[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Great Lakes



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forwarded bounced message from Eric Uram, Sierra Club Great Lakes Program....


From: "Eric Uram" <eric.uram@sierraclub.org>
To: "Air-mail" <air-mail@igc.topica.com>, "Wisc-eco" <wisc-eco@igc.apc.org>,
"Enviro-mich Listserve" <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>,
"Superior-eco" <superior-eco@great-lakes.net>
Subject: ACTION ALERT: POPs Treaty Threatened -- Action Needed
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 10:49:39 -0600
Message-ID: <000e01bf891e$4b681600$678ffdd1@wi.3.270>
MIME-Version: 1.0

****************************************************************************

ACTION ALERT TO ENSURE GLOBAL BAN OF WORLD'S DIRTY DOZEN CHEMICALS
LETTER AND CALLS NEEDED NOW TO VICE PRESIDENT GORE & YOUR SENATORS

Later this month, the U.S. State Department is meeting with other nations to
finalize a treaty to ban twelve of the world's most dangerous chemicals
including such well-known poisons as dioxins, DDT and PCBs. These Persistent
Organic Pollutants (POPs) are recognized worldwide as among the most
dangerous chemicals ever produced by our industrial civilization. Already
banned in many countries, these substances nonetheless continue to show up
in Arctic waters and wildlife, far from where they were made or released.
And because they accumulate in the food chain, they are a major health
threat to human beings, especially indigenous peoples who depend for their
survival on fish and other wildlife that are being contaminated by these
Planetary Pollutants. In this country, fish advisories have been issued by
nearly every state and many tribes, a signal that our fisheries are
threatened. Like canaries in a coal mine, these fish serve as a warning that
just as the chemicals are building up in their bodies, they are building up
in our bodies and contaminating the food chain globally.

That's why many countries, including the United States, have already banned
one or more of these substances, and why some countries have signed regional
treaties to eliminate them from our environment. In 1978, for instance, the
United States and Canada signed the "Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement" to
eliminate POPs from the Great Lakes.

But regional actions alone are insufficient. Since POPs are transported
globally, the only way to keep them out of the food chain and our bodies is
to stop their production and their use everywhere. We need a Global
Plan-of-Action to stop these Planetary Pollutants! And that's what the POPs
Treaty is all about.

Yet now, incredibly, our own State Department has decided to step back from
our national commitment to clean up the Great Lakes by pushing other
countries to accept the outmoded and failed strategy of trying to "manage"
POPs by permitting controlled emissions, rather than eliminating them.

Your help is needed to turn the State Department around before they carry
this wrong-headed strategy to Bonn! Let's make sure that they take a step
forward, not backward, by negotiating a strong POPs convention.

PLEASE CALL OR WRITE VICE PRESIDENT GORE AND YOUR SENATORS TODAY TO TELL
THEM WE NEED A TREATY THAT WILL ELIMINATE POPS GLOBALLY BY STOPPING THEIR
MANUFACTURE AND THEIR USE EVERYWHERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND THAT THE U.S.
STATE DEPARTMENT SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD IN MAKING SURE THAT WE GET THAT KIND
OF TREATY.

PLEASE ASK YOUR SENATORS TO CO-SIGN THE LETTER THAT SENATOR CARL LEVIN OF
MICHIGAN, CO-CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL GREAT LAKES TASK FORCE, IS ARE
SENDING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT URGING THEM TO STAND BY THE COMMITMENT WE
MADE IN THE 1978 TREATY TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND OUR PLANET FROM THE POPS
DIRTY DOZEN.

WHAT ARE POPS?

POPs are a group of man-made chemicals that are long-lived in the
environment, accumulate in the body, and are toxic to a wide range of fish
and wildlife as well as people. The current list of 12 POPs are
chlorine-containing substances, including PCBs, dioxins, furans, and the
pesticides aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor,
hexachlorobenzene, mirex and toxaphene. Although banned for use in many
countries, they are still used in many developing nations -- and
manufactured for export by some of the same countries that have banned them
for use at home!

WHAT RISKS ARE POSED BY POPs?

POPS THREATEN OUR FAMILIES: POPs have now been detected in amniotic fluid,
the watery environment where human life begins. They contaminate fetal blood
and poison mother's milk. Since Rachel Carson first called our attention to
them, POPs have been found to cause cancer, birth defects, damage to the
immune system, and disruption of the endocrine system, causing a variety of
reproductive disorders. The most basic act of the human family, to engender
and nurture the next generation, is now imperiled by POPs.

POPs THREATEN THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM: As they accumulate in the foodchain,
they threaten the existence of many species of fish and wildlife through
direct and indirect toxic properties. Each species lost is like cutting a
thread of life. Once these threads are severed, the fabric of life on our
earth becomes weakened; thereby threatening the beauty and the function of
the natural systems that sustain life on earth.

