Maine Voices: Maine needs leaders in Washington to support the Safe Chemicals Act

An outdated federal law should be modernized for the safety of people here and all over the nation. By LISA POHLMANN 

AUGUSTA - Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring," published 50 years ago in 1962, was the spark that ignited America's environmental movement.

Carson had spent the previous two decades on Southport Island in Maine, researching and writing along the rugged shores she loved.

Her resounding message in "Silent Spring" was that the land, water and all living creatures were in danger from the widespread application of toxic pesticides.

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Chris Hedges: Stand Still for the Apocalypse  A new report commissioned by the World Bank paints a picture of a world convulsed by rising temperatures. We're doomed if we do nothing about climate change, says Chris Hedges. The report calls on the leaders of the industrial world to immediately institute radical steps.

The 84-page document,“Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided,” was written for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics and published last week.

AAP Makes Recommendations to Reduce Children's Exposure to Pesticides 11/26/2012

Children encounter pesticides every day and are uniquely vulnerable to their toxicity. A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines the harmful effects of pesticides on children and makes recommendations on how to reduce exposure. The policy statement, “Pesticide Exposure in Children,” and an accompanying technical report are published in the December 2012 issue of Pediatrics (released online Nov. 26). Prenatal and early childhood exposure to pesticides is associated with pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems. According to the AAP, recognizing and reducing children’s exposure to pesticides will require improved medical training, public health tracking, and regulatory approaches. The AAP recommends pediatricians become familiar with the effects of acute and chronic exposures to pesticides; learn what resources are available for both treatment of acute poisoning and addressing lower dose chronic exposures in children; and understand pesticide labeling. Pediatricians should ask parents about pesticide use around the home and yard, offer guidance about safe storage, and recommend parents choose lowest-harm approaches when considering pest control. Pediatricians should also work with schools and government agencies to advocate for the least toxic methods of pest control, and to inform communities when pesticides are being used in the area. The policy statement also makes a number of recommendations for government, including specific recommendations related to marketing, labeling, use and safety of pesticides to minimize children’s exposure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


Another Need in the Aftermath of Sandy: Toxic Soup Testing

In Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, government agencies have acted quickly to save lives and restore power and other basic essentials for those impacted by the storm. As recovery continues, federal and state agencies will be addressing another growing problem: the noxious materials such as oil, toxic chemicals, and raw sewage that the storm has released into waterways. The health of residents and first responders will depend on knowing what's around them so they can take proper precautions and mitigate risks.