations. At this point, the participants were
informed that the CARE group would take the initiative in organizing upcoming sessions.
Other suggestions included sharing the findings of this conversation with others,
including door-to-door education campaigns, going to schools, including these concerns
in the Gary Master Plan, and taking the information to the Gary City Council.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 44
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

IOWA (W APELLO): ALANA L. POAGE/ LOUISA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

Location: Wapello, Iowa
Convener: Alana L. Poage/ Louisa County Public Health
Date of conversation: 06/30/2010
Participants: 18
Convener e-mail: apoage7@louisacomm.net

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:


All 4 groups identified the general lack of interest among county residents toward health
and safety issues—apathy as a primary concern.
Tendency of local residents to not be interested in any issue until they were in a
situationwhere they were personally at risk related to that issue (reactive vs. proactive
attitude).
Prevalence of misinformation and lack of understanding of where to access accurate
data.
Once specific aspects of chemical exposures were discussed the final statement of
concern would be summarized as more confused than concerned.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

There was a general agreement among participants that general lack of knowledge
about and understanding of environmental health and safety issues made taking a firm
stance on any aspect of the issue difficult at this time.

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Primary: Transparency and Personal Responsibility
Secondary: Convenience, Prevention, and Justice

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

Overall the participants felt that it would be best to take a comprehensive approach to
promoting health with a strong focus on community and individual education.
Participants supported the idea of public health taking the lead in forming a central group
to address education concerns and opportunities. This group should include local
government representatives, health care providers, educators, business, manufacturing
and community representatives. Special effort should be made to include
representatives of special needs populations such as non-English speaking residents
and residents with physical or mental challenges that place them at higher risk of
exposure of adverse outcomes.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 45
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

It is possible for a grassroots organization to achieve success if the individuals are
dedicated and can rely on the community for some level of support and/or
enbcouragement. The more people can be educated about an issue, the great the
chance that they can be inspired to support identified changes and or actions.
Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

A written summary of the meetings will be distributed at the county fair during the last
week in July. Educational information will be available at a booth set up to encourage
community awareness of issues and interventions. All participants will be contacted and
asked for additional feedback/input after having time to consider the issues discussed.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 46
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


KANSAS (WICHITA): DEBRA DIANE HAHN

Location: Wichita, Kansas
Convener(s): Debra Diane Hahn
Date of conversation: 06-07-2010
Participants (#): 8
Convener e-mail: Debbie.Hahn@cox.net

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

How chemicals are being properly disposed and the need to educate the public on what
to do and how to dispose properly. Also, the balance between chemicals’ benefit, and
their necessary use/exposure; outside garden lawn and fertilizer, we need a plan for
being safe and a plan for proper usage.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

N/a

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Prevention, Convenience, Transparency, Justice, personal responsibility all exist to
some degree. Convenience including, “making it easier and faster” is important. Justice,
including downstream exposure for water usage and making sure drinking water is up to
standards is another important issue. Large numbers of chemicals are being produced
everyday, and these need to be standardized. Not getting caught up in the balance
between “reality” and the “statistics.” Personal responsibility is a big deal—public
education is very important. Recycling is good for the environment but there are not
many recycling cans in Wichita. There is a public expectation that the government will
take care of the issue.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

Determining if chemicals released in the disaster still pose hazards is a step. Installing a
remediation process for the Brooks landfill with no liner is another step, and dealing with
public perception on issues and politics.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

We are way ahead with the recent University of Kansas School of Medicine Study. We
can utilize partnerships to help with public education campaigns.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 47
No specific plans made.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
           National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                     Community Conversation Summary Reports


MAINE (PORTLAND): AMANDA SEARS/ ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY CENTER

Location: Portland, Maine
Convener: Amanda Sears/ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Date of conversation: June 17, 2010
Participants: 18
Convener e-mail: asears@preventharm.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

•     Frustration with scientists always disagreeing, which seems to stop policy change.
•     Corporations have too much influence in stopping dangerous chemicals from being
      taken off the market.
•     Government decisions on what chemicals to ban include the economic bottom line
      and often result in considering corporations needs before human health.
•     The view that many consider environmental health anti-business.
•     How to sort through the huge amounts of information on what is most safe to buy to
      protect our family from dangerous chemicals.
•     There is so much information but it is hard to find clear concise reliable information
      on what chemicals are safe to use and which may not be.
•     Feeling overwhelmed with too much information, then giving up on figuring out what
      is safe, and instead buying what is cheap or convenient.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

N/a

Values that participants thought were important:

•     Most participants agreed that the list of values where not mutually exclusive and they
      agreed with many values at once, for example: transparency, prevention, and justice.
•     Some participants were concerned with the convenience and personal responsibility
      values because they do not address root problems such as:
•     producing harmful chemicals can pose danger to people before they even reach the
      shelf for consumers to buy.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

•     Become part of a group advocating for policy that reviews chemicals that are in
      consumer products, and requires safe chemicals to replace dangerous chemicals.
•     Advocate for the government to be a part of testing chemicals in consumer products
      before they are allowed to be sold, similar to how the FDA works.
•     Push for more labeling so that consumers can know what chemicals are in the
      products they buy.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 48
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures:

•   Not even clear science ensures that policy change will happen, for example asbestos
    is still not banned on a Federal level.
•   Cannot assume the government is protecting us from dangerous chemicals in
    products we buy.
•   Change happens not only with good science but there also needs to be enough
    public education and concern to make change a priority.
•   Need a combination of both educated consumers making healthy decisions, and
    citizens working together to push for stronger policy to ensure that people can only
    buy products with safe chemicals in the future.
•   When a group of citizens work together to make change it can work, for example
    parents pushed for a school to be cleaned with safe chemicals and they succeeded.
•   Increased government monitoring can lead to policy change, for example in Sweden
    the government monitors breast milk and found high levels of flame retardants. In
    response, the government banned the flame retardant and the levels of flame
    retardants in breast milk went down.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

There was no specific meeting date planned for follow up.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 49
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


MARYLAND (SILVER SPRING): MEGAN L ATSHAW/ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH
LABORATORIES

Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Convener: Megan Latshaw/Association of Public Health Laboratories
Date of conversation: May 27, 2010
Participants: 10
Convener e-mail: Megan.Latshaw@aphl.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Participants are very concerned about harmful acute and chronic effects resulting from
chemical exposures. As scientists they are very concerned that we are not doing
enough to understand long term health consequences from exposures (particularly those
occurring at low levels) in order to identify and develop a means to prevent exposures.
As citizens they recognize that much research is needed and are concerned about
identifying exposures through dose assessment via biomonitoring.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

N/a

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Education and Communication about risks and exposures, Prevention, Justice

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

State laboratories are a great resource to identify issues of concern. Laboratories can
work with others in their state (toxicologists, epidemiologists, health officials etc.) to
develop more comprehensive studies.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Previous public health interventions (ex. Leaded gasoline) have led to reducing
exposures however the focus tends to be too narrow. Thirty years after removing lead
from gasoline and we still see lead in other products.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

N/a




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 50
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


MASSACHUSETTS (WALTHAM): DR. LISA NAGY/THE PREVENTIVE AND ENVIRONMENTAL
HEALTH ALLIANCE INC.

Location: Waltham, Mass.: Bently University
Convener(s): The Preventive and Environmental Health Alliance Inc., Lisa Nagy -
President
Date of conversation: N/a
Participants (#): 48
Convener e-mail: Lisa@nagy1.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Lack of help brought by government to communities made ill by exposure. Research
done on people and no advice given – is unethical. People want help – above all else.
Never taught to decrease exposure and to detoxify – once ill.
Lack of education among medical professionals – they deny people’s symptoms who
become ill form chemical exposure – because they have been trained to deny – there is
no referral system.
Government decision making is too heavily influences by industry and pharmaceutical
companies – so sick children and teachers in a toxic school built on a dump site or
containing mold are easily dismissed.
Need to know what chemicals are transported through neighborhoods.
Communities are poorly represented in assessments and research designs.
Congress needs to mandate insurance coverage for medical treatment of chemically and
mold exposed individuals.
The AMA needs to acknowledge Chemical Injury, Sensitivity, or Intolerance as 15 to
30% of the population have symptoms now.
Government agencies should work with doctors trained in the area of Environmental
Medicine to expand the ability to cope with chemical exposure, Gulf War Syndrome and
CFS – denying the field has validity is slowing down the process.
Schools should not be built on toxic dump sites and those that are should be closed.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 51
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


MASSACHUSETTS (VINEYARD HAVEN): DR. LISA NAGY/THE PREVENTIVE AND
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE INC.

Location: Vineyard Haven, Mass.: Katharine Cornell Theater
Convener(s): The Preventive and Environmental Health Alliance Inc., Lisa Nagy -
President
Date of conversation: June 28, 2010
Participants (#): 28
Convener e-mail: Lisa@nagy1.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Main concerns were education of doctors about these conditions related to
Environmental Exposure – especially Chemical Sensitivity, of medical students and
institutions like the AMA. They openly discussed the need for NIH to have a department
in Environmental Medicine and to build Environmental Medical Units to treat and study
those afflicted. Comments were made about insurance companies needing to pay for
such preventative treatments – that chemical exposure leads to legitimate health
problems and that insurance should cover detoxification, hormone management and
environmental allergy testing among other therapies.
One older couple described that they had spent 500,000 over the last 15 years trying to
heal their 35 year old daughter from severe fibromyalgia and chemical intolerance and
that most doctors had no idea what these conditions even were – or if they were real.
Many people were shocked at the division between doctors who don’t even believe that
these patients have a physiologic condition. The group discussed the reasons that
women have these conditions 4 times more often than men and how that plays into the
hysterical diagnosis being made by largely male physicians. The group found that
referring people exposed to chemicals and mold toxins to psychiatrists is ludicrous – and
illustrates the dated training of doctors today. Most felt that doctors on the moldy island
of Martha’s Vineyard do need much more education in the area of mold and chemical
exposure leading to chemical intolerance, and both psycho-neurological and immune
compromise. Because the older Hospital building (which houses the doctors’ offices)
and many public buildings are moldy there is hesitation on the part of Medical Staff and
the CEO of the hospital and other officials to acknowledge the health effects of mold
because of the financial repercussions associated with such admission.
Many people in the audience told their story of becoming intolerant to chemicals after
becoming ill form either living in a moldy home with mold toxins or through working with
chemicals at work or by being sprayed somewhere with a hefty dose of pesticides or
some had no identifiable exposure that they can remember. Many came to voice their
opinion about changes that need to take place – to improve medical care and treatment
of these increasing segment of society that are not represented by the government
agencies or the AMA.
The convener listed 24 recommendations that the participants could vote for or against.
This revealed that every participant was in agreement with these recommendations


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 52
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
            National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                      Community Conversation Summary Reports

almost 98% of the time – therefore these seemed to reflect values that the community
also thought were important.

Here is a list of topics and how they were voted upon:

Questionnaire for National Conversation on Chemical Exposures and Public Health –
place slash through your choice.

Strongly Yes     Yes     No

1. I feel that more research is needed into the relationship of chronic disease states and
chemical exposure. Obesity, heart disease, cancer, autism, autoimmune and neurologic
diseases need specific studies to elucidate their chemical triggers.

23      1       0

2. The Precautionary Principal, stating that with early indicators of danger measures be
taken to minimize exposure to potentially harmful substances – even before all the data
is in – should guide decisions about public health. Example BPA, GMO foods, pesticide
use, aspartame.

23      1       0

3. I feel the government is out of step with the concerns of the public on chemicals and
mold exposure.

23      1       0

4. I believe that research on the island of Martha’s Vineyard should be done to look at
the relationship of the mold and mycotoxin exposure to the high breast, prostate, brain
and uterine cancer, alcoholism, persistent lyme, autism, Chemical Sensitivity and
depression rate here.

21      3       0

5. I think animal and human testing on GMO foods should be done and nothing that
animals refuse to       eat should be fed to humans – the FDA should be more stringent
on what it allows to be fed to the population as they are in Europe.

23      1       0

6. I think that the health effects of radiation, cell phone use in children, use of Wi–Fi in
schools are of major concern and should be included in the national conversation as
well.



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 53
20      4       0


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
            National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                      Community Conversation Summary Reports


7. I think organic foods should be made available to all income levels, neighborhoods
and schools and         that as a nation we should minimize pesticide use overall.

23      0       1

8. I think that using recyclable uniform glass containers should replace plastic and metal
food and beverage cans because of the problems with BPA (masculinizing women and
feminizing men) and phthalates – in new car smell (low sperm counts and malformed
penises in children of exposed women).

22      2       0

9. I think that mercury filled dental amalgams should be taken off the market by the FDA.

22      2       0

10. I think that the fluoridation of water, with its neurotoxic risks, should not be done in
the US any more.

19      4       1

11. I believe that the influence of industry, pharmaceutical and insurance companies and
lobbying groups is stronger than that of the public in making policy in congress and at
CDC, NIH, EPA etc.

22      2       0

12. I believe that campaign finance reform needs to take place so that elected officials
do not serve special interests in order to win re-election, otherwise all legislative
decisions are suspect of influence.

21      3       0

13. I would believe that government employees find it difficult to take strong stances on
health effects of mold toxins or other chemicals because they are concerned about job
security and advancement.

19      4       1

14. My doctor is unable to address my concerns, or my friends, about chemical and mold
intolerance and exposure and I would like him or her to know more.

19      2       3

Strongly Yes Yes         No

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 54
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
            National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                      Community Conversation Summary Reports

15. I would like to see the Massachusetts Medical Society create a Continuing Medical
Education course in conjunction with environmental physicians to teach all doctors about
common symptoms of chemical intolerance, mold exposure, chronic fatigue syndrome
and fibromyalgia – closely related problems.

23      1       0

16. Now that 15 to 30% of the population is somewhat intolerant of chemicals like
perfume, and fabric softener or diesel exhaust it is time that medical school education
include two hours of instruction about the signs and symptoms and management of
people with Chemical Sensitivity, CFS and Fibro.

23      1       0

17. It is unjust that women, who develop these syndromes 4 to 1 over men, are usually
considered hysterical and referred to a psychiatrist when they have complaints of
sensitivity, headaches, fatigue and memory loss from mold or chemical exposure – the
conservative medical community is discriminating against them without taking the time to
learn about the physiology of these conditions.

20      4       0

18. The AMA needs to recognize Environmental Medicine as an emerging field that
needs young healthy doctors to pursue so that by getting to the cause of disease we can
save billions in health care costs.

22      2       0

19. Insurance needs to cover environmental and chemical allergy testing, nutritional and
hormonal assessment and detoxification so that doctors so trained will be reimbursed for
their work.

23      1       0

20. I see the need for EMU’s (Environmental Medical Units), to be built now that can
facilitate both research and treatment of people like Gulf War Veterans, Chemically
Sensitive people and those with everything from ALS, MS, Autism, CFS and many other
conditions. The chemical free environment is a starting place for this research and we
need to take our cues from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine who is
familiar with the management of these patients.

22      2       0

21. People who suffer from toxic exposure in communities should be afforded
detoxification/nutritional treatment and thereby study the results of treatment using the
Qeesi environmental intolerance scale. This should include the workers of the BP oil

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 55
spill, 911 workers, Katrina and flood victims, should be given advice and help by teams

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
            National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
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trained in Environmental Medicine – not Occupational doctors who work for industry.
People want help -- not to be studied and left to become ill – this is irresponsible.

21      3       0

22. I feel that there is denial of mold as a public health issue on Martha’s Vineyard by
doctors and officials. The now ‘old’ hospital, courthouse some schools and churches,
thousands of private homes have major mold problems but it is not acceptable for
employees to discuss the mold problem and they continue to work in these buildings.

21      3       0

23. I would support the NIH funding of an Environmental Medical Unit on Martha’s
Vineyard because the air quality here makes it possible for people to recover more
readily than in a polluted city with high exhaust and ozone levels and the population here
could benefit financially and health-wise from the clinic as well.

20      4       0

24. I believe that in order to talk about chemicals and public health we must
acknowledge those who are environmentally ill first – a group apparently ignored for
decades by doctors and congress alike.

20      4       0

I strongly feel these other measures should be taken by government or academia or
industry to facilitate the safe and educated use of chemicals and treatment of those
individuals so exposed (please be succinct):
1. GMO foods should be banned. The Precautionary Principal should apply here and
elsewhere to protect the public.
2. Government workers cannot speak up for the public because they live in fear of losing
their job.
3. NIH needs a department in Environmental Medicine to guide research in specific
locations with need.
4. The CDC needs to acknowledge Chemical Intolerance along with its coconspirator
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – since they often occur together and many cases of both
can be caused by mold and chemical exposure as well as infectious agents.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 56
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

MASSACHUSETTS (AQUINNAH): DR. LISA NAGY/THE PREVENTIVE AND ENVIRONMENTAL
HEALTH ALLIANCE INC.

Location: Aquinnah, Mass., Wampanoag Tribe
Convener(s): The Preventive and Environmental Health Alliance Inc., Lisa Nagy -
President
Date of conversation: June 30th, 2010
Participants (#): 18
Convener e-mail: Lisa@nagy1.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Members of the Tribe discussed briefly their concerns over specific issues that they
current face in their lives.

Cultural practices were of minor concern it seemed – like fishing and heavy metal
exposure – although no advisories exist alerting them to not eat too much fish.

The most glaring problem was the level of asthma and food allergies and ill health
among children of tribal members.

Also there is a substantial amount of chronic disease in general in the population here
on Martha’s Vineyard.
Dr. Nagy discussed the health effects of mold and how it may play a role in these issues
– such as diabetes, depression, and autoimmunity as well as cancer in the case of
some mycotoxins..

The tribal housing built by HUD over a decade ago has been problematic. Rubber roves
were stretched over the homes and 8 have been removed and replaced because of
substantial mold growth. The homes are notorious for mold problems, faulty
construction and ventilation and unused heat exchangers.

Members discussed the possibility of studying the mold and mycotoxin issue in members
living in these homes. They hoped to expand the knowledge around the country and for
other communities concerned with the mold issue by looking into the problem in a pilot
study. Mycotoxins can be measured in urine and dust and could be used to assess
exposure in families living in a moldy environment. This way a plan for decreased
exposure and then detoxification could be undertaken by those so exposed. This was
felt to be more scientifically effective then denying the health effects, and continuing to
ignore them for another decade.

The use of non toxic cleaning products was encourage and discussed in detail.

A survey was taken of members and a majority of tribal members agreed with the
organizer that certain things need to change in order for recognition of chemical
exposure to occur. The results of the voting on the questions is:

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 57
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Strongly Yes Yes            No

1. I feel that more research is needed into the relationship of chronic disease states and
chemical exposure. Obesity, heart disease, cancer, autism, autoimmune and neurologic
diseases need specific studies to elucidate their chemical triggers.

15           1          0

2. The Precautionary Principal, stating that with early indicators of danger measures be
taken to minimize exposure to potentially harmful substances – even before all the data
is in – should guide decisions about public health. Example BPA, GMO foods,
pesticide use, aspartame.

15            1         0

3. I feel the government is out of step with the concerns of the public on chemicals and
mold exposure.

16            0         0

4. I believe that research on the island of Martha’s Vineyard should be done to look at
the relationship of the mold and mycotoxin exposure to the high breast, prostate, brain
and uterine cancer, alcoholism, persistent lyme, autism, Chemical Sensitivity and
depression rate here.

15      1          0

5. I think animal and human testing on GMO foods should be done and nothing that
animals refuse to eat should be fed to humans – the FDA should be more stringent on
what it allows to be fed to the population as they are in Europe.

14      2          0

6. I think that the health effects of radiation, cell phone use in children, use of Wi–Fi in
schools are of major concern and should be included in the national conversation as
well.