HOW COULD A STRONG TREATY REMEDY THE PROBLEMS?
On March 20, 2000, Bonn, German, the United States will participate in
international negotiations on the POPs treaty. Please urge Vice President
Gore and your senators to ensure that the State Department insists that this
treaty:

1. Sets global POPs elimination as the clear goal of the treaty;

2. Clearly adopts the Precautionary Principle (endorsed by the U.S. And over
100 other nations at the 1994 Earth Summit in Rio) to ensure that lack of
full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing
measures to prevent environmental degradation by POPs or prevent additional
POPs being added to the treaty in the future

3. Commits our nation and other signatories to the elimination (not just
management) of dioxin and to the immediate phase-out of PCB stockpiles and
of PCBs currently in use in aging electrical equipment;

4. Addresses the special impacts that POPs have children; on indigenous
people and other communities who rely upon fishing for their subsistence,
and on all people living in northern climates, from the Great Lakes to the
Arctic, where POPs tend to accumulate geographically;

5. Provides adequate technical and financial assistance in finding
alternatives so nations that still rely on DDT to manage malaria can
eliminate both DDT and malaria in the near future;

6. Ensures the global availability of environmentally-benign on-site
treatment and disposal technologies and oversight for POPs elimination which
do not result, as incineration does, in the formation or emissions of POPs
and which prevents the unacceptable risks of overseas or long-distance
overland shipment of POPs;

7. Prevents POPs elimination from falling under rules of the World Trade
Organization.
PLEASE ACT NOW!
SENATE OPERATOR: 202-224-3121 OR, TO OBTAIN NAMES AND DIRECT OFFICE PHONE
NUMBERS, GO TO "Contacting Congress" at <http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/>

VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: (202) -456-2326; The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania
Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Mail/html/Mail_Vice_President.html>
Contact: Marti Sinclair, Sierra Club, mail to:marti.sinclair@sierraclub.org
or 513-674-1983



------=_NextPart_000_000F_01BF88EC.00CDA600
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
****************************************************************= ************
ACTION ALERT TO ENSURE GLOBAL BAN OF WORLD'S DIRTY DOZEN=20 CHEMICALS

LETTER AND CALLS NEEDED NOW TO VICE PRESIDENT GORE = & YOUR=20 SENATORS

Later this month, the U.S. State Department is meeting = with=20 other 
nations to finalize a treaty to ban twelve of the world's most = 
dangerous=20 chemicals including such well-known poisons as dioxins, DDT 
and PCBs. = These=20 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are recognized 
worldwide as among = the most=20 dangerous chemicals ever produced by our 
industrial civilization. = Already banned=20 in many countries, these 
substances nonetheless continue to show up in = Arctic=20 waters and 
wildlife, far from where they were made or released. And = because they=20 
accumulate in the food chain, they are a major health threat to human = 
beings,=20 especially indigenous peoples who depend for their survival on 
fish and = other=20 wildlife that are being contaminated by these Planetary 
Pollutants. In = this=20 country, fish advisories have been issued by 
nearly every state and many = tribes,=20 a signal that our fisheries are 
threatened. Like canaries in a coal = mine, these=20 fish serve as a 
warning that just as the chemicals are building up in = their=20 bodies, 
they are building up in our bodies and contaminating the food = chain=20 
globally.

That's why many countries, including the United States, = have=20 already 
banned one or more of these substances, and why some countries = have=20 
signed regional treaties to eliminate them from our environment. In = 1978, 
for=20 instance, the United States and Canada signed the "Great Lakes Water 
= Quality=20 Agreement" to eliminate POPs from the Great Lakes.

But regional = actions=20 alone are insufficient. Since POPs are 
transported globally, the only = way to=20 keep them out of the food chain 
and our bodies is to stop their = production and=20 their use everywhere. 
We need a Global Plan-of-Action to stop these = Planetary=20 Pollutants! 
And that's what the POPs Treaty is all about.

Yet = now,=20 incredibly, our own State Department has decided to step back 
from our = national=20 commitment to clean up the Great Lakes by pushing 
other countries to = accept the=20 outmoded and failed strategy of trying 
to "manage" POPs by permitting = controlled=20 emissions, rather than 
eliminating them.
Your help is needed to turn the State Department around before they = 
carry=20 this wrong-headed strategy to Bonn! Let's make sure that they take 
a = step=20 forward, not backward, by negotiating a strong POPs = convention.

