- (Note - The very same non-stop catastrophic destruction
of the Earth is occurring worldwide 24 hours a day. Do you see the 'captains
of industry' staying up at night worrying about it? Do you see any serious
efforts to curtail the terminal annihilation of the environment? Do you
see greed taking a back seat to our survival as a species? Not a chance.
- A new report release Thursday finds that U.S. industry
releases enough neurological and developmental toxins to fill railroad
cars stretching from New York City to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Every year,
U.S. industry releases about 24 billion pounds of toxic substances that
are believed to cause developmental and neurological problems in children.
- That amount could fill a string of railroad cars stretching
from New York City to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and yet there are no emissions
standards for these harmful chemicals.
- This alarming finding is one of many in <http://environet.policy.net/health/neighborhood/cehfuture/contents.vtml
Polluting Our Future: Chemical Emissions in the U.S. that Affect Child
Development and Learning, a joint report released Thursday by the <http://www.environet.policy.net/
National Environmental Trust, <http://www.psr.org Physicians for Social
Responsibility and the <http://www.ldanatl.org/ Learning Disabilities
- "That is the most startling thing," said Jeff
Wise, policy director for NET. "The amount and how little we know
about the chemicals."
- The collaborative effort to produce Polluting Our Future
came about in response to recent reports issued by the National Academy
of Sciences. These studies indicate a growing consensus among leading scientists
that neurological and developmental toxins are responsible for a wide range
of physical and mental problems among children.
- Polluting Our Future looks closely, for the first time
ever, at the scope and sources of neurological and developmental air pollutants.
- "This is the first complete snapshot we've ever
had of toxic pollution in this country that can affect the way that children's
bodies and brains develop," said Wise.
- Nearly one in every six, or about 12 million, children
in the United States suffers from at least one developmental, learning
or behavioral disability such as mental retardation, birth defects, autism
or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Polluting Our Future determines that about one in every
200 American children, or more than 360,000, live with developmental or
neurological disabilities caused by exposure to toxic substances includingdevelopmental
and neurological toxins.
- The report also includes information about releases of
developmental and neurological toxins on a national level, a ranking of
all the 50 states, and data about the top releasing counties, industries
and facilities across the country. All figures are gleaned from data reported
by industry to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as is required
- According to industry-reported data used in the report,
Louisiana and Texas emit the most developmental and neurological toxins
to air and water. Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan,
Pennsylvania and Florida each release a significant amount of these toxins
- Electric utilities, chemical manufacturers and the makers
of paper, metal and plastics are the largest emitters of neurological and
developmental toxins nationwide.
- The researchers also found that African Americans are
disproportionately affected by the release of developmental and neurological
toxins. In 14 out of the 25 counties across the nation found to emit the
most of these chemicals, African American populations exceed the U.S. average.
- The authors of Polluting Our Future stress that policies
must be put in place to lower the health risk for children from neurological
and developmental toxins. This would include pre-market screening of new
chemicals, stringent testing of substances already on the market, labeling,
better pollution reporting, more controls for emissions from electric power
plants and exposure and disease monitoring.
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