14      2          0

7. I think organic foods should be made available to all income levels, neighborhoods
and schools and that as a nation we should minimize pesticide use overall.

16     0          0

8. I think that using recyclable uniform glass containers should replace plastic and metal
food and beverage cans because of the problems with BPA (masculinizing women and

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 58
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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feminizing men) and phthalates – in new car smell (low sperm counts and malformed
penises in children of exposed women).

15      1          0

9. I think that mercury filled dental amalgams should be taken off the market by the FDA.

14      2          0

10. I think that the fluoridation of water, with its neurotoxic risks, should not be done in
the US any more.

15      1          0

11. I believe that the influence of industry, pharmaceutical and insurance companies and
lobbying groups is stronger than that of the public in making policy in congress and at
CDC, NIH, EPA etc.

14      2          0

12. I believe that campaign finance reform needs to take place so that elected officials
do not serve special interests in order to win re-election, otherwise all legislative
decisions are suspect of influence.

13      3          0

13. I would believe that government employees find it difficult to take strong stances on
health effects of mold toxins or other chemicals because they are concerned about job
security and advancement.

15      1          0

14. My doctor is unable to address my concerns, or my friends, about chemical and mold
intolerance and exposure and I would like him or her to know more.

15      1          0

Strongly Yes      Yes     No

15. I would like to see the Massachusetts Medical Society create a Continuing Medical
Education course in conjunction with environmental physicians to teach all doctors about
common symptoms of chemical intolerance, mold exposure, chronic fatigue syndrome
and fibromyalgia – closely related problems.

16     0          0


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 59
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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16. Now that 15 to 30% of the population is somewhat intolerant of chemicals like
perfume, and fabric softener or diesel exhaust it is time that medical school education
include two hours of instruction about the signs and symptoms and management of
people with Chemical Sensitivity, CFS and Fibro.

15      1          0

17. It is unjust that women, who develop these syndromes 4 to 1 over men, are usually
considered hysterical and referred to a psychiatrist when they have complaints of
sensitivity, headaches, fatigue and memory loss from mold or chemical exposure – the
conservative medical community is discriminating against them without taking the time to
learn about the physiology of these conditions.

16     0          0

18. The AMA needs to recognize Environmental Medicine as an emerging field that
needs young healthy doctors to pursue so that by getting to the cause of disease we can
save billions in health care costs.

14      2          0

19. Insurance needs to cover environmental and chemical allergy testing, nutritional and
hormonal assessment and detoxification so that doctors so trained will be reimbursed for
their work.

13      3          0

20. I see the need for EMU’s (Environmental Medical Units), to be built now that can
facilitate both research      and treatment of people like Gulf War Veterans,
Chemically Sensitive people and those with everything from ALS, MS, Autism, CFS and
many other conditions. The chemical free environment is a starting place for this
research and we need to take our cues from the American Academy of Environmental
Medicine who is familiar with the management of these patients.

14      2          0

21. People who suffer from toxic exposure in communities should be afforded
detoxification/nutritional treatment and thereby study the results of treatment using the
Qeesi environmental intolerance scale. This should include the workers of the BP oil
spill, 911 workers, Katrina and flood victims, should be given advice and help by teams
trained in Environmental Medicine – not Occupational doctors who work for industry.
People want help -- not to be studied and left to become ill – this is irresponsible.

15      1          0

22. I feel that there is denial of mold as a public health issue on Martha’s Vineyard by

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 60
doctors and officials. The now ‘old’ hospital, court house some schools and churches,

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                      Community Conversation Summary Reports

thousands of private homes have major mold problems but it is not acceptable for
employees to discuss the mold problem and they continue to work in these buildings.

15      1          0

23. I would support the NIH funding of an Environmental Medical Unit on Martha’s
Vineyard because the air quality here makes it possible for people to recover more
readily than in a polluted city with high exhaust and ozone levels and the population here
could benefit financially and health-wise from the clinic as well.

15      1          0

24. I believe that in order to talk about chemicals and public health we must
acknowledge those who are environmentally ill first – a group apparently ignored for
decades by doctors and congress alike.

14      2          0




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 61
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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MICHIGAN (SW DETROIT ): TIFFANY HARTUNG/SIERRA CLUB/KARMANOS CANCER
INSTITUTE

Location: SW Detroit, Michigan
Convener: Tiffany Hartung/Sierra Club/Karmanos Cancer Institute
Date of conversation: May 26, 2010
Participants: 50
Convener e-mail: tiffany.hartung@sierraclub.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

Residents are concerned with the cumulative effects of the various toxins.
Their city (government) wants to grant industry more access to this area.
Residents are concerned with the lack of accountability and responsiveness from city
government. No entity is held accountable for identification of all contaminants and no
entity is held accountable for remediation.
Individual industries appear to have been left to police themselves without regard for the
total number and amounts of toxins in the environment and their interactions.
Incidence of diseases, including chronic illnesses (respiratory issues, diabetes, and
neurological damage) to cancers, is evident within each block and each family.
Home gardens no longer offer a low-cost, safe alternative to fresh vegetables and fruits
because of soil and water contamination.
Ambient fine particulate matter collects on and in homes and autos. Respiratory
illnesses are rampant.
It appears that the city is waiting for residents to either move out or die. Residents feel
trapped because they cannot sell their homes to move out.
Ongoing assay of air, water and soil contaminants is not conducted. When asked for, the
city ignores or does not pursue these requests to the full extent of its ability.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

There was no disagreement concerning the above issues. The residents know what
needs to be done in this ongoing situation.
The problem is the accountability of government and industry to area residents—there is
none. The low socio-economic status of these residents does not offer them any
leverage in calling for accountability.

Values that participants thought were important:

Access to safe air, soil and drinking water.
Identification of chemicals being released or stored by local industries.
Knowledge of the individual, cumulative and synergistic effects these chemicals can
have on exposed flora, fauna and residents.
Consistent access to government and industry leaders.
Responsiveness by government and industry leaders to community concerns.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 62
Periodic and on-going objective testing of air, soil and water.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Monitoring of air, soil and water contaminants in residential areas conducted by qualified
impartial university-based researchers, not funded by industry. This should be paid for
by city government with results readily available to the citizens.
Industry or City should buy out the residents at a rate that allows them to relocate to a
safe environment.
If government is unwilling to purchase the homes of residents, homes should be
provided with free installation and maintenance of indoor HEPA air filtration systems.
Sustained national, state and local media exposure to the plight of these citizens is
needed.
Recruit state representatives to draft and support legislation that promotes heavier
regulation of industrial pollutants.
Recruit environmental attorneys to hold industry violators criminally responsible.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

The community has had minimal success in several years of trying to restrict additional
industrial development or remediate the existent contamination. Although they are
organized and passionate, it is the assessment of these residents that they are not
wealthy or well-connected enough to those with influence to be heard or respected.
In February of 2010, community activists had success in delaying the expansion of Great
Lakes Petroleum into the area.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Local action is, and has been, on-going on several issues.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 63
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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MINNESOTA (NEW BRIGHTON) : CATHI LYMAN-ONKKA

Location: New Brighton
Convener: Cathi Lyman-Onkka
Date of conversation: May 19, 26; June 2, 9, 2010
Participants: 3
Convener: mclbaskets@yahoo.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

Confused about how do I control the lead from air, food. How can we know what the
products in the store contain. Example, a simple cup at store has a label (for California)
saying it could be dangerous. Concern is that is it safe or not safe. How do we know?
Mold in houses. How do we treat it? Who can tell us if it will make us sick.
We are having this conversation, but most may not have this conversation. The people
don't get any information or education about chemicals.
I clean houses. I use these products 5 - 7 hour per day. How do I learn whether they are
safe or not? At work, knowing what the risk is. I work with Clorox, Windex, etc.
Knowledge resource (in the Conversation materials) is good. Show on TV, because
everyone watches TV.
Niece was working in bathroom, she was 8 months pregnant, got shortness of breath
and then baby died. (possibly mixing cleaners.)
Participant did custodial work and used a lot of different cleaners. Her face swelled up
every night. She finally quit the custodial job. She began to feel better after she quit.
How would the company learn about safer products.
Some fragrances can cause headaches and other problems. How can we know what is
safe and which ones will not cause a problem.

Participants disagree about certain issues, including:

Nothing, they were agreed in their concerns,

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Personal responsibility is good, but must know about the chemicals in products to make
responsible decisions. We don't know what the ingredients mean, it is so complicated.

To prevent damage we must have information so we can avoid what is harmful. The
manufacturer should prove the product is safe or stop selling the product.

Everyone should enjoy a clean and healthy environment and have access to resources
to protect their health. Not just at home, but also at work.

Maybe product packaging looks safer, but we don't know. Like antibacterial soaps. Even

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 64
"natural" may not be safe.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Personal responsibility is to share information with others.

Value having the information to make good decisions. Everybody has the responsibility
to protect themselves, but literacy is a problem. You can't figure it out when you are not
able to read. Need to know who to ask; always ask. Make results of safety tests public,
share the information.

List several values that participants thought were important:
• Personal responsibility, but prevention and clear information to make choices are
    necessary to take personal responsibility.
• Transparency, making sure the information is available and understandable to
    average person.
• Make it easy to recognize if it is safe or not, seems too difficult now.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

•   Talking to my boss about changing the products we use to clean houses.
•   Product manufacturers provide information on ingredients and safety.
•   Government could make safety information required and more understandable to
    those without degrees in chemistry, etc.
•   Employers must make safety information clear to employees and require proper
    safety equipment. (If they hire temporary employees they must be sure those
    employees receive safety training and equipment. The group provided several
    examples of situations where this did not occur and resulted in negative health
    effects.)

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:
The materials are usable with groups which have limited English proficiency, but it will
take a while to get through them. These groups have a lot to share, and the effort is well
worth the time it takes. We did find some typos in the materials, which was a good
learning experience for the group.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

One of the group members planned to take the Spanish materials and conduct the
conversation with members of her group of friends and family. I certainly hope that
happens!

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

The Mounds View School District Pike Lake Education Center has programs which offer



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 65
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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beginning, intermediate, and advanced level English language classes. Classroom
activities are designed by experienced teachers to help adults adapt to a new culture
and improve their English skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Located approximately nine miles north of the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St.
Paul, Mounds View Public Schools (District 621) provides instructional services for
children and adult learners who live in the cities of Arden Hills, Mounds View, New
Brighton, North Oaks, Roseville, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights and portions of Spring
Lake Park and White Bear Township. Participants in the Conversation are members of
the Wednesday Advanced Conversation group. These students have completed the
basic ELL programs. The group has a student whose first language is Spanish, one
whose first language is Chinese, and a student whose first language is Somali.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 66
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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MISSISSIPPI (BILOXI): BILOXI BRANCH NAACP (GULF COAST RESOURCE INSTITUTE)

Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Convener: Biloxi Branch NAACP (Gulf Coast Resource Institute)
Date of Conversation: June 24, 2010
Participants: 12
Convener’s Email: SOAlternatives@msn.com

Participants’ main concerns included:

1. Inhalation of oil (EPA is saying that there is no risk; yet, the NAACP
demands/residents deserve an independent study).
2. Are the shrimp and seafood affected. In BSL, MS (West) and Florida (East), although
oil was not seen on the surface, it entered those areas below the surface. Further,
shovel-based clean-up is not adequate to rid the surface/shorelines - and resulting
seafood - of toxins.
3. The long-term health of workers without respirators (BP said workers would be fired if
they wore charitable respirators).
4. Claims - What do we, African-Americans, receive from BP? There should be a pay-
out similar to the 9-11 claims for all who are in the impacted area/community.
4B. Claims - Even the claims for those that are directly (Vietnamese American and other
Fishermen) and indirectly (Vietnamese-American and other Processing Plant workers
are problematic). There is no documentation of the initial claim as it by phone through a
1-800 number. Further, there are very limited language-access provisions.
5. Now, resumes are needed for clean-up jobs (not discussed fully).
6. A claims procedure and formula for hospitality workers - (bellhops, etc) due to the
drop in tourism - is not being addressed.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Comments on tourism were the only comments that received a counter-response. In
Mississippi, that industry has already received a much more systemic - and government
supported - response than the fishing industry. Thus, it was expressed that the impact
on the livelihoods of lower-income deckhands should receive much more attention - and
financial assistance - than casinos and the tourism industry.

Values that participants thought were important:

On the topic of values, only fairness and accountability resonated as agreed-upon
views/values.
This value expression targeted both BP and the federal government.

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

1. The City Mayor should demand better emergency preparation (preparedness).

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 67
Especially for the elderly and lower-income populations

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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2. A Reverend who directs a Center for Environmental and Economic Justice was also
identified as a potential/perfect liaison for the Biloxi NAACP.
3. The NAACP State President could offer increased leverage as an advocate for
African-American and other ethnic groups (Vietnamese-Americans) impacted.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures:

1. The broader social impacts: people are very bothered. The account of a suicide by a
boat owner was offered to highlight the need for understanding and tolerance.
2. Creative responses via work-place resources. Deferred payments for those residents
directly impacted by the BP oil leak was offered as a 'success-lesson' that could be
implemented, and/or replicated and scaled, by the more established businesses in the
area.
3. Some residents have applied for and received unemployment. This was a valuable
reminder for those who were both out-of-work and unable to get new employment via the
clean-up jobs.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes both the NAACP and the Gulf Coast Resource Institute are planning next steps.
The NAACP will attempt to hold a town-hall meeting that feature the Department of
Homeland Security. The Gulf Coast Resource Institute will meet with State and regional
OSHA representatives and convene a second community conversation that is specific to
exposure concerns for clean-up workers.
Also voiced was a will to follow-up with the local Emergency Operations Center on
Preparedness, and to follow-up with "someone" on the need for increased and improved
direct assistance.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 68
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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MISSISSIPPI (BILOXI): HIJRA HOUSE

Location: Biloxi
Convener: Hijra House
Date of conversation: June 27th, 2010
Participants: 8

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:


The top chemical exposure and public health concern expressed was the potential
affects of the BP oil spill on coastal seafood, and the resulting risks that such would
cause to human health.
With 2010's first hurricane, Alex, advancing towards the Gulf of Mexico, complications to
evacuation procedures as a result of the BP oil-spill were also a concern. In addition to
chemical exposure and public health effects, the concern included the proper operation
of worker-pay procedures: specifically, ensuring that wage payments would be
accessible to oil-spill clean-up employees in need of securing the resources necessary
for evacuation.
1. How many barrels of oil are leaking into the Gulf (approaching the Mississippi Coast)
as result of Gulf oil spill.
2. Early information/reports of the Gulf Oil spill being stopped.
3. Risks from non-monitored multiple exposures.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

N/a

VALUES that participants thought were important:

1. Transparency - Both companies (BP/Industry) and the government should ensure that
there is ACCURATE public information as it relates to chemical exposures and resulting
risks to public health.
2. Accountability - Non-compliant and under-performing entities - both private and public
- have to been identified and held responsible for chemical exposures.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

1. Government - The government should enforce greater regulation of industry in the
interests of increased public safety/health.
2. In instances of disasters, local workers should be hired. Faith-based groups such as
the Biloxi Islamic Center should help to facilitate jobs.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 69
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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The major success from the present chemical exposure incident is, by far, the recent
public-private agreement that a minimum of twenty billion dollars of corporate funds
would be put aside for Gulf Coast residents affected by the oil leak.
This agreement must serve as both the precedent for dealing with companies that
pollute the environment in the future, and be cited as a deterrent to companies that do
not have, or that do not invest in, adequate disaster prevention methods.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

N/a




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 70
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MONTANA (CROW AGENCY): CROW ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH STEERING COMMITTEE,
THE APSAALOOKE W ATER AND W ASTEWATER AUTHORITY, THE I NDIAN HEALTH S ERVICE
HOSPITAL, AND THE CENTER FOR NATIVE HEALTH PARTNERSHIPS

Location: Crow Agency, Montana
Convener: Crow Environmental Health Steering Committee, the Apsaalooke Water
and Wastewater Authority, the Indian Health Service Hospital, and the Center for
Native Health Partnerships
Date of conversation: June 29-30, 2010
Participants: 85
Convener email: eggersm@lbhc.edu

Meetings hosted by the Crow Environmental Health Steering Committee (CEHSC),
the Apsaalooke Water and Wastewater Authority (AWWA), the Indian Health
Service Hospital and the Center for Native Health Partnerships (CNHP):
6/29/10 meeting at the Senior Center in Crow Agency, MT. 65 people contributed
comments.
6/29/10 public meeting in St. Xavier at the community building. About 12 people
contributed comments.
6/30/10 discussions with staff at the Indian Health Service hospital in Crow Agency. 10
people contributed comments.

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
   • Indiscriminate, improper and/or illegal uses of pesticides, resulting in people
       being exposed through multiple routes
   • Inadequate, improper and/or illegal disposal of solid wastes, including hazardous
       wastes
   • Water pollution

Agricultural chemicals
   • “We don’t have enough EPA monitoring to prevent abuse of pesticides. We don’t
        have enough licensed pesticide applicators; people still spray licensed pesticides
        even if they don’t have a license. People who own their own equipment for
        spraying pesticides might not know how to calibrate it correctly, and/or they might
        only calibrate it once a year. Pesticide containers are not disposed of properly –
        just become loose trash in the community. Eventually pesticides work their way
        into our wells.”
   • “One of the local businesses which sells a lot of pesticides to local farmers will
        sell restricted pesticides to people without a license. Their salesperson’s
        rationale is that he is “supervising” these farmers.”
   • A farmer sprayed the fields right next to a family’s home, but didn’t warn them.
        One of their children got into the field and collapsed.
   • Pesticide spraying and chemical use in fields. People are concerned about their
        children’s health.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 71
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   When pesticides are sprayed, families have to keep their children/grandchildren
        indoors, because kids with allergies or asthma are really bothered by the
        pesticides.
    •   “Too many farmers are spraying their fields. No one in the community knows
        what kind of chemicals they use. They might be using chemicals that cause
        cancer.”
    •   “Pesticides are killing pheasants, aquatic animals including fish, and even some
        plants including our berries [chokecherries, wild plums, buffalo berries,
        juneberries, etc.]. Limit pesticide use; health is more important.”
    •   Runoff of fertilizers and pesticides into rivers.
    •   “Spraying the crops too much.”
    •   “Pesticide spraying is not too good for our kids; they wouldn’t get sick as much if
        this were more controlled.”
    •   A lot of chemicals are sprayed in wheat and alfalfa fields. Farmers do chemical
        fallow instead of summer fallow. When chemicals are sprayed on sloping lands,
        the runoff can flood people’s well heads and kill lawns.
    •   Spraying everywhere for mosquitoes and grasshoppers. Many people
        complained about the widespread spraying. Another result is that birds such as
        pheasants are also killed [presumably from eating poisoned insects?].

Contamination of rivers and ground water
   • “My main concern is the quality of our water. There are many different pollutants
      that affect our water supplies. ”
   • “I live near the river and it’s so dirty I can’t let my kids swim. I don’t know what is
      in the water and it frightens me that our water is so dirty.”
   • Chemical exposure through water sources; especially concerned about effects
      on infants and children.
   • Gas and oil spilled by fishermen into rivers and lakes
   • “My main concern is the river being polluted.”
   • Dumping of chemicals in the river
   • “We used to swim in the rivers all the time; now the rivers are too polluted.”