PLEASE=20 CALL OR WRITE VICE PRESIDENT GORE AND YOUR SENATORS TODAY TO TELL 
THEM = WE NEED A=20 TREATY THAT WILL ELIMINATE POPS GLOBALLY BY STOPPING 
THEIR MANUFACTURE = AND THEIR=20 USE EVERYWHERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND 
THAT THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT = SHOULD=20 TAKE THE LEAD IN MAKING SURE 
THAT WE GET THAT KIND OF TREATY.
PLEASE ASK YOUR SENATORS TO CO-SIGN THE LETTER THAT SENATOR CARL = LEVIN 
OF=20 MICHIGAN, CO-CHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL GREAT LAKES TASK FORCE, IS 
ARE = SENDING=20 TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT URGING THEM TO STAND BY THE 
COMMITMENT WE MADE = IN THE=20 1978 TREATY TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND OUR 
PLANET FROM THE POPS DIRTY = DOZEN.=20

WHAT ARE POPS?

POPs are a group of man-made chemicals that = are=20 long-lived in the 
environment, accumulate in the body, and are toxic to = a wide=20 range of 
fish and wildlife as well as people. The current list of 12 = POPs are=20 
chlorine-containing substances, including PCBs, dioxins, furans, and the = 
pesticides aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor,=20 
hexachlorobenzene, mirex and toxaphene. Although = banned for=20 use in 
many countries, they are still used in many developing nations -- = and=20 
manufactured for export by some of the same countries that have banned = 
them for=20 use at home!
WHAT RISKS ARE POSED BY POPs?
POPS THREATEN OUR FAMILIES: POPs have now been detected in = amniotic=20 
fluid, the watery environment where human life begins. They contaminate = 
fetal=20 blood and poison mother's milk. Since Rachel Carson first called 
our = attention=20 to them, POPs have been found to cause cancer, birth 
defects, damage to = the=20 immune system, and disruption of the endocrine 
system, causing a variety = of=20 reproductive disorders. The most basic 
act of the human family, to = engender and=20 nurture the next generation, 
is now imperiled by POPs.
POPs THREATEN THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM: As they accumulate in the=20 foodchain, 
they threaten the existence of many species of fish and = wildlife=20 
through direct and indirect toxic properties. Each species lost is like = 
cutting=20 a thread of life. Once these threads are severed, the fabric of 
life on = our=20 earth becomes weakened; thereby threatening the beauty and 
the function = of the=20 natural systems that sustain life on earth.

HOW COULD A STRONG TREATY REMEDY THE PROBLEMS?

On March = 20, 2000,=20 Bonn, German, the United States will participate in 
international = negotiations=20 on the POPs treaty. Please urge Vice 
President Gore and your senators to = ensure=20 that the State Department 
insists that this treaty:

1. Sets = global POPs=20 elimination as the clear goal of the treaty;
2. Clearly adopts the Precautionary Principle (endorsed by the U.S. = And 
over=20 100 other nations at the 1994 Earth Summit in Rio) to ensure that 
lack = of full=20 scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for 
postponing = measures to=20 prevent environmental degradation by POPs or 
prevent additional POPs = being added=20 to the treaty in the future

3. Commits our nation and other = signatories=20 to the elimination (not 
just management) of dioxin and to the immediate=20 phase-out of PCB 
stockpiles and of PCBs currently in use in aging = electrical=20 equipment;

4. Addresses the special impacts that POPs have = children; on=20 
indigenous people and other communities who rely upon fishing for their=20 
subsistence, and on all people living in northern climates, from the = 
Great Lakes=20 to the Arctic, where POPs tend to accumulate geographically;

5. = Provides=20 adequate technical and financial assistance in finding 
alternatives so = nations=20 that still rely on DDT to manage malaria can 
eliminate both DDT and = malaria in=20 the near future;

6. Ensures the global availability of=20 environmentally-benign on-site 
treatment and disposal technologies and = oversight=20 for POPs elimination 
which do not result, as incineration does, in the = formation=20 or 
emissions of POPs and which prevents the unacceptable risks of = overseas 
or=20 long-distance overland shipment of POPs;

7. Prevents POPs = elimination=20 from falling under rules of the World 
Trade Organization.

PLEASE = ACT NOW!=20
SENATE OPERATOR: 202-224-3121 OR, TO OBTAIN NAMES AND DIRECT OFFICE = 
PHONE=20 NUMBERS, GO TO "Contacting Congress" at <<A=20 
href='3D"http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/"'http://www.visi.com/juan/cong= 
ress/>

VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: (202) -456-2326; The White House, 1600=20 
Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500=20
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Mail/html/Mail_Vice_President.html&g= t;

Contact:=20 Marti Sinclair, Sierra Club, <A=20 href='3D"mailto:mail' 
to:marti.sinclair@sierraclub.org?mail=20 to:marti.sinclair@sierraclub.org 
or=20 513-674-1983

------=_NextPart_000_000F_01BF88EC.00CDA600--



==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================