Lack of adequate solid waste management
   • “The trash is all over. It is unpleasant, draws vermin, spreads disease, pollutes
       the air and is ugly.”
   • Broken down cars and discarded appliances littering the Reservation.
       Concerned about oil, freon and other chemicals leaking from cars and
       appliances.
   • The collection system for household trash is large open dumpsters, right next to
       a major housing area. Somehow the trash gets set on fire, creating horrible
       smoke which drifts through housing and seeps into people’s homes. Trash blows
       out of the community dumpsters and litters the town.
   • People litter, even tossing out soiled Pampers.
   • Garbage is not collected at [some] public events.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 72
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   No control over what is being disposed of in community dumpsters [i.e. could
        include hazardous wastes]
    •   Improper disposal of toxic wastes.

Disposal of medications
   • People flush them down the toilet (contaminating our rivers).
   • “I didn’t know how I should dispose of my medications. I was going to bury them
      so people couldn’t get them out of the trash.”
   • Kids get into medications when they are thrown out with the garbage.

Air pollution
    • Car exhaust; there is a lot of traffic on Interstate 90. Also train smoke. (Both I-90
        and the railroad run right through the Reservation).
    • Pollution from coal mining in Sarpy, MT and in Wyoming.
    • Mercury pollution from several nearby coal burning power plants is contaminating
        local fish and making the larger fish unsafe to eat.
    • “Air pollution is really a problem for people with TB.”
    • Some people burn railroad ties and/or tires to heat rocks for the sweatlodge.

Chemicals make some of the play areas for our children dangerous
   • Kids get access to chemicals they sniff to get high. In a local middle school, ~ 8
      girls were found sniffing the spray used to clean keys. How did they get ahold of
      that?
   • Drugs are too available to school kids – people go around the schools selling
      drugs.
   • “Drug dealers go where the kids are. I have seen transactions taking place and
      reported this to the police, but there is no enforcement.”
   • The heating plant in Crow Agency used to dispose of its ash in a huge pile right
      next to the Elementary School. Kids would come play in it. The school is still
      there, the heating plant is no longer is use, but the soil has never been tested to
      see if it’s still contaminated.

Old, abandoned buildings which could be a source of asbestos.

Methamphetamine labs
   • We don’t know where the meth labs are disposing of their [extremely toxic]
      wastes.
   • Are meth lab wastes being flushed, dumped or washed into the river, which is the
      water source for the largest town on our Reservation?

Mold in housing
   (We aren’t certain if this is primarily an exposure from chemicals released by mold,
   or a biological exposure to spores, or both. However, it is a widespread community
   concern.)
   • HUD housing is inadequately built and not well maintained. This leads to water

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 73
       leaks and the development of mold in homes.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   HUD housing was built in a swamp area; mold is now a problem in a lot of those
        homes.

Inadequate and illegal sewage/manure disposal
   • Cattle are being fed right along the rivers (so cow manure pollutes the rivers).
      Even cattle feedlot waste is going into the rivers and killing aquatic life, like the
      fish.
   • Some people are piping their household sewage straight into the rivers (no septic
      systems).
   • Municipal sewage lagoons are inadequate or failing, and contaminate the local
      rivers.
   • “There is a sewage lagoon by my house. I can’t sit outside my home, I can’t
      even open the windows, because the stench is so bad. This is really unhealthy,
      even for animals. Renovation is needed.”
   • “Some mornings when I arrive at work, the smell from the [sewage] lagoon is
      very strong.”

VALUES that participants thought were important:

    •   Respect for this land that our Creator has lent to us.
    •   Protect the land and rivers. Our land is sacred. Respect the earth and rivers by
        keeping them clean.
    •   Fellowship among our people.
    •   Precautionary principle – test all chemicals to ensure their safety before they are
        allowed to be marketed.
    •   Family, Tribe, culture, safe community.
    •   Keep and protect all natural resources, such as water and grass.
    •   Prevention of chemical exposures.
    •   Safe and clean community.
    •   The Clean Air Act is important.
    •   Keep up properties: get rid of trash, broken down cars, and discarded
        appliances that are in yards.
    •   Practice honesty and truth.
    •   Children need love, firmness, “good” discipline

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

The Tribe should take more responsibility. There are no specific laws and no
enforcement.
EPA needs to be more active.
Residents should help with cleaning up town.
Involve all the Big Horn County programs to take active roles in the endeavors.

Agricultural chemicals
   • Farmers could dispose of old agricultural chemicals, including pesticides and oil,

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 74
        in the right way so that groundwater is not contaminated.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   Have a public information system so that everyone knows what kinds are
        agricultural chemicals are being used by farmers and ranchers and where they
        are being applied.
    •   Quit Reservation wide spraying for grasshoppers.

Solid waste management
    • Need better solid waste management by both the Tribe and community
       members. Parents need to lead by example and teach their children to pick up
       (trash) and to respect others’ property.
    • Create and enforce local laws to reduce littering, burning of trash and old cars
       and appliances in people’s yards.
    • Establish a location where people could bring their old medications for proper
       disposal. [Note: The local hospital does do this, but people are unaware of the
       service. The hospital needs to publicize the service.]
    • Tow away old cars.
    • Community clean-up programs to get rid of trash.

Protection of rivers
   • “I would want our leaders to take action to prevent or deter further polluting of our
       water.”

Air pollution
    • Require coal burning power plants to scrub the mercury from their stacks. (The
        activated carbon injection technology is available and is already in use in some
        plants.) Then be sure that the mercury scrubbed from the smoke is treated as a
        hazardous waste and properly disposed of. Right now the fly ash from the
        Hardin power plant simply gets hauled to the local dump, which was only
        designed for household waste.

Community education
  • Community awareness program of what contaminants are in the rivers and well
     water that could be harmful to people.
  • “Help us to understand agricultural chemical use in our valleys so we can protect
     ourselves.”
  • Do a Reservation wide PR campaign on how people are exposed to chemicals in
     our environment, through all available media. Collaborative effort of Tribe, Tribal
     college, all the entities.

Other
   • Tribe could purchase a water truck to keep the dust down in the campground
      during the annual powwow, so that people won’t get sick from breathing so much
      dust.
   • Homeowners should take care of their homes and repair small items before they
      become big ones.
   • Kids need positive things to do, like clubs for volleyball, basketball, etc. in each

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 75
      community

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

To use chemicals properly and not to use them so freely.
To dispose of chemicals properly.
Success comes from positive attitudes, constant effort, repeated encouragement. It is
important to have ideals and plans, but they take effort, dedication, follow through and
firmness – footwork beyond the paperwork.

 “The new water and wastewater lines [for the Crow Agency distribution system]. We
want to thank the people who did it for us.”
Our Meth Program is very positive (a success).
Success is when the Tribe cleans up communities and failures are the people who
continue to throw out trash and litter.
“One time success is the annual [community] clean up, but with no follow-ups everything
is back to being abnormal. Everybody needs to be concerned about the problems to be
successful, otherwise it is [only] a once a year success.”

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

N/a




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 76
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW JERSEY (FREEHOLD): JEANE COVINGTON/MACEDONIA-FREEHOLD CHURCH

Location: Freehold, New Jersey
Convener: Jeane Covington/Macedonia-Freehold Church
Date of conversation: June 7, 2010
Participants: 23
Convener e-mail: firstladyj@gmail.com

Participants’ main concerns included:

Is all the lead really out of paint and gasoline?
A recall of Shrek glasses from McDonald’s
Use of household and personal products. Specifically, Aerosol Spray/Roll-on
Deodorant/Ammonia/bleach
Carpet Fresh is toxic – it eats up the carpet
Affordability of going green
Fertilizer in fruits and vegetables
The Oil Spill and Fish/Seafood

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Opening windows to air out the home only lets outside chemicals inside home

Values that participants thought were important:

Hand washing #1
To announce this community conversation at our International Church Convocation on
July 23, 2010-in Orlando Florida

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

Be aware of surroundings
Use natural products
Read food labels

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Watch what chemicals are coming into the home
Watch everything we are getting from other countries

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes. We plan to have meeting updates as new information becomes available.
Our Youth Department ----Armor Bearers’ Young People Union (A.B.Y.P.U.) will

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 77
designate June as our Local Chemical Exposure Awareness Month.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Engineered nanoparticles and (Industrial and Natural occurring /Biological Chemicals—
Briefly discussed as suggested.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 78
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW JERSEY (KINNELON ): CHRIS COLABELLA

Location: Kinnelon, New Jersey
Convener: Chris Colabella
Date of conversation: June 18, 2010
Participants: 18
Convener e-mail: CColabella@CISLeads.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
Almost all of the participants are Lyndhurst, NC where cancer cluster research has been
done in the areas surrounding the former Penick chemicals site on New York Avenue,
where the state had shown elevated levels of toxic chemicals including benzene. Fifteen
of the eighteen participants said they were very worried about the impact of chemical
exposure on our health. Some voiced concerns about their children living in the area
now where many told stories of large groups of family members they had lost to cancer,
all growing up in the town.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

While the slight majority wanted the federal government to improve regulations, the main
area of disagreement was what could be done in the future. It was fairly evenly split
between federal government regulations, state and local government help, getting the
public involved and encouraging public/private partnerships with community groups.
Most participants wanted several of these resolutions.

Participants wanted more information on: What the current regulations actually are and
how we can effect a change.

Values that participants agreed are important:

Sixteen of the participants view prevention as the most important value. Several also
wanted more transparency and education.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Soil and water should be tested and cleaned. Some agreed that it should be mandatory
for all public agencies to test the soil and water at each building location. Once problems
are established, testing should branch out from there.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Mainly people just told very sad stories about entire families being wiped out. Some
examples are: One woman said that she’s lived next to the old Penick factory since
1962. Her mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2004 and passed away that
year (from heart failure). Another person said that they live on Ridge Road and lost a

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 79
brother, sister and wife to cancer, all living at the same address. One woman has


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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apacticanemia and her husband has lymphoma. One woman has had five surgeries and
her husband has a cancerous tumor in his right kidney. And I, myself, recently lost my
mother to Multiple Myoloma. All of these people either lived in or are currently living in
Lyndhurst, NJ.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?
N/a




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 80
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW JERSEY (MARLTON ): EILEEN LUBERTAZZO

Location: Marlton, New Jersey
Convener: Eileen Lubertazzo
Date of conversation: June 11, 2010
Participants: 9
Convener e-mail:,ELubertazzo@gmail.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:


We believe there is a high rate of cancer in the town we are from which is Lyndhurst,
New Jersey. My sister and I found 18 cases of Multiple Myoloma and many more cases
of cancer. The company that manufactured benzene and other dangerous chemicals
was near where we lived and was found to have leaking tanks of benzene and
toulane underground. There is now a ShopRite sitting on the site. We are concerned the
soil has not been cleaned properly and we are waiting for the atsdr to give us results
from a meeting we held with them two years ago about how Penco has affected the
people in Lyndhurst. Lyndhurst is only one square mile and the amount of cancers are
unacceptable. In certain areas of the town, you can find every home to have at least one
member of the household to have one or more persons with cancer! I know certain
cancer may be genetic, but this is terrible! There were also homes near the site tested
for air and soil quality and we are waiting for results from that also.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

N/a

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Clean up this waste so others will not be affected by cancer. Allow people to have their
homes tested to see if toxins are still there.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

Everyone felt it is the DEP's and ATSDR's responsibility to look into this situation before
more lives are lost. Why do you have these departments if you do not listen to what we
say. We are telling you there were 18 Multiple Myeoloma cases in one square mile of
approx. 20,000 people. We don't care if you consider that a cluster or not, those
statistics are very high and we want you to notice this before anyone else loses their life.
17 of the 18 have passed including my sister three weeks ago!

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Why is ATSDR so slow to take action? We are waiting for a response from our meeting

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 81
two years ago. There was a "clean up" done a few years ago where a bank was being

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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built across from the Penco site which was later known to still have contaminants and
had to be cleaned again. Since your laws have changed for the better, it still isn't
enough!

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

N/a

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

We will contact the ATSDR to finally receive a letter from our meeting in 2008, and to
see the results of the 5 homes tested. My sister and I were interviewed for youtube, they
even came to her viewing 3 weeks ago so they can put it on youtube




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 82
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW JERSEY (VOORHEES): MARY L AMIELLE/NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
HEALTH STRATEGIES, INC.

Location: Voorhees, NJ
Convener: National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.
Date of conversation: June 28, 2010
Participants: 9
Convener E-mail: marylamielle@ncehs.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

The message from representatives of the chemical sensitivity community: DON’T
LEAVE US OUT!

The participants were unanimous that the most significant concern is that they not be left
out of the CDC work group reports and especially the Leadership Council’s action
agenda: who is more emblematic of the impact of chemical exposures on public health,
the poster child, than people with chemical sensitivities. I introduced myself at the first
Education Work Group meeting with the following six words, as requested: “the voice of
long neglected populations.” All participants echo these words.

The participants are very concerned that the Leadership Council, the group charged with
developing the action agenda, includes industry representatives. They’re also concerned
that the Leadership Council includes no representatives of health affected groups and no
representatives from the chemical sensitivity community. How can we trust that such a
group that includes no one knowledgeable about our issues and without a representative
of our issues, will ensure that our serious concerns are appropriately integrated into the
action plan. [Indeed an industry representative on the Scientific Understanding Work
Group shared an extremely biased and dated anti-MCS research paper with a subgroup
without having enough background in the topic area to understand the inaccuracies and
biases of the dated paper. It appeared that the individual knew just enough to know that
the issue, MCS, should receive no support from the work group.]

The participants are very concerned about the absence of any educational information
on chemical sensitivities on the CDC website and the inclusion of a biased statement
about chemical sensitivities on a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Brochure posted on the
CDC website. They are concerned with the Education Work Group Chair Kathy Rest’s
rejection of a recommendation to include educational information on chemical
sensitivities in the Education Work Group report. The modest recommendation
proposed several sentences including the entry “Chemical sensitivities/intolerances” on
the CDC website under Diseases and Conditions with a brief description, reference to
literature on chemical sensitivities including the book Chemical Exposures: Low Levels
and High Stakes, and the QEESI (Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity
Inventory Study), a research questionnaire developed with funding from ATSDR to help
identify persons with chemical sensitivities/intolerances www.chemicalexposures.org,
the U. S. Access Board’s “Indoor Environmental Quality Project Report” www.access-

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 83
board.gov/research/ieq, select research articles, and educational and advocacy

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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organizations. The proposal also recommended deletion of the biased statement on
chemical sensitivities in the CDC Brochure on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/cfsglossary.htm. It recommended that the CDC disavow the
ATSDR/CDC Predecisional Draft “A Report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)”
commonly referred to as the “Interagency Report” which is a dated, biased document
posted on the NIEHS and OSHA websites. [I shared with the conversation participants
that the Education Work Group Chair objected to specific details on chemical
sensitivities because the work group was not covering other issues such as cancer, birth
defects, etc. The difference, of course, is that these other issues have some visibility,
familiarity, funding, research, respect….]

The participants are concerned that the absence of information on chemical sensitivities
in the education work group report will mean that more individuals will become sick and
disabled by chemical exposures.

The participants support intensive educational initiatives on exposure issues and health.
One model that should be referenced is the STEER (South Texas Environmental
Education and Research) Program which educates hundreds of medical professionals a
year on exposures, susceptibility, and chemical intolerances. This was recommended for
inclusion in the Education Work Group report but is not included in the report at this time.

Specific exposures such as pesticides including their inert ingredients remain significant
exposures and a serious concern for those with chemical sensitivities and the public.

There is concern that, although the term “green” is not preferred, when it is used,
referenced products and practices should be “healthy or health neutral.” In too many
instances “green” is used to mean sustainability and/or energy efficiency in a manner
that might suggest that the practice or product always has a positive impact on human
health. That is not always the case. Citrus cleaning agents, for example, are frequently
referred to as “green,” but they are indeed not healthy or health neutral because they
can in and of themselves trigger reactions for some individuals but more problematic, in
the presence of ozone, they generate formaldehyde and other chemicals.
It is recommended that people with chemical sensitivities be included when “vulnerable
and susceptible populations” are referenced in the work group reports and action
agenda.

There is a concern that as new issues arise, global warming, for example, our issues
and needs will get pushed further down the list. Furthermore, global warming and its
complications may mean more exposures and more chemical problems which may
mean more illness and disability which should make it an even greater imperative to act
now to understand this condition and take action to protect the public from toxic
exposures and prevent illness and disability.

While we are aware that electromagnetic fields and electrical sensitivities are not
specifically addressed in this project, they are significant concerns to the participants
both because these conditions seem to be associated with and perhaps directly linked to

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 84
chemical sensitivities for many individuals, and they add another layer of illness and

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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disability and further complicate health and disability access issues for affected
individuals. These concerns both for the general public and affected individuals range
from basic electrical devices, to cell phones and cell towers, to Wi-Fi and wind turbines.

A participant noted support for the precautionary principle modeled on work in San
Francisco.

Values that participants thought were important:

The CDC has a history of failure to respect people with chemical sensitivities.
Participants hope that this is changing; that it will not be true in this project.

The CDC has a fragrance-free policy that appropriately protects CDC/ATSDR
employees from fragrances and fragranced products in the workplace. Failure to
specifically recommend (or support) such a policy across federal agencies as well as in
the private sector and in schools reflects a failure to respect the needs of people in the
chemical sensitivity community as well as others affected by these products and
practices.

The CDC should practice inclusivity of all people—do not leave us out!
The CDC needs to value public input. This is a government for the people, not the
corporations; human rights for the people, not the corporations. We need to be included.

There is a significant need for a collaborative Interagency effort to examine the
research, regulatory, and disability policies surrounding chemical sensitivities as
described in the attached proposal.

Prevention and justice/environmental justice are also key goals—prevention of injury
and justice for those made ill and disabled through no fault of their own.

There is a need for transparency and honesty in examining and addressing chemical
sensitivities.

Military personnel risk their lives in support of federal policy, but they are volunteers.
Chemically sensitive persons are not volunteers and should not be subjected to
unnecessary risk and lack of protection because of a military policy which protects
the chemical industry instead of the public.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

The government should be responding to the needs of ALL segments of society
including people with chemical sensitivities. The government has a role to protect the
public and to prevent disease and disability. Chemical sensitivities may be a preventable
disability. Failure of the government to examine this issue, to provide accurate and
appropriate educational materials, to fund scientific research, and to effect policies
including disability policies to protect the public has led to suffering for millions and

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 85
millions of people at an incredible expense to the government and the public.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


The CDC/ATSDR and the NIEHS have a significant role in this area. The CDC website
needs to include “Chemical Sensitivities/Intolerances” in the list of Diseases and
Conditions as mentioned in #1 above. The entry must include appropriate educational
information, resources, and educational/advocacy organizations including a description
of the condition, reference to the book Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High
Stakes and the QEESI, the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory,
developed with funding from ATSDR, to help affected individuals and their physicians
identify their medical condition, the “Indoor Environmental Quality Project Report”
www.access-board.gov/research/ieq, select research papers, and educational and
advocacy organizations. Similar information should be available for professionals. The
CDC must disavow the ATSDR/CDC Predecisional Draft “A Report on Multiple Chemical
Sensitivity (MCS)” commonly referred to as the “Interagency Report” and see that it is
removed from government websites (notably the NIEHS and OSHA) and remove the
biased statement about chemical sensitivities from the CDC Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Brochure http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/cfsglossary.htm. All of these recommendations were
DELETED from the Education Work Group paper at the recommendation of the Chair
and to the dismay of participants of this community conversation.

An Interagency Coordinating Committee as recommended at the Expert Panel on MCS
in 1993 must be convened across research, regulatory and disability agencies to review
current policies, programs, and practices, identify gaps, and develop an action plan to
address this issue. The collaborative project should include top agency personnel
including representatives form CDC/ATSDR, NIEHS, OSHA, EPA, DOE, Dept of
Education, HUD, Access Board, DOJ, National Council on Disability, and other
agencies, together with clinicians, researchers, indoor air experts, advocates, and
others. Research agencies have failed to step up to the plate for this essential effort.

The 1993 Expert Panel on MCS also recommended that researchers and clinicians
should be on the ground examining and protecting exposed populations during future
chemical incidents/events or environmental disasters. Epidemiological studies were
recommended in the event of such exposure events. This should have happened but
DID NOT OCCUR in the aftermath of the World Trade Center, the toxic FEMA Trailers
housing Katrina and Rita survivors, and most recently the Gulf Oil Spill. Efforts should be
made to identify affected and susceptible populations through the use of exposure
questionnaires and the QEESI, a screening tools for chemical intolerances, and to
provide guidance and medical information to protect the public and those working to
contain and clean-up the oil spill. The disastrous oil spill shouldn’t be followed by the
devastating effects of chronic illness and disability sustained by exposure to the oil,
dispersants, and fumes, particularly by individuals who might be able to be identified as
susceptible to becoming chronically ill and disabled by such exposures.
Individual agencies could be doing more to address these problems. GSA should be
protecting people in the workplace. It was noted that some products on the GSA
cleaning schedule are very toxic and make otherwise healthy buildings inaccessible.
Mention was also made that the Consumer Product Safety Commission should be
funded to take a more active role protecting the public from toxic products. School

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 86
districts should have a greater responsibility to protect children’s health.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures
include:

As a community we have learned time and again that we have been “left out.” (The
Education Work Group’s efforts seem to be on track to sustain this assessment by
eliminating educational information on chemical sensitivities to the dismay of National
Conversation participant Mary Lamielle and conversation participants on the
teleconference.) No matter how much scientific information is gathered, for political
reasons chemical sensitivity in not recognized or accommodated, or it’s misrepresented.
Political policies have repeatedly ignored the information we thought that if we had, we
would be recognized. Industry continually trumps science, and always says that the
evidence is never enough for the government to act.

The U. S. Access Board’s Indoor Environmental Quality project and the “Indoor
Environmental Quality Project Report” www.access-board.gov/research/ieq issued in
2006, which focuses on making public and commercial buildings healthier for all and
more accessible for people with chemical and electrical sensitivities, were discussed as
a significant success because the Access Board directly involved the chemical sensitivity
community including a number of individual advocates, clinicians, indoor air experts,
professionals, government officials, and others to develop best practices guidelines on
indoor environmental quality.

The ATSDR “Interagency” Report was not just a significant failure, but it halted all efforts
on the part of research agencies to examine these issues. In 1993 the ATSDR with
directed Congressional funds convened an Expert Panel on Multiple Chemical
Sensitivities. In part the expert panel recommended the creation of an interagency
committee to examine this issue and develop a plan of action. Five years later, with no
input from the public, affected populations, or federal disability agencies, the CDC issued
the Predecisional Draft “A Report on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)” for public
comment. Over 400 comments were received, the majority of which identified the
serious factual errors and problems with content and perspective. The CDC hired a
consulting firm to review and categorize the comments at a cost of nearly $25,000. No
changes were ever made to the report, and it was never finalized or released.
Seventeen years after the recommendation for creation of an Interagency Committee
was made and a dozen years after the draft report was rejected by the public and
professionals as inadequate and biased, it continues to be posted to a number of
government websites including the NIEHS and OSHA conferring a legitimacy it does not
have.

The practices of ACT-UP San Francisco were mentioned as an advocacy model for
securing policies and programs to address our issues.

A video of those affected by the clean up of the Gulf Oil Spill similar to that made of Gulf
War Veterans by Alison Johnson was recommended as were YOU Tube videos of
affected individuals.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 87
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Participants expressed an interest in meeting with officials from the CDC and the NIEHS
regarding research on chemical sensitivities. They expressed a specific interest in
meeting with Kathy Rest, who recommended deletion of educational materials on
chemical sensitivities in the Education Work Group report, and with the CDC and with
the Leadership Council to ensure that these issues are integrated into the National
Conversation work group reports and the Leadership Council’s action agenda.

Several participants discussed joining in a regional project to educate hospital officials.

Although I intend to stay in communication with all participants, there is no plan for the
entire group to meet again by teleconference.

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

      Proposed Interagency Committee on Chemical Sensitivities/Intolerances

Congress should mandate an interagency panel/coordinating committee on chemical
sensitivities/intolerances (also referred to as environmental illness and including
electrical sensitivities) to catalyze research and a federal policy response to address
these disabilities. The committee should consist of representatives of federal agencies,
clinicians and researchers, policy makers, patient advocates, and others. A 1993
Congressionally-funded expert panel convened to address chemical sensitivities
recommended in part that an interagency committee be created to address this public
health problem. There was no additional funding, and this did not occur. In the
intervening period, numerous agencies, and in particular disability agencies, have taken
steps to address these disabilities. The approach has been piecemeal. Seventeen years
later, most agencies still lack the policies and programs, knowledge, and the will to
address these issues, sometimes even when policies exist that either recognize the
disability or require reasonable accommodations. There is a need for a comprehensive,
multi-agency, multi-faceted approach to this health problem. An interagency
panel/coordinating committee should examine the research, policy development, patient
support, and public education necessary to meet the needs of affected populations. It
should be charged with reviewing current federal policies and programs, identifying the
gaps in medical and disability research and policies, and making recommendations for
further action to address such issues in a cohesive and systematic fashion. Federal
participation should include but not be limited to: Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Veterans
Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S.
Access Board, Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
Department of Labor, Department of Education, and others.



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 88
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW YORK (BROOKLYN): UPROSE AND SΊ SE PUEDE

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Convener(s): UPROSE and Si Se Puede
Date of Conversation: 07-07-2010
Participants (#): 14
Convener E-mail: Development@uprose.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

    o   The main focus of the conversation was geared toward cleaning products, as a
        majority of the individuals were either immigrants or children of immigrants who
        were involved or knew people in service industries.
    o   Toxic products in houses was the first focus, with specific focuses on at risk
        populations including children and pets
            o One of the things mentioned was that doctors often misdiagnose
                chemical sickness and toxic exposure as “headaches” or colds, ignoring
                the symptoms of exposure to skin irritants like bleach or cleaners with
                toxic smells
    o   Individuals expressed concern that bad chemicals are not banned, and can
        contribute to health
            o Individuals asked questions about why regulation did not protect the
                consumer on the market, and a participant spoke briefly about TSCA and
                its specific limitations
    o   Si Se Puede warned individuals about potential exposure sights around the
        house, and individuals seemed concerned about poor ventilation and exposure to
        parents who used toxic products
    o   Participants seemed concerned about the subtle cumulative health effects, as
        sometimes there are few visible symptoms but accumulation can still hurt you
    o   Individuals seemed concerned about why cleaner, organic, or natural products
        cost more and were less accessible in markets—and there was discussion about
        the cheap “Do it yourself (DIY)” alternatives including vinegar, baking soda, and
        lemon juice
            o One of the benefits of Si Se Puede co-presenting is that they had a
                powerpoint slide prepared to show what products and labels were
                commonly used and toxic, and explained common alternatives

VALUES that participants thought were important:

    o   Values mentioned were:
           o Spreading information to community members once a group figured out
               the negative health effects
           o Educated youth informing adults: who may be restricted by language
               barriers and false information from employers


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 89
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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            o   Environmental Protection—Cleaning products often get into drinking
                water and harm us when we drink it and animals/plants when they are
                exposed to it
            o   “Casa Sana, Cuerpo Sano” – Healthy House, Healthy Body
            o   Responsible Convenience: People should not have to sacrifice
                convenience or cleanliness for less toxic cleaning products… although we
                have to be responsible about how we use them
            o   Daily Maintenance: Keeping your home constantly cleaned so one does
                not need to bring out toxic chemicals to do big cleanups
            o   Inclusivity: Need to include minorities and ethnic diversity in the
                conversation about chemical exposures, and make materials and
                outreach bi-lingual and far-reaching into different neighborhoods

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

    o   Children: Can educate parents about cleaning products
    o   Educated individuals: Can reach out to their communities and advocate for clean,
        natural products. Often communities pose resistance, but with strong information
        and anecdotal reasons about why to change, individuals will gradually change
        practices
            o Affected individuals who figured out their problem need to reach out to
                other potentially affected individuals, by telling their story and advocating
                for change. Occupational exposure increases risk factors, and change is
                most convincing coming from individuals who have suffered already. The
                two Si Se Puede conveners had both been previously affected, which
                drove them into this conversation
    o   Parents: Need to listen to their children, and keep a safe home by cleaning often
        and becoming informed about the issues surrounding toxic chemicals and
        exposure.
    o   Government: needs to be harsher with the products they allow to reach the
        market. They also need to make sure that advertisements of potentially toxic
        products are not aimed at at-risk populations like children and minorities.
    o   Industries: Need to stop manufacturing demand for cleaning products by scaring
        consumers into feeling that they need their products. There was also a concern
        about green washing, or advertising chemicals and/or products as
        environmentally-friendly, even when they are not.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

    o   The main story of success came from Si Se Puede’s work in communities
        advocating for reduced chemical exposure in immigrant and minority
        communities. They used their own stories to convince individuals to change their
        habits, and helped individuals change to clean, DIY, or green cleaning products.
    o   Another success story came from an audience member who talked about
        changing her habits once she learned about the issue. She started using DIY


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 90
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

        cleaning products, bought organic food, and started reading labels with more
        scrutiny after becoming cognizant.
    o   The main story of failure came from Si Se Puede’s work with immigrant
        communities who had either not been educated about the issues, duped by
        employers who convinced them that products were safe, or refused to change
        their habits in regards to cleaning products.
    o   Another failure story came from an individual who said she had gone to a doctor
        who had misdiagnosed her chemical exposure as a headache and fever. She
        only realized it was from the cleaning products she used after talking to informed
        individuals, who asked her what she did for a living and then told her how to fix
        her problems.
    o   Another failure story was more general, as most individuals had no clue about
        the number of toxic chemicals on their shelves, and were surprised to hear that
        these chemicals were on the market. This demonstrates a failure of governments
        and consumer safety groups to inform consumers about lack of regulations in
        regard to commonly used materials.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

    o   Si Se Puede will continue reaching out to community members to advocate for
        less toxic cleaning products. UPROSE has a grassroots presence in the
        community, and has done work in the community advocating for environmentally-
        friendly actions. They might be able to work with their members in the future to
        advocate for cleaner products.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 91
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW YORK (LAWRENCE AND NASSAU COUNTY): DONALD H ASSIG/CANCER ACTION
NY

Location: Lawrence and Nassau County, NY
Convener: Cancer Action NY
Date of conversation: July 10, 2010
Participants: 4
Convener E-mail: donaldhassig@gmail.com and canceractionny@yahoo.com

Participants’ main concerns included:

Our main concerns include: (1) the large quantity of carcinogenic substances and
agents that are present in our environment; (2) the lack of good intention on the part of
the federal government to remedy this problem; (3) the cancer epidemic that exists in the
St. Lawrence River Valley and on Long Island; (4) the large amount of cancer risk
imposed on people, pets and wildlife by unsafe chemical use; (5) the deliberate efforts of
the federal government to deceive the public about the magnitude of dioxin exposure
cancer risk; and (6) the large and growing amount of control that corporations exercise
over federal government.

Values that participants thought were important:

Participants thought the following values were important: integrity, strength of resolve,
perseverance, creativity and goodness of heart.

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

We reached a consensus on the view that only county governments possessed the
capacity and political will to provide pollutant carcinogen exposure reduction education
to the citizens of the United States.

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures
include:

We have learned that love of the land, hard work and perseverance despite all
opposition are essential to success in bringing about the environmental revolution we
reach toward.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

We plan to work together to advocate for labeling of all foods and consumer products so
as to make known to consumers the presence of known and suspected human and/or
animal carcinogens in these foods and products. Additionally, we have initiated a project
of producing a movie about our work as cancer detectives.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 92
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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NEW YORK (ROCHESTER): KATRINA SMITH KORFMACHER/ UNIVERSITY OF
ROCHESTER MEDICAL CENTER, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER

Location: Rochester, New York
Convener: Katrina Smith Korfmacher/ University of Rochester Medical Center,
Environmental Health Sciences Center
Date of conversation: 5/24/2010
Participants: 15

Participants’ main concerns included:

Participants ranged from somewhat to very concerned, though there was also a lot of
confusion. There was much agreement that the public doesn’t know enough about what
information is out there to make their own informed decisions (lack of awareness, lack of
education, and lack of understanding). Along those lines, one participant noted that it
feels like people have to make a “judgment call,” based on limited knowledge and
convenience. Others have a lack of confidence in what scientists really know. Some
expressed belief that we should be using a precautionary principle as a result.

Participants noted that most of the information that is out there for the public is often
inaccessible to some populations, doesn’t make sense, or is inaccurate or misleading
(and the community does not have the tools to determine which sources are reliable).
For some participants, the breadth of information and lack of clarity is overwhelming,
making it hard to be too concerned.

One participant did express optimism based on how far scientists have come and future
research. Another mentioned that chemical exposures are less concerning than issues
such as global warming because they are able to control their own exposure to
chemicals to an extent.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

No significant disagreements were apparent.

Values that participants thought were important:

Transparency, Justice and Prevention were the most commonly mentioned values
(noted by 6, 5 and 5 members of the group, respectively).
       Justice:
       - We need to balance what we assume people do/can do with the reality of
           what can actually do; we need adequate, accessible common knowledge to
           foster this
       - Justice is an issue with untested chemicals because we are all inadvertently
           part of a mass “clinical trial” without “informed consent”
       - We need to protect people who bring up issues of chemical exposure from
           retaliation (workplace, housing, etc)

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 93
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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        -    Some people are currently forced to decide between immediate needs (e.g.,
             food, wages) with long-term costs (health effects of chemicals)
        -    Lack of justice means that not everyone can take personal responsibility. This
             can be rectified through empowerment

        Transparency:
        - We need to better distinguish/have the tools to better understand fact versus
           fiction
        - We need more honesty about what is known and what is not, and about what
           is in products. Part of this transparency is making the information
           understandable and accessible.
        - Transparency can lead to personal responsibility – people can act if they
           understand the issue and know what to do

        Prevention:
        - We need to move away from secondary (fixing a problem) to primary
           prevention (stopping the problem before it starts).
        - Transparency contributes to prevention – we need the whole message. Right
           now, only part of it is getting out and that inhibits our ability to prevent.

Other values mentioned were:
       Convenience:
       - People will not make important changes if it isn’t easy to do. People don’t
           have the base knowledge, let alone the time, energy and resources it takes to
           make some of these changes (e.g. safer pest management versus using
           pesticides)

        Regulatory Framework:
    -   Most people can’t make major changes on their own. Need the support of
        regulation.

        Empowerment:
        - This encapsulates all of the listed values – we need to combine these values
          to provide the information, knowledge and awareness that will help people
          make their own informed choices.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Perhaps if the government were restructured/redistributed, it could do a better job of
enforcing regulations and have stricter policies. However, some participants noted they
don’t want government to fix the whole problem for them. They think communities should
be empowered to make change. In many cases, regulation is driven by community
action (e.g., automobile safety standards). The government should therefore empower
communities to make their own changes, not force change upon them.
To change, we need to understand what drives us – is it money? Is it health outcomes?
That will help with moving forward.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 94
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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One participant noted that we need to change the burden of proof so that chemicals
must be “proven innocent” before being used widely. They noted that chemical
companies won’t self-regulate. For additional issues such as long-term exposures and
chemical mixtures, we should rely on impartial researchers (universities, non-profits,
community groups, etc). We also need to more quickly interpret and disseminate these
results.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Most of the successes discussed in this group revolved around three key factors:

Knowledge/Information, Tools, and Resources.

Knowledge/Information:
      - We need to be vigilant about recognizing and identifying issues
      - There needs to be communication and exchange of knowledge (communities
         addressing concerns; researchers sharing/disseminating knowledge)
      - People must be engaged and willing to learn before knowledge can be
         transferred
      - Information must be simple, clear and concise in order to be transformed into
         knowledge at the individual and community level

Tools and Resources:
       - Government and others should provide tools for making change. This can be
          in the form of regulations, services, monetary resources, informational
          resources, etc
       - Need help in using tools

Policies and regulations also need to fit the messages being proposed. For example,
food subsidies make it difficult for families to afford organic food over food where
pesticides and other chemicals are used. Likewise, change is an interconnected
process. Many factors (researchers, government, and community) need to contribute to
the cycle in order to remain connected and consistent. Local, state and national
government should be consistent as well to help reduce confusion (e.g., recycling
programs on a state-wide instead of national basis).
Most of the failures listed in this discussion did not have the above key factors, while
most of the successes did. One participant noted that we have a history of failing to learn
from past mistakes, which contributes to additional failures. The example given in this
instance was with the BP oil spill.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

No plans were made for a follow up meeting about local action. However, this group
meets biannually to share research and other information, and to discuss environmental
health issues in the community. One potential upcoming topic of concern is to discuss
the role of the local community in addressing chemical exposures.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 95
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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OHIO (BELLEVUE): ED HEMEYER

Location: Bellevue, Ohio
Convener: Ed Hemeyer
Date of conversation: June 1, 2010
Participants: 20

Participants’ main concerns included:

Most thought viewpoint D (confused than concerned) was most accurate. They are
confused due to lack of knowledge about exposures. However there was strong support
for viewpoint C (worried about every day exposure). These people were concerned
mostly about unknown exposures. Also those who are confused believe with useful
information that they would be concerned. They discussed how MSDS is available, but
that how it is difficult for the average person to understand.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

No disagreements.

Values that participants thought were important:

#1) all agreed that transparency at all levels of involvement needs to be mandated.

#2) prevention is the key. Being proactive and attempting to foresee exposure rather
than reactive and attempting prevention after exposures have occurred. Examples were
lead paint and gas as well as asbestosis.

#3) the majority agreed that personal responsibility can not be mandated. They all agree
that if there is transparency and useful information that personal responsibility would
usually follow.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

There is unanimous consensus that local groups need to be able to make change.
However they realize that the local level does not have the “teeth” to make changes.
They also acknowledge that if there was more enforcement at one locale then a
company, due to economic reasons, may choose a less stringent area. This may negate
any real control at the local level. The group recommends that local groups have direct
input at the state and federal level. Then the federal and state level can effect change.
They also believe that transparency will be paramount.

There is a strong feeling of corruptness with big business and governing agencies.
Specifically mentioned was the FDA.



Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 96
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Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures:

First that universally there are mostly failures with protecting people from exposures.
Several issues cited related back to trying to use prevention after exposure.

Several examples also included how the EPA will announce a week ahead of time
coming in to inspect after a suspected problem, thus giving business enough time to fix it
before the inspection (several people stated they specifically know of this happening).

Second they mostly believe that many of the problems and exposures would be
lessened with transparency. They also believed that this transparency would help
eliminate the “corruption” between government and industry”.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

No




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 97
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OHIO (BRYAN): SHERRY FLEMING/WILLIAMS COUNTY ALLIANCE

Location: Bryan, Ohio
Convener: Sherry Fleming/Williams County Alliance
Date of conversation: June 14, 2010
Participants: 13
Convener e-mail: wmscoa@yahoo.com

Participants' main concerns included:

No one felt protected adequately from chemical exposure.
Feeling of helplessness in the workplace: fear of losing job if employee complains about
chemical exposure.
Concern over exposure to agricultural pesticides and chemical contaminants in air/water
from CAFOs.
We assume that a product is safe if it is available on the market: industry has more
control over chemical exposure than citizens.
Who determines what is safe?
What are the long term impacts from chemical exposure to children?
Impacts from exposure to combinations of chemicals.
Protecting our health long term health impacts need to be a top priority of our
government.
Not enough resource done to determine long term impacts from chemical exposure.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Who should/can provide truthful information ....industry versus government.
Can a chemical be "green"?
Who defines what is "green"?

Values that participants thought were important:

Transparency
Education
Truthfulness
Considering long term impacts
Health a top priority
Prevention
Fairness
Regulatory/govt agencies should be advocates for citizens, not industry.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act: govt (EPA) should require chemical
manufacturers to be held responsible for the safety of their products and to provide full

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 98
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information on the health and environmental hazards associated with their chemicals.
This information should be easily accessible to the public, workers and businesses.
Work to build capacity and authority at the local level to address public health concerns.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

People need access to accurate, honest information to make decisions, but they also
need access to an agency/division of govt which has the authority to protect citizens
from chemical exposure.

Local governments and agencies, such as the county health dept, need the
resources and authority to protect the public from chemical exposure and respond to
their concerns and provide protection from local environmental health threats.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?
N/a




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                       Page 99
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OHIO (CLEVELAND): MARK MCLAIN/NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH WATCH, EARTH DAY COALITION JUNE 24 AND J ULY 15

Location: Cleveland, OH
Convener: Neighborhood Leadership Institute Environmental Health Watch, Earth
Day Coalition
Date of conversation: June 24, 2010
Participants: 21
Convener E-mail: mark@neighborhoodleadership.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

Lack of control, no trust in information available to them. Workplace contamination. Lack
of healthy foods. Community susceptible to disease. People talk action but don’t
accomplish anything. Lack of parenting and babies having babies. We need to leave the
Earth in a better shape than it is now.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

How to resolve problems and how to communicate with problem makers and their
victims.

Values that participants thought were important:

It is EPA’s job to protect the environment. We need to motivate through the media. Fear
also motivates. We need to use behavior modification to change the behavior of the
ignorant.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Education, information dissemination, behavior modification.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:
How important it is to educate. We need to concentrate on removal of vacant buildings
and contamination.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
Yes, we will be meeting monthly at least until March 2010.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 100
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Location: Cleveland, OH
Convener: Neighborhood Leadership Institute Environmental Health Watch, Earth
Day Coalition
Date of conversation: July 15, 2010
Participants: 31
Convener E-mail: mark@neighborhoodleadership.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

Lack of awareness of dangers, no control over the chemicals or how they are ingested.
No trust in information available to them. Lack of healthy foods. Community susceptible
to effects, particularly on the growth and maturing process of children. Girls having
breast buds at 8y/o and menstrual cycle at early ages.

List several values that participants thought were important:

We need to be aware of our desire for convenience and recognize that it is that desire
that makes us ignore some of the dangers of chemicals. We need to understand that we
have the power to change our circumstance. Our efforts must be driven not just by our
own personal peril because what affects others directly may affect us indirectly.

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

Education, information dissemination, acting as a watch dog over certain industries and
practices.

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures
include:
How important it is to be informed and act. We should not be afraid to challenge
authority and power. Should not be afraid of failure. Failure should drive us to be more
prepared for the next fight.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
Yes, we will be meeting monthly at least until March 2011.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 101
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Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 102
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OHIO (COLUMBUS): PAUL ROSILE/OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Convener: Paul Rosile/Ohio Environmental Health Association
Date of conversation: April 21-22, 2010
Participants: 60
Convener email: parosile@franklincountyohio.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

        •    The importation of products from countries that contain toxic chemicals, i.e.
             tainted drywall
        •    Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and the myriad of chemical exposures from these
             environments
        •    Environmental public health exposure standards
             o Creation of a new set of exposure standards based on something other
                 than occupational exposure-based studies (T: consider changing health
                 assessment to “judging health standards”)
        •    Local public health not in the position to enforce chemical exposure
             standards
        •    Not enough science for current exposure standard enforcement by local and
             state public health agencies
             o Low level acute Mercury vapor exposures from broken thermometers or
                 other small sources is a prime example
        •     Should there be a Consumer Product Safety Commission type of oversight
             agency that tracks and educates regarding chemical exposure other than
             lead
        •    Conversation concerning the public culture that “more is better when using
             chemical products in the home”
                 o CDC’s Healthy Homes Initiative
        •    Education to local public health about establishing a new paradigm for the
             public health response to chemical exposures in our communities…chronic,
             acute, very low concentrations to very high concentrations
             o This response model would be based upon tracking exposures, creating a
                 surveillance system, having the capacity to access PH toxicologists and
                 epidemiologists familiar with chemical exposure risk assessment; and
                 advising our community about their risk levels short and long term
                      Somewhat like our communicable disease tracking system but for
                         chemical exposures and risks
        •    Beg Bug chemicals
                 o The effective use of chemicals
                 o A balance between effective chemical control and chemical hazards
                     to our communities
        •    Environmental Public Health nuisance response
                 o Local public health training on hazard awareness for unidentified

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 103
                     containers involved in a public health nuisance abatement


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Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

        •    none

List several of the values that participants agreed are important:

        •    Chemical exposure and spill prevention
        •    Economic growth without increasing the exposure to chemicals
        •    Protective standards and enforcement chemical exposure risks from imported
             products
        •    Consumer education on the risks associated from chemical exposures

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

        •    None identified due to time constraint

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

        •    Failure: The obstacles encountered during spill responses when dealing with
             railroad autonomy
        •    Success: Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website for Bed Bugs
        •    Success: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for mosquito prevention

Did the group make any plans for a follow-up meeting about local action:

        •    No

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included: Questions

        •    What 20% of environmental health risks from chemical exposures should we
             respond to – the Pareto Principle
        •    Capacity to respond to environmental health threats from chemical exposures
             (T: notice how they tend to care more about this than any of the other groups,
             which have a pov almost completely related to everyday, chronic type
             exposures)
                 o Development of a reference handbook for local public health
                 o Risk communication about chemical exposures
                          Mercury vapor is a prime example……how do we
                            communicate to our communities that the risk of health effects
                            from a broken thermometer at home may be very, very
                            minimal
                                • How do we communicate the action level for mitigation
                                   when different action levels have different risks
        •    Information about drywall from China
        •    Food Alerts and recalls
        •
Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 104
             Ohio Public Health Communication Systems


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        •    Better line of communications between federal, state and local entities on
             exposures to chemicals and associated risks
                          What information is available to local public health and where
                             to find it on the risk to chemical exposures
                o How does local public health communicate this information within a
                     community
                o How does local public health report back to a federal agency (FDA,
                     ATSDR, CDC) on chemical exposures and responses
        •    More resources to local health districts




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 105
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OHIO (FAIRFIELD): DR. HEEKYOUNG CHUN AT CINCINNATI KOREAN AMERICAN SCHOOL
(CKAS)

Location: Fairfield, Ohio
Convener: Dr. HeeKyoung Chun at Cincinnati Korean American School (CKAS)
Date of conversation: May 15, 2010
Participants: 30
Convener e-mail: hchun@cdc.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

Half of participants agreed that there exist chemical exposure problems such as plastic
cookware, laundry products, pesticide at the school and park, genetically modified foods,
and drinking water problem. They want to be educated about the issue.
Participants and their viewpoints are diverse ranged from ‘I’m a little concerned (40%)’,
‘I’m very worried about my everyday exposures to Chemicals (50%)’, to ‘I’m more
confused than concerned (10%)’.

They would like to have more information on the school pesticide issues, drinking water
problems in KY, air pollution and research on everyday life chemicals. They have been
drinking filtered water, trying not to use plastic wrap, foil and cookware and buying
environment-friendly products.

There's no question many children are routinely exposed to trace amounts of pesticides
from fruits, veggies, laundry detergent, lawn and garden and so on. We are in the better-
safe-than-sorry camp, there should be many ways to reduce our children's exposure to
pesticides. Please let us know trust resources and information.

 Participants disagreed on whether to be concerned about certain issues,
including:

Participants would like to buy organic produce and natural cleaning and personal care
products, but there is concern on cost issue such as the burden for home-economy.
They are not familiar with public health issues. Half of people don’t even know about the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Much more commitments to apply CDC’s expertise to serve society and research to
practice (R2P) are required.
We need public health professionals with broad range of non-scientific issues and
display sensitivity to political, economic and social factors.

Values that participants thought were important:

Participants put their values into Prevention (50%), Transparency (40%), Justice (10%).


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 106
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Seven generation thinking: policies that have a long-term goal to protect and promote
the public good--including the health of the most vulnerable and marginalized-- not just
for this generation and the next but for seven generations occupational diseases are by
definition preventable but we need to create as many incentives as possible to make
prevention a reality.

Current legal systems of regulation, enforcement, and systems for securing
compensation for harm do not create such incentive nearly as well as they might.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Government regulations need to be in place. Government agencies should look at
chemical exposures as well as other public health issues that communities face.

However, there is concern on corruption among corporations and agencies. For
example, the FDA staffer can have biased opinion on some big corporation such as
Monsanto, since Former Monsanto Executive Appointed to the Head of the F.D.A.
Michael Taylor and Monsanto are responsible for subjecting this country and many
others to the increased risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer because
of what they did to milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream with rBGH as well as to all the foods
that rely on milk solids and other parts of milk.

We all share responsibility for tackling chemical exposures: as employers; workers and
their safety representatives; government; health and safety institutions; and policy-
makers.

Employers are legally required to assess workplace risks and act to ensure the safety
and health of workers. But they should do more than just meet their legal obligations.
Employers should lead by example, and demonstrate a real commitment to health and
safety. This is in employers' own interests: good safety management is good for
business and it is a feature of efficient organizations.

Safety isn’t all down to the employer - workers also have a responsibility to co-operate
with their employer to protect themselves and their colleagues. Employee involvement is
essential when tackling workplace hazards - they know the workplace as well as anyone.
Workers should receive information and training on Material Safety Data Sheets
(MSDS), database of chemicals and chemical compounds, so they know how to avoid
specific hazards and risks.

Safety representatives, governments, health and safety institutions and policy-makers all
have important roles to play.

Federal agencies should commit resources to make sure that state and local
governments can adequately respond to residents’ concerns and can provide protection
from local environmental health threats.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 107
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Community members can contribute as consumers by not purchasing products from
corporations that are not health- and environment- friendly.

School's pest control policy needs to be in place. Many school districts have moved to
Integrated Pest Management, which emphasizes less toxic alternatives

The main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures
include:

Chemicals are everywhere. It is extremely difficult for humans to survive without
chemicals. Global regulations to minimize unnecessary production of such chemicals are
urgently needed. After the production is regulated based on the critical needs,
governments should first make efforts to provide safer alternative for chemicals being
used without consideration of the risks or danger. Such alternatives are readily available
in a various communities, therefore, such efforts will primarily involve aggregating and
synthesizing those information and make them available to the public, and promote them
as well.

NIOSH recommended phasing out the use of flavoring chemical (Diacetyl) and failed to
provide safe alternatives for Diacetyl. Now food industries are experiencing another
health effects among workers since their use of their own alternative chemicals.

Some carcinogens including plastic wrap were discovered after wide consumption. After
hearing about chemicals in some personal care products, I tried to switch to safe
options. I had a difficult time finding information to help me make a decision.

Companies’ voluntary efforts to tackling chemical hazards seem to be failed. For
example, family members and friends of the workers at Samsung in Korea believe that
they have discovered a cancer cluster among young workers exposed to toxic
chemicals. Many media including ‘USA Today’ and ‘Huffington Post’ reported that the
company is desperately trying to reassure the public that its products are safe after a
January lawsuit involving six people. All six developed leukemia and lymphoma they
claim was caused by exposure to radiation and benzene, a carcinogen, in Samsung chip
factories.

Government agencies investigated health concerns in Samsung factories but in the end
it didn’t have enough information to provide us with any answers. In addition, the Korea
Workers’ Compensation denied there claims. It is a mistake to deny workers'
compensation benefits based on what conditions are now when the workers whose
deaths are in issue worked in this industry under different conditions. The workers'
compensation system should consider the actual conditions when the dead workers
were being exposed, not what current conditions are. Benefits should not be denied
simply because current conditions are claimed to be good when everyone knows the
workers were exposed to chemicals some years ago. People who have become ill from
previous exposures should be provided medical care and compensation. In addition,
people who were exposed in the past but who are currently cancer-free should be

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 108
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monitored so that early signs of chronic disease can be found as early as possible and
hopefully result in better prognoses and saved lives.

“IBM has been the target of a series of lawsuits brought about by former workers who
claim that they were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. Additional claims have been
brought on behalf of children of IBM production workers, where the claim is that the child
suffered birth defects because of parental exposure to toxics. Forty-five plaintiffs from
the company's San Jose facility brought suit against the company, citing personal injury
and wrongful death. The plaintiffs are surviving family members of workers who have
died of cancer or former workers suffering from cancer. The company was accused of
not taking the necessary precautions for employees who worked in its clean rooms, and
of concealing from the workers information about their declining health due to their work
exposures. As of February 2004, the number of lawsuits hovered around 200 when
claims from both San Jose and East Coast IBM workers were combined. Many cases
have been settled confidentially out of court, including over 50 in June 2004, but in
others' outcome remained pending as of 2004. [Atlanta Journal, 06/24/2004]”

IBM was one of the companies included in Greenpeace International’s “E-waste Hall of
Shame.” Greenpeace International discovered IBM products in their visit to a Chinese
scrap yard. IBM, along with Apple, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Acer, has not committed to
remove chemicals from products or be responsible for the safe recycling and responsible
disposal of their products. Greenpeace, 06/20/2006

The pattern of cancer deaths at IBM in the US as documented by Dr. Richard Clapp was
similar to the pattern at Samsung. Independent researchers should keep tracking cases
to get better industrial hygiene and health monitoring data. Workers should have the
right to know. Workers don't know what they were exposed to. Permissible Exposure
Limits (PELs) are not protective, people can become sick from chronic exposure to very
low levels of carcinogens.

There are the political and economic obstacles for the Occupational Safety and Health
issues. There are lots of books on this topic, including "Deceit and Denial," by Markowitz
and Rosner and "Doubt is Their Product," by David Michaels (the new head of OSHA in
the U.S.). Those books reveal how the tobacco industry's duplicitous tactics spawned a
multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense
consultants have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and
magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of
polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. Companies have not only
delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder
for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=TESTIMONIES&p
_id=1122

Protecting the lives and health of workers is a core element of sound labor policy.
Its also sound public health policy, sound economic policy, sound social policy and

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 109
sound environmental policy.

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Disease and Exposure Tracking could make a difference if treating doctors were part
of systematic collection of data on work history and disease. Astute clinicians are allies
especially when there is a system that prioritizes and uses their observations as part of
illness prevention.

A major step would be for employers to become participants in this sort of health
surveillance. Tracking disability and chronic illness (and causes of death) can provide
employers and employees with timely and vital opportunities to spot trends, and patterns
and intervene to improve conditions and reduce exposures.

Good policies need to be in place in the electronics and semiconductor industry. The
writers in "Challenging the Chip" have made many good recommendations, including
"The Silicon Principles of Socially and Environmentally Responsible Electronics
Manufacturing." This should be available on the Internet or at the Silicon Valley Toxics
Coalition website.
Protecting the lives and health of workers is a core element of sound labor policy. Full
Life-cycle approach to semiconductor production - that makes protection of workers’
health as important as preventing environmental degradation from electronic waste.
Company should develop alternatives and comply OSHA guidance and laws. Workers
have the right to know. Independent groups should monitor workers health and
workplace conditions.

Participants agreed on building capacity at local level to address public health concerns
related to chemical exposures and partnership with federal agency and other
organizations such as foundations and non-profit organizations.

Discarding physiological solution used at labs and schools may have impacted on water
pollution.

Asbestos exposures in building construction and demolition and prevention failure show
there is a need for research and guidance on nano-particles.

The organophosphate diazinon (brand names Diazinon, Spectracide) was outlawed for
residential use in 2004.

Free market system will not function as a self-regulatory mechanism. Relying on the
invisible hands in the free market system has shown its failure in various aspects of daily
life, such as economy and healthcare, and has been always on its way to prove it in
environmental public health.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Dr. HeeKyoung Chun provided the survey results and useful website links for those
participants by email. She published articles about this meeting on the internet
newspaper and on her blog to share useful information. She invited other organizations

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 110
(Korea Focus in Cincinnati, Non-profit Korean women’s community organization) to have

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conversations and provided tool kits for them. Continued discussion of strategies the
national conversation could use to stimulate research and discussions among
community and health professionals.

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

Following is the survey translated into Korean language.

The National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures

국민의 건강과 화학물질 노출에 대한 전국민 대화프로그램의 일환으로 여러분의 생각을
듣고 있습니다. 웹사이트에 토론결과요약이 공개되며, 이후 정책에 반영됩니다.
www.atsdr.cdc.gov/nationalconversation


이름                                      이메일 주소




1. 화학물질 노출이 우리의 건강에 미치는 영향에 대해서 생각할 때, 염려의 정도가 다를
것입니다. 당신은 어떤 생각을 가지고 있나요?



가. 화학물질의 사용과 노출은 전혀 걱정스럽지 않다 - 공기, 물, 다른 오염물질도 잘
규제가 되고 있다고 생각하므로 상품을 살 때 어떤 고려도 하지 않는다.
나. 조금 걱정스럽다 – 위험한 독성화학물질이나 화학안전시스템에 문제 있다는 뉴스를
접한 적이 있어서 되도록이면 화학물질에 노출되고 싶지 않다는 생각을 한다. 화학물질
노출이 건강에 미치는 영향에 대한 정보를 얻고 싶다.
다. 일상적으로 화학물질 노출에 대해 신경 쓰는 편이다 – 미국에서도 독성화학물질이
광범위하게 이용된다. 물도 필터를 이용해서 마시고, 되도록 유기농 식품을 구매하려
하고, 개인 케어 제품이나 세제 등도 꼼꼼하게 살핀다.
라. 걱정스럽기보다 혼란스럽다 – 화학물질의 위험에 대한 상반된 보고서들로
혼랍스럽다. 정확한 정보를 얻기 위해 어떤 기관이나 정보를 믿어야 할지 모르겠다.


2. 다음 중에서 가장 중요하다고 생각하는 가치는 무엇인가요? 두 개만 순서대로
적어주세요.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 111
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가. 투명성 – 우리는 화학물질과 건강영향에 대한 정보가 필요하고 알권리가 있다. 정부의
결정은 공개적으로 이루어져야 하고 기업은 소비자제품의 구성분을 공개해야 한다.
나. 편리성 – 화학물질은 우리의 삶을 편하게 해준다. 노출을 줄이기 위한 방법을 찾기는
해야겠지만 삶의 방식을 크게 변화시키는 방식은 곤란하다.
다. 예방 – 많은 화학물질의 건강에 미치는 영향에 대해 잘 알려져 있지 않지만
독성화학물질 노출을 없애기 위해 노력해야 한다.
라. 정의 – 미국에서 화학물질 노출은 불평등하게 이루어진다. 모든 사람은 공평하게
깨끗하고 건강한 환경하에서 살 권리가 있고 건강을 보호할 수 있는 자원에 접근이
가능해야 한다.
마. 개인의 책임 – 사람들은 음식이나 소비자 제품, 물, 환경 등을 통해 화학물질에
노출되는데 개인의 선택이고 개인이 책임질 일이다.

3. 우리는 독성화학물질 노출로부터 사람들을 보호하는 데 성공했거나 실패했던
사례로부터 배우고자 합니다. 성공적이거나 실패한 경험을 공유해주세요.

가. 성공스토리
예) 기업이 자발적으로 독성화학물질을 안전한 대체물질로 바꾸었다.
    정부기관이 우리마을의 건강실태를 조사했고 주민의 이야기를 듣고 질문에
    답해주었다.
    아이들이 공원 잔디의 농약에 중독되는 일이 있어서 시정부가 농약사용을 금지했다.
    간호사단체가 천식을 줄일 수 있는 법에 대해 부모와 아이들에게 교육의 기회를
    제공했다.

나. 실패스토리
예) 우리마을은 정부의 조사를 요청했으나 아무 답변도 받지 못했다.
    좀더 안전한 제품을 구입하려고 노력 중이나 정보가 부족하다.
    보건당국은 우리에게 충분한 정보를 제공하지 않는다.
    내 의사는 나의 화학물질 노출걱정을 쓸데없다 했다.
다. 잘 모르겠다.
예) 나는 화학물질 노출과 관련한 이슈를 처음 듣는다. 나중에 이야기하겠다.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 112
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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4. 정부, 기업이나 비정부기관은 독성화학물질로부터 시민의 건강을 보호하기 위한
노력들을 합니다. 다음 질문들에 대한 자유의견을 밝혀주세요.

가. 어떤 조치들이 성공적일까요?

    예) 주나 지방정부수준에서도 화학노출과 관련한 자원을 확보하고 연방정부와
    협조해야 한다.
    정부기관, 기업, 대학, 커뮤니티 단체와 다양한 그룹들이 모두 다양하고 의미있는
    기회들을 제공하려고 해야 한다.
    연방정부가 다양한 파트너쉽을 통해 커뮤니티에 연구결과와 정보를 무상으로
    제공해야 한다.
    건강을 증진하기 위한 광범위한 접근 (물의 오염, 비만, 영양부족 프로그램을 함께)이
    필요하다.

나. 무엇이 실패를 가져올까요?

______________________________________________________________________
_




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 113
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OREGON (ASTORIA): MAYE THOMPSON/ OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY

Location: Astoria, Oregon
Convener: Maye Thompson/ Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Date of conversation: June 20, 2010
Participants: 15
Convener Contact Information: maye@oregonpsr.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:

They cited personal health effects, and the possibility that different people had different
levels of vulnerability because of their genetic make-up. They were concerned about the
effects of environmental chemical exposures on their children and grandchildren. They
were concerned that good information was hard to get, that “green-washing” was a
problem, and that trade secrets prevented them from getting information they wanted.
They are also concerned about cumulative exposures, and synergistic effects.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

One participant said that she was “concerned, but lazy, not a purist”, citing how hard it
was to keep up with all the information, and change habits. Others agreed to at least a
certain extent, acknowledging they were at least sometimes “confused” and
“inconsistent.”

VALUES that participants thought were important:

The most important value to the most people was transparency; presence of allergens
such as sulfites and peanuts; the presence and activity of so-called “inerts”, and trade
secrets preventing full disclosure of ingredients.

Participants also agreed that the quality of scientific oversight was compromised by
industry funding. They want peer-reviewed, independent science about the effect of
environmental exposures to chemicals of concern.

They do not necessarily trust government to do the best science either. An oyster farmer
shared his story about controlling spartina grass, and state agencies not testing for
presence of toxic chemicals after using herbicides on or near oyster beds

Some also expressed concern about justice, noting that levels of exposure were not
distributed evenly across the population, affecting workers and poor people more than
others.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 114
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All agreed that food was the single most important environmental issue, which
encompassed all the others they were concerned about. “Food is the top of the
mountain; clean food, clean air and clean water.” They would emphasize independent
science, education of the public, and complete and truthful product labeling.

They also cited local building and land-use ordinances being proposed for the siting of
alternative energy generators, including solar, wind and wave modes.
Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Discussion of success for this group was dominated by the Bradwood Landing LNG
story, and their participation. They said they were successful because they found out the
truth about the corporate identity of the proponents, and were organized and rational in
their opposition.

Other successes noted were the recent availability of low-VOC and no-VOC paint and
floor finishes, and more availability of organic and other sustainable food alternatives.
The moderator presented taking lead out of gasoline as a potential “success”. The group
disagreed because the chemical composition of gasoline varies from state to state, and
lead was replaced with other toxics that also have health effects.

The primary failures they identified were not in particular policy areas, but rather with the
focus of the regulatory system as a whole. One example was given by a physician, who
discussed the publicity of the existence of prions as a “toxic idea” – a biological force of
disease and evil – rather than the industrial animal husbandry practice of feeding cattle
the contaminated remains of other cattle.

Another participant noted that the increased incidence of autism and children should be
counted a failure.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

The group did not care to meet again. Several expressed interest in continuing the
conversation in various civic groups they belonged to.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 115
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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OREGON (EUGENE): LISA ARKIN/OREGON TOXICS ALLIANCE

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Convener: Lisa Arkin/Oregon Toxics Alliance
Date of conversation: June 7, 2010
Participants: 26
Convener email: larkin@oregontoxics.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
An intense level of concern was expressed from all participants about pollution in the
environment. Each of the three discussion groups had a rich palette of ideas to
contribute. Participants unanimously expressed their perception that toxics were
despoiling the environment and wreaking havoc on human health. Many felt that
diseases such as Parkinson’s and cancer were directly linked to exposure to industrial
toxic chemicals.
The primary concerns that were most commonly expressed by a majority of the
participants were:
    1. BIOMASS: Participants felt that biomass (burning woody debris in
        boilers/incinerators) is a polluting and inappropriate an energy source
            a. Concern about impacts of toxic air emissions from this source on human
                health;
            b. Concern that using Oregon’s forestry to burn for energy will have lasting
                negative impacts on the health, the very existence of forests.

    2. PESTICIDES: Many participants had experienced pesticide exposures from the
       practice of aerial spraying of pesticides by timber companies in rural Lane
       County
          a. Pesticides harm rural residents due to drift, volatilization and
               contamination of drinking water
          b. Pesticides are killing native fish and other aquatic species through bio-
               accumulation in rivers and streams.
          c. The Department of Transportation overuses pesticides for weed control
               on the highways to the detriment of people, streams and fragile ative
               vegetation;
          d. Extreme concern regarding pesticide “ready” crops, crops; government
               must require that these have to be registered as pesticides themselves,
               and labeled as such.

    3. GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS (GMO): GMO is believed to be a source of
       toxic exposure
           a. The rights of organic and non-GMO farmers to farm without exposure to
               GMO seeds, crops, methods are being violated;
           b. GMO is not safe for consumption and the public should be protected
           c. All products (food and non-food) made from GMO must be labeled

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 116
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    4. AIR QUALITY: The government must do more to protect Oregon’s air quality and
       significantly reduce pollutants and toxins
           a. Indoor air quality as well

    5. TOXICS IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Contaminants such as BPA in soda cans,
       other food containers, cleaning products, food itself, toiletries, personal care
       products, baby products, pharmaceuticals, etc. are a human health hazard,
       especially for our children.
          a. The government must have safe products standards that protect the
               healthy and normal childhood development

    6. AGGREGATE, CUMULATIVE EXPOSURES – we must acknowledge that we
       don’t understand cumulative exposures and have underestimated the health
       effects. Regulations must take into account cumulative exposures and make
       health standards more stringent.

The recurring theme throughout the evening meeting was the need to reduce pesticides
in the built and natural environment. A number of participants live in rural Oregon where
they are repeatedly exposed to pesticides from both aerial forestry and agricultural uses.
The problem of forestry pesticide spray delivered by helicopter over hundreds of
thousands of acres is unique to the mountainous areas west of Oregon’s I-5 corridor.
Participants felt strongly that their domestic and irrigation well water, organic gardens
and their very homes were at high risk for pesticide contamination.
The complete list of concerns expressed by Community Conversation participants is as
follows:
       1. Oil spill and other contaminant disasters causing illness in cleanup crews (esp.
            BP Gulf spill, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, etc.); we need to be tracking this to
            prevent future repeats
       2. Biomass burning as an energy source
             o Concern about impacts of emissions from this source on human health
                and forestry impacts
       3. Aerial spraying of pesticides, esp. in forestry, timber companies
       4. Roadside spraying, esp. by Dept. of Transportation
             o Citizens spraying public medians on their own
             o Drift
             o Accidental exposure
       5. Air quality due to pollutants and toxins
             o Indoor air quality as well
       6. Toxics in consumer products (soda cans, other food containers, cleaning
            products, food itself, toiletries, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, etc.)
             o With pharmaceuticals: disposal education, marketing of the drugs
                themselves, and government regulation of prescriptions are all
                problematic
             o Contaminants in vaccines
             o Plastics, lack of good consumer protection and information on what
                they’re made of and why they should be avoided, concern over their

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 117
                toxicity; PVC

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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            o Adhesives
       7. Chemicals in buildings materials, additives in wood products
       8. Cancer causing and endocrine disruptors chemicals
       9. Water quality, monitoring for toxics in the waterways
       10. Transportation systems and infrastructure problems (built for greed and
           economics, rather than human and environmental health)
       11. GMO, lack of labeling laws; GMO crops used in biomass energy production
       12. Other food contaminants (esp. pesticides)
            o Extreme concern regarding pesticide “ready” crops, crops that have to
                 registered as pesticides themselves
       13. Agricultural chemicals in general
       14. Chemicals crossing the umbilical cord
       15. Breast health and exposure to toxic chemicals
       16. Nanotechnology concerns
       17. Chemical herbicides and pesticides (individual and agency use)
            o Concern about the need for better testing and sampling (not monitoring in
                 areas known to not be hot spots, where no toxics will be detected, etc.)
       18. Pesticide use in the household, household products (Raid, pet treatments,
           etc.)
       19. The effects from the military industrial complex
            o Hanford, other nuclear waste sites
            o Depleted uranium
            o Nuclear cycle
            o Military bases have significant contaminant levels
            o Military population illnesses, looking at military and war sources of
                 poisoning
       20. Aggregate, cumulative exposures – we must acknowledge that we don’t
           understand cumulative exposures and have underestimated the health effects.
           Regulations must take into account cumulative exposures and make health
           standards more stringent.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

    There was no disagreement amongst the participants. If anything, the wide-ranging
    conversations raised the level of awareness amongst all participants. For example,
    some people had never thought of GMO food as a toxic product. However, after
    examining the issue, there was consensus that GMO food products and GMO seed
    may well be one of the most pressing concerns we face as a society today.

VALUES that participants thought were important:
This is a full list of the values that were discussed, taken from the notes taken by the
participants and the convener.
       1. CONSUMER SAFETY: Widespread safety testing of all consumer products for
           contaminants and potential harms before sale and continued monitoring after
           sale

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 118
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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       2. ELIMINATE CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Separation of duties between
          government regulators and industry/companies
           o Government appointments in Dept. of Ag./EPA/FDA/etc. should be
              neutral scientists
           o Government should hold corporations accountable
           o Penalties should go beyond just fines for offending companies
           o Stricter/more stringent conflict of interest laws

       3. HEALTH AND SAFETY IS HIGHEST PRIORITY: Making public and
          environmental health safety and concern a higher/the highest priority in all
          areas (esp. over profits)
           o Health standards should be more important, toxics should be banned
               from consumer products
           o All citizens have a right to clean air, water and land; the natural world has
               these intrinsic rights as well
       4. TRANSPARENCY: Increased transparency in government, business and
          media
           o Media must be publicly-minded, honest, transparent
       5. PUBLIC TOXICS RIGHT-TO-KNOW
           o Easy access to information on toxics/pesticides/etc. should be available
               to the public
       6. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE:
           o Corporations must prove their products are safe
           o Err on the side of overprotection
       7. ORGANIC AND NON-GMO:
           o Promote natural and local foods;
           o Increase regulation on manufactured, processed foods
       8. COMMUNITY: Develop a sense of community
       9. WE ARE ONE WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT: Value the idea of
          interconnection:
           o human, children, wildlife, environmental health are all one, highly related

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

Participants noted key steps that the federal government must take.
   1. Stringent, MANDATORY toxics reduction (not just monitoring)
   2. Implementation of Toxics Right to Know laws nationwide
   3. Increased implementation of the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE, using
        children’s health as a standard
   4. FIFRA overhaul to ensure that local governments can enact laws to protect the
        public from pesticides, ability to create protective buffer zones and no-spray
        zones.
            a. Verifiable Integrated Pesticide Management programs should be required
                under FIFRA, including regular reductions in toxicity and amount of
                pesticides used in commercial settings and sold over-the-counter to
                consumers.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 119
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    5. Our nation must establish higher organic standards as well as eliminating
       pesticides in all food.
    6. Ban toxics from consumer products
          a. List side effects in advertising and other media if they are used (similar to
               drug side effect warnings and the warnings on tobacco products)
    7. Remove double standards for toxicity in consumer products; institute the same
       regulations for American markets as European markets.
    8. Environmental economics and environmental justice should be better and more
       widely incorporated
    9. Clean up of military bases
          a. Reduce military industrial reliance on chemicals, esp. at bases; this is the
               biggest source of pollution

    Local and state governments could also help by:
    1. Educate the public on chemicals through the school systems and student
       projects; incorporate successes into curriculum
    2. Increased access (and funding) to and for non-profits to the community, esp.
       schools and school programs
    3. Subsidies for local organics, not mega-corporation monocrops; local and organic
       agriculture promotion though policies and actions

Topic 4: Learning from accounts of success and failure
Participants cited the successful EU labeling policies and the EU REACH program that
protect the public from toxic chemicals through precautionary, comprehensive
standards.

There is a great respect for local agencies and small communities that have reduced
pesticides in both urban and rural environments. Canada has a number of towns and
provinces that have banned lawn care products with pesticides. This makes their cities
healthier places for children and for all communities members.

Other countries and some US cities and schools have taken the necessary step of
requiring safe alternatives to pesticides and herbicides through Integrated Pest
Management.

Oregon has a few Pesticide Free Parks that were created through neighborhood
empowerment. (However, it should not take angry residents to convince city park
administrators to reduce dangerous chemicals in public places!)

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
The group didn’t make a specific plan to meet again as a distinctive group, however
some participants thanked Oregon Toxics Alliance for holding this meeting (and other
public information meetings we have hosted) and asked us to continue to do the
important work of public education and building awareness. Some people signed up to
volunteer with OTA. There was discussion about using websites and Facebook as a
way to keep in touch about the issue of reducing toxic chemicals.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 120
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please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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OREGON (GRANTS PASS ): LISA ARKIN/OREGON TOXICS ALLIANCE

Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
Convener: Lisa Arkin/Oregon Toxics Alliance
Date of conversation: April 30, 2010
Participants: 26
Convener e-mail: larkin@oregontoxics.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

There was a very high level of concern about pollution in the environment and
participants unanimously expressed their perception that toxics were despoiling the
environment and wreaking havoc on human health. Many felt that diseases such as
Parkinson’s and cancer were directly linked to exposure to industrial toxic chemicals.
The primary concerns can be characterized in three statements:
    7. The government must focus on prevention of children’s exposure to toxic
        chemicals in environment with stronger regulation and more stringent health
        standards.

    8. The government must depart from “risk assessment,” which uses economic
       forecasting to predict acceptable levels of harm; instead, apply the precautionary
       principle - do only what is known to be safe.

    9. Disclosure & the Public’s right to know: Precautions should be made for people
       who are sensitive to chemicals. It should be illegal to not to inform the public.
       Easy public access to accurate information about toxics in the local community
       should be the way federal and state government functions.

    10. Pesticides are designed to kill, and this is undesirable to healthy life, water, and
        growing food.

In fact, the need to reduce pesticides in the built and natural environment was a
repeated theme amongst this group. This is due to the fact that people living in rural
Oregon are repeatedly exposed to pesticides from both aerial forestry and agricultural
uses. The problem of forestry pesticide spray delivered by helicopter over hundreds of
thousands of acres is unique to the mountainous areas west of the I-5 corridor.
Participants felt strongly that their domestic and irrigation well water, organic gardens
and their very homes were at high risk for pesticide contamination.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

    There was no disagreement amongst the participants. Everyone agreed that
    industrial chemicals, including pesticides, harm the people and the environment.
    The only tension in the conversation was over the level of disillusionment. About

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 121
    three people felt completely overwhelmed and disheartened because they see that

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    nothing is changing in government policy – that felt that monied interests always win
    the policy battle. Others felt that there are opportunities to create new openness to
    better paradigms. There was hope that the Constitution must provide for the common
    welfare. The citizens can take steps to make change by working in local
    communities. Get youth and seniors together.

Values that participants thought were important:

This is a full list of the values that were discussed, taken from the notes taken by the
participants and the convener.

    1. The Public Good: Reversal of polarity- have public interest in mind.
    2. Accountability for consequences, polluters are made responsible for
        harm/damage.
    3. Value of truth- Base decisions on truth and not green-washed propaganda and
        pseudo-science fabricated by polluters.
    4. Valuing natural ecosystems. The government ought to make laws that give
        rights to natural ecosystems and communities. The people can sue and be half of
        protecting an ecosystem.
    5. Public Knowledge: Public education on environmental health in institutions. End
        the lack of awareness.
    6. Accountability for Polluters; Public must DEMAND that the environment is
        healthy. Elected officials must step up and hold polluters responsible for harm.
        Accountability and public protection.
    7. Value-respect for life. Recognizing that cancer is at least 25% environmentally
        based.
    8. Children’s Health must be the MAIN value: There ought to be more
        awareness about the connection between chemical exposure and illness in the
        medical field. The effect of veteran’s exposure to Agent Orange is well
        documented but a civilian’s every day exposure to chemicals is not. Children’s
        health should have first priority.
    9. Policy maker accountability. Businesses run on economic system based on
        privatized profits. This becomes the “cultural norm”. It is a flawed system: profits
        rule over sustainability. Industry writes the rules.
    10. The constitution must provide for the common welfare.
    11. Value-Openness to new paradigms. The government must show a willingness
        to change policy.

Participants noted key steps that certain groups could take, including:

    10. Take the next step – regular and thorough testing our children, our schools,
        waters/rivers and public sites for chemicals. Information will verify chemical harm.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 122
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    11. Next step-work in communities. Get youth and seniors together.

    12. Local governments should adopt model programs that can be repeated at the
        state and national levels as soon as possible.

    13. Our nation must establish higher organic standards as well as eliminating
        pesticides in all food.

    14. All governments and institutions must apply the precautionary principle for all
        decision-making – as a society, we must do only what is known to be safe.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures:

Unfortunately, many of the participants had tried various projects in their communities to
reduce toxic chemicals, some are devoting their whole lives to this issue. They felt that
there have been very few successes. The failures are all due to the fact that there is a
fundamental disconnect between the government and its citizens; “blocked
communication slows progress toward solution. Government should have an emphasis
on service to the people.” The root cause is believed to be that the government puts
economic interests and corporate interests over human, environment and society’s
needs.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
Yes, the group has invited Oregon Toxics Alliance to return in September for a follow-up
meeting on these same topics. We are also going to work together to bring highly
respected and well-published medical and scientific experts to speak at town hall
meetings and to give presentations to our local and state elected officials. The
participants want to raise the level of public awareness and make Oregonians highly
informed and effective about the role of chemicals in environmental degradation and
human disease.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 123
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


OREGON (HOOD RIVER): MAYE THOMPSON/OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY

Location: Hood River, Oregon
Convener: Maye Thompson/Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Date of conversation: June 10, 2010
Participants: 9
Convener e-mail: maye@oregonpsr.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
The level of concern varied. Of the nine, two expressed no concern; five were a little
concerned; and two were very concerned. It seems significant that both of the very
concerned citizens identified themselves as health-affected by exposures to common
chemicals in cleaning agents and other consumer products, and in commonly
encountered fumes and fragrances.

One person stated there were more important issues, like the oil spill, that should get our
attention. Another responded that the oil spill was chemicals in the environment, that
most of the toxic chemicals are petroleum-based. Another participant felt like
cardiovascular disease and cancer from obesity and smoking were more important
health risks, and that the public was incapable of making expert decisions. This
participant expressed confidence in objective science to uncover the truth and lead to
rational, nonpolitical decisions.

There was a statement that risk versus benefit needs to be weighed more, recognizing
that it is a difficult process. One participant who works in water quality proposed a more
careful life-cycle analysis, with attention to what might persist and/or bio-accumulate in
the environment. He said, time and dilution weren’t mitigating health effects in the way
that they were expected to, and both the type of chemicals being released into the
environment and the quantity of chemicals being released was leading to a tipping point
where regulations had to be rethought and rewritten.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

All participants agreed they would like more science, more knowledge and better
information, but don't know where to get it. Several expressed frustration with “trade
secrets”, inadequate labeling of product contents, and inadvertent exposure, or exposure
without consent.

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Most participants agreed with the values listed in the guide, to a greater or lesser extent.
There was most support for transparency. Personal responsibility was also important,
with the feeling that people needed to follow regulations already in place, and do more to

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 124
minimize their impact on the environment.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


There was a difference of opinion regarding convenience. Some felt that convenience
and economic considerations were important. Others wanted convenience balanced by
the methodical assessment of potential harm, particularly before a product goes to
market. Some felt the government should be quicker to respond to health concerns and
emerging science, while others felt more scientific certainty should be required before
products are withdrawn from the market.

One group felt that children’s health was the most important value, while the other group
felt that everyone’s health was important. Both groups expressed support for
“stewardship” as an ethical responsibility, and one person advocated caring for the
whole biosphere, not just humans.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

This was the most difficult topic for the participants to address. Perhaps they were
getting tired (and hungry). One group never did really engage on the 3rd question. One
stated she wanted nothing to do with policy making, not even to think about it! That
group mostly agreed with all the viewpoints.

The other group offered more opinions. One participant reiterated his focus on trauma,
violence and heart disease, and other public health problems. He finds biomonitoring
data “prejudicial.” Another participant wanted more action at the local level; education
and awareness for the public to change their own behavior with regards to water quality.
Still another person suggested regulations focused on “low-hanging fruit” such as
substitution of safer products, avoiding hazardous chemicals where alternatives exist,
and more methodical and independent information on which to base regulations.

It should be noted that one participant left early. In response to an email the convenor
sent to thank her for her participation, she responded that she left feeling “disgusted.”
She heard one out-spoken participant say that ‘it is mostly women trying to make a
career out of saying some of these chemicals are a problem’ that led her to leave.

The group did not care to meet again. There wasn’t much consensus overall, but we had
a wide-ranging, and for the most part, respectful discussion about the issues. Several
participants expressed concern about the process, e.g. “Polling people really doesn't
arrive at any sort of constructive truth, other than the truth of what people think. What's
the reasoning behind this? This issue is divisive, and we certainly won't reach a
consensus just by talking about it.” There is also concern about whether policymakers
will really act on what people think.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Successes mentioned include:
   • Trans fat labeling,
   • Food product labeling,
Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 125
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

    •  Science leading to better understanding of environmental asthma triggers;
    •  Wal-Mart’s bisphenol A ban in children's products, (even though we have good
       reason to criticize Wal-Mart because of their personnel policies and effect on
       neighborhoods);
    • Removing lead from gasoline;
    • Improving farm pesticide applications to use fewer sprays in smarter ways;
    • Improved hazardous waste collection in the local area
Failures mentioned include:
    • Incomplete labeling and trade secrets, e.g. flame retardants;
    • Failure to control pesticides in ground water;
    • Controversy over thimerosal in vaccines, leading to lower immunization rates and
       increasing levels of preventable disease.
Issues of concern:
    • What effects are pharmaceuticals having on water quality, e.g. estrogens, and
       barbiturates prescribed for pets?




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 126
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


OREGON (SALEM): RENEE HACKENMILLER-PARADIS/OREGON ENVIRONMENTAL
COUNCIL

Location: Salem, Oregon
Convener: Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis/Oregon Environmental Council
Date of conversation: June 2, 2010
Participants: 6
Convener e-mail: reneep@oeconline.org

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
Main areas of agreement:
   • Many chemicals within the environment, with little knowledge of possible effects.
   • Lack of regulation of chemicals, different regulatory agencies for products based
   • on categories-- One participant asked: “Is it naïve to assume that someone is
       regulating
   • these chemicals?”
   • Time-sensitive results: negative effects seen over long periods of time
   • Worried about chemical exposures, but also confused about where it comes into
       daily life.
   • Uneven playing field for businesses and government.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:
   • Levels of risk and amount of personal change of to lifestyle habits.
          o One participant responded: “I’m not going to change my life to the point of
              going crazy.”
   • Levels of personal responsibility-personal choice to protect oneself versus
       government responsibility to protect public.

Participants wanted more information on:
   • Regulatory agencies
   • Government involvement/control
   • People would like to see one center studying the effects of hazardous chemicals.
   • Global impacts of the problem

VALUES that participants thought were important:

    •   Justice: low SES communities, agricultural exposures in workers
    •   Prevention: knowing what chemicals will harm populations
    •   Transparency: people should be aware of potential hazards
    •   Prioritize: regulate resources towards prevention, education, and research
    •   Personal responsibility: education and availability, but this is limited when
        considered through the lens of social inequities. Personal responsibility is a great
        concept if you are aware of what you should be doing.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 127
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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    •   We spent some time discussing the possibility of finding a universal value for
        health and living well: Conclusion: communication with public is needed.
    •   Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:
           o Allowing grassroots movements, listening to public protest
           o Find better leadership for public movement
           o Increase education on potential hazards
           o Finding a balance between priorities with government intervention.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:
   • Organized groups of people can make a direct difference (BPA, market forces)
   • Making corporate information available to the pubic (tobacco industry)
   • Work to correct economic inequities to make healthier decisions easier
   • Absorbing extra costs for safer communities (unleaded gasoline)
   • Greater control and regulation (car emissions standards)

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?
No.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 128
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


PENNSYLVANIA (SOUTH PHILADELPHIA): PROJECT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH,
KNOWLEDGE, ACTION, INC./RIGHT TO KNOW COMMITTEE

Location: South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Convener: Project for Environmental Health, Knowledge, Action, Inc./Right to
Know Committee
Date of conversation: June 16, 2010
Participants: 25
Convener e-mail: pehkainfo@gmail.com

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
Main Concerns- Meat factory that emits a foul odor, underground oil plume at a former
government plant, odor from sewers and raccoon and other animal dropping in vacant
lots.

Participants DISAGREED about certain issues, including:

Participants disagreed about who is responsible for the problems.

VALUES that participants thought were important:
Honesty, involvement from public officials, prevention methods

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:
Circulation of a petition against the meat factory's method of waste management and
pollution control and joining a new organization in the community called "Better Way"
that helps residents clean vacant lots and alleys. The committeeman for the division
volunteered to play a leading role in facilitating the process.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Lesson learned is that the communities must work as a team to raise funds and meet on
a regular basis to discuss the problems and get information, not just when an issues
arises.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

It was agreed upon to meet in the local playground for further planning, during the rest of
the summer. A back-up space will also be identified. The Right to Know Committee will
contact the participants of the date and time.
Also, see "Roles and Responsibilities" above, for additional planned action.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 129
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

TEXAS (AUSTIN): JANIE FIELDS/CHILDREN’S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE AND
CHILDREN’S OPTIMAL HEALTH

Location: Austin, TX
Convener: Children’s Environmental Health Institute and Children’s Optimal
Health
Date of conversation: June 21, 2010
Participants: 18
Convener E-mail: janie.fields@cehi.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

     Environmental health risks in prenatal development
     Lack of research for long-term exposures
     Toxins in breast milk
     Toxins in household cleansers
     Increase in autism
     Endocrine disrupters
     Prescription drugs in water supply
     Mold and respiratory disease
     Lack of regulation
     Policy approaches- cannot legislate chemical by chemical- needs to be
      comprehensive
     Regulation and enforcement of bans on imported toxic products for children
     Social injustice burden of the low-income, underserved and indigent populations.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Participants had a broad range of concerns and, with the exception of personal
responsibility, did not express any disagreements.

Values that participants thought were important:

       The precautionary principle
       Nationwide prevention
       Alignment of economic incentives with healthy lifestyle choices
       Education with a clear and understandable message
       Evidence-based research
       Collective responsibility between government and citizens
       Inclusion of environmental health risks in national health care bills
       Social equity, accountability and honesty from manufacturers and government

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

     Increased research
     Proactive regulatory process - individuals cannot be expected to be experts

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 130
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

       Additional legislative safeguards need to be put in place
       Focus on social issues related to environmental health risks and poverty
       Education campaigns targeting the public and private sectors
       Support for a free market system
       Enactment of healthy building standards related to environmental health risks
       Significant reduction in reliance on and use of petrochemicals

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:


Based on discussion of the issues below the group consensus was that change in
policies and practices will remain slow unless there is an acute incidence/epidemic,
public out cry, broad grass roots support, evidence based research, allocation of funds
and leadership from both the public and private sector.

     Fortifying food with folic acid
     Fluoridation of drinking water
     Response to peanut allergies
     Coli food breakouts
     Comprehensive smoking bans
     Enforcement of standards targeting environmental health risks in public housing
     Mandate for integrated pest management in schools (accomplished in Texas
      through public/private sector collaboration)
     Comprehensive investment of health care dollars into prevention and public
      education

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

The Children’s Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) and Children’s Optimal Health
(COH) did not learn about the national Conversation until late May, 2010. Timing and
financial resources were challenges to promoting and hosting the Austin Community
Conversation.

Several factors will impact a follow-up meeting:

1. The Composition of the Group - This was not an easy group to pull together as it
included many high-level participants. The use of formal invitations and personal phone
calls resulted in recruiting key leaders from, medical, academia, government, human
services, children’s health and the private sector. Participants expressed an interest in
staying informed and being involved in future endeavors; especially those targeted to
specific actions.

2. The Financial Commitment - As the Children's Environmental Health Institute and
Children's Optimal Health did not receive a mini grant, the cost of planning, invitations,
communications, conference room, refreshments, and the use of a professional
facilitator fell to our groups. The total cost in real dollars and in-kind expenses is

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 131
estimated to be in excess of $1,000.00. Follow-up community discussion meetings will

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

be dependent on the availability of resources of the Children’s Environmental Health
Institute and Children’s Optimal Health to support the initiative.

3. Outcomes - a future meeting would need to be focused on specific actions and
outcomes to engage the group again.

Both CEHI and COH believe there were important outcomes, not the least of which
included bringing together participants who had not worked together before, as well as,
organizations with common concerns and goals. Participants shared personal concerns
and were introduced to emerging issues and environmental health risks impacting
children, families and their communities. Based on the feedback from the participants -
the meeting was both worthwhile and successful.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 132
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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TEXAS (SAN ANTONIO): KYLE CUNNINGHAM/SAN ANTONIO METROPOLITAN HEALTH
DEPARTMENT-PUBLIC CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH/CO-HOST: US
REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES A. GONZALEZ

Location: San Antonio, Texas
Convener(s): Kyle Cunningham/San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department-
Public Center for Environmental Health/Co-host: US Representative Charles A.
Gonzalez
Date of conversation: June 24, 2010
Participants: 13
Convener e-mail: kyle.cunningham@sanantonio.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

Our aggressive consumer society is not balanced by regulation to protect ourselves.
The United States policies run counter to the Precautionary Principle.
There is political concern that responses to community outcries of chemical exposure
are painted as emotional and irrational. Communities not taken seriously is an issue of
power and inequality.
There are too many chemicals being produced, as well as compounds, to truly know all
the implications of exposure – not enough research and resources to fully evaluate all of
the possible scenarios.
Various governmental regulatory agencies use different measures for determining
harmful levels. Illiterate populations have less opportunity to gain knowledge about
exposures as well as the political engagement.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

Although there was not disagreement regarding concerns, there was division among
concerns between ability to test and research versus the ability for the consumer to get
educated and informed.

Values that participants thought were important:

The U.S. should not let proprietary rights get in the way of research and full disclosure.
If exposure can not be prevented, then need to educate on how to detect chemical
exposure. Exercise common sense and ethics during policy development. Ethics include
setting aside funds for emergencies.
Money is set aside for research and development and money needs to be set aside for
risk reduction.
Consistency of action levels (should be most protective)
Precautionary principle needs to be exercised by policy makers.
Resources dedicated to enforcing regulations – there is not enough staff to be
accountable.
Corporate accountability should be governed by Golden Rule – what if my own family is
exposed.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 133
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

Voters making their elected officials aware of their concerns and support for reform.
Housing authorities, and other governmental agencies, adding environmental exposrues
to list of inspections.
Child care providers researching the effects of chemicals they use and require to be
used on children (spray disinfectants, sunscreen, and bug repellent.)
Inspections conducted on chemical producers similar to restaurant inspectors.

Main lessons we can learned from the discussion of successes and failures
include:

Communication and education is the key to success.
Community involvement is essential because the community knows what they are
experiencing.
Agencies working with the community to distribute resources by utilizing grant funding
opportunities. Information needs to be simple and translated for the general public to
understand in English and Spanish.
Funding restrictions on grants tends to create silos. Flexibility of the use of such funds
would be best in the event opportunities arise.
Agencies (federal, state, and local) can be more effective if there is some mechanism to
streamline information and avoid confusion. Who has jurisdiction.

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

The Public Center for Environmental Health will be hosting a series of public health
forums related to various studies they have conducted.

This group expressed interest in these public forums as well as any other meetings to
explore reform in the public health arena.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 134
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


WASHINGTON (RENTON): LOCAL HAZARDOUS WASTE M ANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN KING
COUNTY CONVERSATION ONE

Location: Renton, Washington
Convener: Margaret Shield/ Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King
County Conversation One
Date of conversation: June 23, 2010
Participants: 22
Convener e-mail: margaret.shield@kingcounty.gov

Participants’ main concerns included:

• Not having complete information about chemical ingredients in products
• Not having adequate information about potential health effects of chemicals in
  products and that we’re exposed to every day.
• Concern that chemical exposures are causing serious health problems but the laws
  and regulatory system are set up to favor chemical and product manufacturers who
  are pushing use of their products.

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

•  The level of concern about chemical exposures and their linkages to health effects
   varied. Most participants had high levels of concern about chemicals and products
   that are currently in use, and want all chemicals used and products sold to be safe.
   A few participants felt they don’t know a lot about the issue, but want to learn more
   .
Values that participants thought were important:

• Putting people’s health first. Health is more important than profit margins.
• Supporting and encouraging companies who are making safer products and are
  concerned about health of consumers.
• Using the precautionary principle as a guide to decision making about toxic
  chemicals. And involving people and communities in the decision-making process.
• Increasing education, especially early education, about health and chemical
  exposures.
• Requiring transparency about chemicals that are used and their health effects so that
  consumers are informed.
• Giving government more authority to regulate chemicals, enforce laws, and uphold
  standards.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 135
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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•   Federal government needs to set standards to ensure chemicals are safe and have
    the authority to enforce laws.
•   Federal government needs to educate individuals, and should collaborate more with
    non-profits to reach communities.
•   Federal and local governments need to adopt the precautionary principle.
•   Researchers need to figure out a way to address cumulative and synergistic effects
    of all the chemicals people are exposed to.
•   Companies need to disclose what chemicals are in their products and follow higher
    standards for safety.
•   Individuals need to get more involved.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

There are success stories about companies shifting to use of safer chemicals and
practices, but it’s also very challenging to make this happen. Participants had more
examples of successes with smaller, local companies than with larger companies or
corporations.
Individuals taking action can make a big difference in changing behaviors and
encouraging less use of potentially harmful chemicals. But it takes a lot of work, and
continuous work to warn people about harmful exposures to chemicals.
Participants in the discussion want to see a national approach that ensures that the
chemicals we use are safe for people and the environment.

Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

No specific plans were made, however a number of the individuals participating are
already active in local coalitions and organizations working to reduce exposures to toxic
chemicals and prevent disease.
Everyone in the group was very interested in finding out how to stay involved in the
National Conversation on Public Health & Chemical Exposures. They want to know how
to see comments from other Community Conversations. And they want to know how
they can give more feedback in the future, such as feedback on the draft
recommendations that are being developed by the Work Groups.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 136
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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WASHINGTON: (RENTON ) MARGARET SHIELD/LOCAL HAZARDOUS W ASTE
MANAGEMENT PROGRAM IN KING COUNTY CONVERSATION TWO

Location: Renton
Convener: Margaret Shield/Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King
County (Conversation 2)
Date of conversation: June 23, 2010
Participants: 22
Convener e-mail: margaret.shield@kingcounty.gov

Participants’ MAIN CONCERNS included:
Not sure how concerned to be about chemical exposures in my home.

People may be more concerned about short term, sudden exposures than chronic long-
term exposures – but these should be treated with equal concern.

Concern is high – 17 on scale of 1 to 10. Untested, risky chemicals are harming our
health and destroying environment.

Concerned that companies convince us to buy a product for so many parts of our lives.

Concerned about lack of labeling – need regular English explaining what chemicals in
products are and what they might do (to our health). Where do we find information
about what combinations of these chemicals can do to us?
Concern that companies are not required to list all ingredients. Don’t know cumulative
effects of using all these chemicals. Don’t know what’s in there. Don’t know what
impact that is.

Laws need to reflect as much concern for individuals as they do for companies making
profits.

Just registering a chemical with a government agency is not enough. Need to get
companies to disclose chemicals, not say it’s a trade secret.

Saying a chemical is secret and proprietary is a “smokescreen”. Need to end that
practice. Need to disclose “inert” ingredients too – they’re not necessarily inert.

People’s level of awareness about chemical exposures varies – and this impacts their
level of concern. We’re still having to educate people about dangers of tobacco. People
are at different levels in their concerns. Communities are at different levels in their
awareness. Need to involve all of them in the dialogue. Example: some communities
know about phthalates, others don’t.

Need federal system to share baseline info about “Caution - Danger – Poison” labeling


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 137
on products.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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If government allows something to be sold, we assume it’s safe. Why aren’t all products
sold safe? Why aren’t governments protecting all citizens? Why do Europeans have
higher standards? Can’t trust our government to protect us.

Our government needs to be more independent from big business in order to protect us.

Commercials for medicines have to disclose side effects. Why don’t commercials for
fragrances and air fresheners have to do that?

We’re aware of possible linkages between chemical exposures and cancer – but I’m
concerned that we don’t know most of these linkages. Have clues on linkage to many
diseases, but only know tip of iceberg.

I have adult onset asthma triggered by chemicals, like cleaning chemicals. Don’t know
exactly what chemicals, but some are triggers.

Our workplace has gone fragrance free (at a health department) due to sensitive
employees but not everyone understood why that was needed.

Concerns on our exposures to chemicals in personal care products, including products
like tampons that contain fragrances..

Best to buy all organic products and avoid chemicals.

As a mom with 3 daughters of child-bearing age. Knowing about chemical exposures,
I’m concerned for them. Concerned about how much they need to detox before
conceiving, but it’s impossible for them to get away from all those chemicals. Very high
concern for my children and other’s children.

Companies are pushing use of these products and creating demand from them.

Too hard to identify which chemical is causing a disease because products contain so
many chemicals. This is by design by the companies to confuse issue.

Concerns about neurological impacts of chemicals – ALS and Alzheimer’s. Don’t
understand chemical impacts on auto-immune diseases.

VALUES that participants thought were important:

Value the precautionary principle as guide to decisions – if something is toxic then we
need to do something about it.

Value early education on home health and home economics. Don’t wait until high
school. Teach younger kids. Has worked for recycling. Include in curriculum.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 138
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Value reaching out to younger kids. This works on tobacco education. Early education
about health and about chemical exposures is key.

Alternative schools often do good job of teaching how to avoid chemical exposures.

On science level, want to see humanitarian concerns valued, and monetary concerns
minimized.
Value putting health first. Not convenience. Need stronger legal protection, such as for
workers being exposed to chemicals.

Value democracy. Democratic involvement is part of precautionary principle approach.

Community involvement is very important. Democracy can mean majority wins, and
corporations can influence the outcome. Communities need a voice.

Value change. Value people getting involved for change. Example of MADD – one
mother changed laws about drunk driving.

Value community and looking out for each other, rather than separations in our
community with different levels of power. Focus on community good.

Transparency is very important. People are astounded about lack of information about
chemicals that are used. Need better education and greater awareness.

Health is a value. People’s health matters. Environment and health have strong
connection. Go hand in hand.

Health of people and the earth should trump profit motive and desire for chemical
production. Need to think about what chemical will do to a baby or do in breast milk.

People have to be informed. People don’t know chemicals like formaldehyde are in air
freshners. Shouldn’t be trade secrets. Transparency is critical.

Hope that National Conversation will have a world lens. There are no barriers to
chemical use. Some toxic chemicals (no longer allowed in U.S.) are shipped to other
countries and used there.

Value cooperation between people and the government and the corporations.
Corporations are made up of people. Need to communicate better between all people.
Hope for more cooperation. Businesses can reach out to public, take responsibility,
solve problems.

Value supporting good businesses that make safer products and are responsible.
Seems like fewer companies are taking responsibility these days.

Value companies that care about health of people who buy their products.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 139
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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Need to consider exposures that people can’t control. Similar to workers in casinos
getting exposed to tobacco smoke. Kids get exposed to cleaning chemicals at schools.

How can we value and create competition between businesses to use chemicals better
and make safer products? What about national competition with incentives or rewards
for winners.

Need published list of companies and how they use chemicals. So consumers know
where to shop for better companies.

Value buying less stuff. Get away from buying products to create a “fresh smell” – open
window instead. We don’t need all these products.

Value health, not war. Need to reallocate what we spend tax funds on. More dollars
toward health and chemical testing.

Value hope and idealism and creativity of new workers going into business. Young
workers are shifting businesses and changing way they work.

Include “triple bottom line” in education curriculum. In colleges and community colleges.

Idea of informed consent so people know risks of something (like a medical procedure)
is important. We’re not given that informed consent. I never gave permission to have
flame retardants in my body. I want that value back. Even eating organic food doesn’t
keep chemicals out of our bodies.

Need more government regulation and authority to enforce regulation. Government has
to enforce laws and uphold common standards.

How to give EPA more power to enforce?

Participant asked how many other participants know someone who is “chemically
sensitive”. Almost everyone raised a hand. Comment that this is much more common
than years ago. Upset about this.

Discussion about needing local laws to limit use of chemicals in government buildings,
and regulating use of chemicals by residents. Good to have governments lead by
example and have good practices and support good businesses.

That 50’s commercial “Live Better Through Chemistry” doesn’t work.

Justice is important value. Part of taking care of each other.

Value getting rid of health disparities between different communities and different
neighborhoods. King County has lots of health disparities.


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 140
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Education about healthier choices is critical so that more people are making those
choices and can influence market place.

Participants noted KEY STEPS that groups could take, including:

Guide says government needs to “look at chemical exposures”. Need to be clear what
government actions will be – is it ban it? stop it? change it?

Adopt precautionary principle at federal level. Should have to prove something is safe
before it is used. Put burdens on proponents of an action. Current system makes
government or people prove a chemical is harmful – impossible to do. No
grandfathering in of chemicals or products.

Need to start on adopting precautionary principle at local levels.

Need more disclosure laws like Prop 65 in California. Need labeling laws.

Discussed need to involve individuals. Need ways to engage people in issue – like
signing pledges not to use certain chemicals for a week, or pledge to have fragrance-
free days.

What if laws on chemicals were considered and passed without involvement of
corporations? What would that look like?

Require all companies that do business in Canada and U.S. to follow Canadian practices
in U.S. – ie companies should have to follow safest national standards no matter where
they do business.

The federal government should do a campaign supporting informed consent – give
consumers choice about what is in products. Make this campaign as effective as the
campaigns tobacco companies ran to promote smoking.

Federal governments need to collaborate with non-profits more. Non-profits have
access to communities. Governments have the resources to provide good materials and
information.

Federal government needs to set standard to regulate chemicals and needs authority to
do that. Ensure enforcement. Education also good, but laws and enforcement are
what’s needed to create change and protect public from harmful chemical exposure.

Need to address cumulative effects of all the exposures to chemicals we are exposed to.
Need research. Hard to do but has to be done. Consider synergistic effects.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 141
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                      Community Conversation Summary Reports

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of SUCCESSES and FAILURES:

Successes:

North Korea has banned cigarettes because President found out he was ill from them.
Effective. Stopped smoking in N. Korea.

Training as Master Home Environmentalist from Lung Association is very effective. As
part of this, wrote letters to newspapers and magazines about “scent” ads. In response
to 200 letters, the New Yorker magazine stopped “scent” ads (for awhile). Have had
success asking camps and community events to go fragrance free. Reaching people all
across the country via word of mouth and email, etc…

Success founding organization and asking people to choose organic foods, with no
exception. Impacting people’s lives, and without exception people are choosing organic
food.

Successes with grocery stores in area, contacting them about bisphenol A concerns
resulted in change in type of water bottles they use. Telling them about concern about a
specific brand of mushroom removed the mushrooms from the market.

Some companies starting up to sell safer products. Like Oregon company selling
organic turf enhancers for golf courses.

Report from President’s Panel on Cancer was a success – very honest and good report
on the problem.

Failures:

Attempts to work with chemical manufacturers to develop alternative products didn’t
result in success. Even though company staff and chemists seemed interested.
Leadership above them were so strong they prevented change.

Trying to get a big box store to switch to safer gardening products failed. Bureacracy not
in touch with what public wants. Get totally different response from Swansons, Skye
nursery (smaller local garden stores). Can’t figure out how to make progress with big
stores.

Despite working for 12 years to education people about chemical exposures, still lots of
education needed. Still teaching people basics like not mixing bleach and ammonia;
people mixing products they don’t realize contain these chemicals. People using too
much bleach. Everyone still at different place in their knowledge.

National policy on managing chemicals in commerce is a failure. Hope this can be
changed into success now that there’s awareness about problems with policies. Hopeful
about changes in federal agency policies, but “devil in details”.

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 142
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports



Did the group make any plans for a FOLLOW-UP MEETING about local action?

N/a

OTHER issues or concerns discussed included:

I work at airport where there’s all sorts of chemicals, and fuel, and glue, and fumes,
etc… Doesn’t seem to be enough regulation. Don’t know who to go to about this.
Airports should have to follow emission rules.

Great ideas from this group. Good to dream big and start small. Start work on this in
your own community.

Hope that the federal agencies holding this National Conversation understand that the
voices of community members are important. Want federal government to look at other
ways to communicate to get community input and have policies reflect community
interest and community needs.

Encourage federal agencies to do a national survey about awareness on chemical
exposures and health impacts. Add this to other national surveys.

Need to have legal clarification that corporations are not equal to individuals.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 143
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


WASHINGTON (SEATTLE): URBAN WILDERNESS PROJECT AND BETHANY UNITED
CHURCH OF CHRIST

Location: Seattle, Washington
Convener(s): Urban Wilderness Project and Bethany United Church of Christ
 Date of conversation: June 23, 2010
Participants (#): 6
Convener e-mail: jourdan@urbanwildernessproject.org

Participant’s main concerns included:

Chemicals not having been tested BEFORE they are used in product put out in the
market place.
Flame retardants in rugs.
Putting pressure on regulatory agencies to reduce exposure to chemicals.
Disposing of prescription drugs by flushing them down the toilet- we should be able to
return them to the manufacturers to have the company dispose of the drug safely.
Companies should give consumers instructions for how to dispose of them properly or
institute a disposal program. Make it cost effective.
Our waste/recycling shouldn’t go to the Third World for children to take apart and recycle
dangerous components.
It should be easy and less complicated to recycle electronics and batteries and not have
to drive to get rid of stuff. This is a green jobs issue.
There is the macro- the big pollution we cannot protect ourselves against without
government intervention, no matter how well we protect ourselves from the micro.
Is the CDC looking at how chemicals are affecting medical issues on the macro level? Is
anyone looking at areas that are polluted in terms of illness rates etc at a governmental
level?

Chemicals which are produced from a petroleum base are protected by “big oil” interests
and how are consumers protected from those interests.

Participants disagreed about certain issues including:

So what there are flame retardants in baby clothes- it saves the babies lives!
Chemicals have a use, for instance to save lives but some have become persistent
organic pollutants.
Yes we need chemicals but there are alternatives!

Values that Participants thought were important:




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 144
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

Saving lives is important
Reducing exposure to toxins is very import
Offshoring dangerous recycling to children is not ok
Saving the environment is very important
Concerned about soil contamination from smelters and creosote
Risk management –look at the consequence-we are changing the way we make our
seeds with chemicals, the way our animals eat with chemicals, the ways we get our food
with chemicals and the risk is very enormous. One wrong move and things can go very
deeply awry. We have very little information to be taking such deep risks.

Participants notes keys steps that groups could take including:

FDA should be making sure chemicals are not dangerous
The government (FDA and EPA) needs to follow the EU’s example that the chemicals
company needs to test the chemical BEFORE they put it out on the market.
EPA should be helping more with clean up of soil contamination sites and Superfund
sites.
EPA should project already gathered knowledge about pollution of soil air water to
populations affected in easy to understand formats (popular education).

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Our church educated us about anti-biotics and hormones in meat using ad film series

Did the group any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

We agreed to make educational flyers about the soil contamination in our area, water
contamination, and chemical exposures and disseminate to the partnering church and
then take action based on the educational flyers.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 145
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
third party conveners of Community Conversations. As such, CDC/ATSDR nor NEHA can guarantee
that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports


WISCONSIN (MADISON): MARIA POWELL/ MADISON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
ORGANIZATION/VERONA JUSTICE COALITION

Location: Madison, WI
Convener(s): Maria Powell/ Madison Environmental Justice Organization/Verona
Justice Coalition
Date of conversation: June 16, 2010
Participants: 12
Convener e-mail: mariapowell@mejo.us

Participants’ main concerns included:

    •   Pesticides applied purposely to Madison area lands and lakes (by local, county,
        state and federal government agencies as well as citizens)
    •   Increasing use of untested (as far as public health and safety) engineered
        nanoparticles in consumer products, food and beverages, and other applications
        that could involve human exposures.
    •   Air pollution from transportation generally (roads/traffic), and in particular
        increased pollution from highway expansion planned by WI DOT in an area of
        Madison already facing environmental health and social challenges
    •   Several contaminated drinking water wells in Madison
    •   Numerous toxic substances in food, air, land, and water generally (specific
        contaminants mentioned as high concerns were endocrine disruptors, bisphenol
        A, genetically-modified organisms, acrylamide, pesticides, fluoride/chloride in
        drinking water, pollution from fireworks such as perchlorate, heavy metals)
    •   Toxic products imported from other countries
    •   Intercontinental airborne transport of chemicals/particulates
    •   Health problems caused by flu vaccines and other vaccines
    •   Electromagnetic pollution from cell phones, towers, stray voltage, etc. (we realize
        these issues may fall outside of the scope of this project)

Participants disagreed about certain issues, including:

There was a bit of disagreement about whether concerns about vaccines outweighed the
benefits and also whether stray voltage/EMF issues were relevant to this discussion
about chemical exposures. Other than that, everyone seemed to agree that the wide
variety of issues that were raised are important, and on the values and
recommendations below. The group had a wide ranging and interesting discussion about
all of these issues, although there was not even close to enough time to talk about them
fully.

Values that participants thought were important:

    •   Prioritizing human life over profits

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 146
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

    •   Precautionary principle should be used in all regulatory/policy decisions about
        chemicals
    •   Transparency (open and honest communication with public, clear labeling of
        products, open information about scientific experts' conflicts of interest)
    •   Environmental justice--not causing disproportionate chemical exposures and
        harm to people of color and poor
    •   Holding those who produce chemicals (corporations, CEOs etc) liable for any
        harm caused by them (including jail time when serious enough harm is caused)
    •   Conflicts of interest of experts involved in public health controversies should be
        clear and not misused
    •   Empowering citizens to engage with technical experts and scientific data (e.g.,
        citizens need to have power and capacity to understand and critique experts'
        technical and scientific data)
    •   Citizen engagement--making sure there are meaningful (not just token)
        opportunities for citizens to engage in decision-making about chemicals

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

    •   Use the precautionary principle in all regulatory/policy decisions about chemicals
        (e.g., prevent harmful chemicals from entering the market and the environment,
        prevent human exposures)
    •   Government needs to implement precautionary values and actions regarding
        chemicals since government is one of our (the public’s) only real lines of defense
    •   Need public financing of campaigns because government is currently "owned" by
        corporations and polluters
    •   Need to implement and enforce serious consequences for those responsible for
        chemical pollution (including jail time when serious harm is caused)
    •   Should have built-in limits on new technological developments and chemicals
        (e.g., "sunset clauses")
    •   Non-drug chemicals should be run through more rigorous pre-market testing as
        drugs tested through FDA are
    •   Need more and better communication and outreach to public about chemical
        toxin and exposure issues--e.g. in particular, media should not be under
        corporate control, need more honest independent and investigative journalism
        about chemical exposures and public health
    •   Should have more and better political, financial, other support for public health
        professionals to do their jobs well
    •   Government agencies and others who make key decisions about environmental
        and public health risks need to engage diverse range of citizens in decisions
        about chemicals at all stages of development. Government and other decision-
        makers need to listen and response meaningfully to citizens concerns and
        suggestions.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:


Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 147
Successes (mixed):

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                      Community Conversation Summary Reports


    •   Getting lead out of gasoline. Lessons: This success was in part due to
        comprehensive epidemiological evidence about the health problems caused by
        lead, “activist scientists” who were willing to share their research about lead
        publicly and politically, and the work of public health advocates, but it took way
        too long. We need to better support public health professionals, scientists, etc.,
        who can identify potential problems upstream and provide political, economic,
        and other support for them to share this information and push for preventative
        actions earlier rather than after health problems and/or deaths are already
        evident.
    •   Considerable clean air progress in USA has been achieved, but by displacing
        manufacturing to other countries with less stringent regulation we still face
        problems related to inter-continental transport of pollutants; Lesson: We need a
        global-level regulatory playing field.

Failures:

    •   A planned neighborhood health study (by the public health department working
        with a citizen group) to explore health effects among people living near a
        secondary aluminum smelter in Madison failed because CEO of the smelter
        company used political influence over government to shut the project down.
        Consequently, the smelter continues to pollute, there is minimal to no monitoring
        of toxic emissions from the smelter, and huge unknowns about health impacts in
        the neighborhood remain. Lessons: Corporate polluters will work to shut down
        efforts to address public health concerns so we need to work to remove
        corporate/economic influence over government and public health agencies and
        decisions.

    •   Substantial amounts of herbicides are being applied regularly by county parks on
        a Dane Co public park surrounded by city of Madison residential neighborhoods
        (to kill invasive species as part of ecological restoration). A small number
        of people in a friends group for the county property were given power by county
        government staff to make key decisions about management of the property,
        including decisions about herbicide use on the property, and for
        communicating with neighbors. Residents in the neighborhood, including those
        who live right next to the property, are concerned about the health and
        environmental impacts of the herbicides, have little to no voice in decisions about
        the rationale for and use of these herbicides, and neither the parks staff nor the
        friends group are communicating openly or consistently with neighbors about
        their use.. This has led to substantial frustration in the neighborhood. Lessons:
        While engaging volunteer neighbors and friends groups in ecological restoration
        is a good thing in some ways, government agency leaders and staff still need to
        be responsible for (and held accountable for) decisions about the management
        and use of pesticides and for engaging neighbors and citizens meaningfully and
        openly in these decisions. Key decisions about the use of pesticides on public
        property should not be handed to volunteer citizens via informal relationships

Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 148
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
          National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

        between government staff and individual citizens. Government policies should
        require good IPM (integrated pest management) as well as genuine engagement
        and open communication with neighbors/citizens about management strategies
        and pesticide uses.

    •   Madison-area citizens group engaged in nanotechnology issues sent numerous
        letters to U.S. federal agencies and WI state legislators from 2005-2010 outlining
        questions and suggestions about environmental health and safety issues related
        to emerging nanotechnologies. They also attended state and federal level public
        hearings about these issues. They never received a single response from
        government officials and for the most part they and their questions and
        recommendations have been ignored. Lessons: Government agencies/officials
        at all levels (local, state, federal) should be responsive to citizens they are
        elected to represent and should take their questions and recommendations
        seriously. If citizens engage but are ignored, they are likely to become distrustful,
        demoralized, and/or angry.

    •   WI DOT project for large highway interchange in Madison area already
        challenged by numerous environmental health and socio-economic issues has
        engaged citizens in this neighborhood in tokenistic ways--e.g., having many
        meetings to "sell" the project, but avoiding discussion about key environmental
        health and justice issues such as the increased air pollution and health problems
        that are likely to be associated with the project. Lessons: Government agencies
        that are supposed to be incorporating environmental justice principles into their
        decision-making and actions (according to Clinton's 1994 Executive Order
        12898) should take this responsibility seriously--e.g., they need to meaningfully
        engage the citizens potentially most affected by the project, genuinely address
        their concerns about environmental justice and health impacts, and act to prevent
        these impacts (even if that means dropping the project).

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

Yes. Many of the people involved are already engaged in local groups (several different
ones), but they also agreed that it would be useful to meet later in the summer to talk
about how they could collectively address the issues raised at the meeting, particularly
some of their common aspects, in a more coordinated fashion.




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 149
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.
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                    Community Conversation Summary Reports

WISCONSIN (TOMAH): JAN PATH/TOMAH MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Location: Tomah, WI
Convener: Tomah Memorial Hospital
Date of conversation: June 28, 2010
Participants: 8
Convener e-mail: jpath@tomahhospital.org

Participants’ main concerns included:

Biggest concern was exposure to chemicals through what we eat & drink
    1. pesticides on foods
    2. BPA in cans…..making it difficult to eat canned goods
    3. BPA in plastic…which bottles are safe. Marking water bottles better
    4. Teflon in cookware
    5. Plastics seeping into our food during microwaving
Also of concern was air fresheners. They are everywhere now. What chemicals are
people exposing themselves to?
Lack of testing of chemicals. Look at triclosan. In the urine of 75% of the population.
After we are all exposed, now decide it isn’t safe!
Yard chemicals and the effect on the environment
Safety of beauty products

Values that participants thought were important:

The “precautionary principle”. Don’t wait until people are harmed before acting
Make information more readily available….let people know what is in the products they
buy.

Participants noted key steps that groups could take, including:

EPA/FDA should require more testing before used on people
The government should protect us. Europe is way more proactive.

Main lessons we can learn from the discussion of successes and failures include:

Change occurs only with work.
One person can make a difference. Look at Rachel Carson and Silent Spring.
Leadership is needed

Did the group make any plans for a follow up meeting about local action?

No




Updated July 28, 2010                                                                      Page 150
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is derived from unedited summaries submitted by
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that the information is accurate, factual, or complete. For questions about an individual summary,
please contact the convener or the convening organization.

				
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