Massachusetts Legislators submit letter to United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

Tire crumb rubber and rubber mulch request for regulation and analysis submitted
December 16, 2015 -  Massachusetts delegates including Senator Karen Spilka, State Representatives Jeff Roy and John Fernandes have requested the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulate interior and exterior use of crumb rubber as a children's product due to exposure on playground and artificial turf fields.

Tire crumb rubber and rubber mulch is used in playgrounds and turf fields across the U.S. The usage began in the 90s as a way to dispose of used tires. Typically, the fields and playgrounds are sold to a city or state with promise of less maintenance and increased playtime,  yet the tire derived materials have never been evaluated by the CPSC for exposure risk to users.

The delegate's letter to the CPSC requests analysis to offer concrete conclusions and recommendations to ensure the safety of children and adults who use crumb rubber and turf fields. Specifically, the delegates requested the CPSC investigate:
  • Identifying potential hazards resulting from ingestion and inhalation of toxins released from crumb rubber during heat spikes and outgassing;
  • Detecting the existence of known human carcinogens;
  • Locating the presence of lead and other toxins;
  • Examining any danger presented by the natural aging and decomposition; and
  • investigating any potential risks to child or adult users.
Thanks to Nancy Alderman for forwarding this announcement.
Nancy Alderman, President
Environment and Human Health, Inc.
1191 Ridge Road
North Haven, CT   06473
(phone) 203-248-6582
(Fax)     203-288-7571


Community Air Monitoring Training: Videos Now Available 

July 9, 2015, EPA’s Community Air Monitoring Training was held at the Agency’s Research Triangle Park campus (RTP). The purpose of the training workshop was to share tools used to conduct citizen science projects involving Next Generation Air Monitoring (NGAM) technology and to educate interested groups and individuals on best practices for successful air monitoring projects.

The videos from the morning presentations are now available on the Community Air Monitoring Training, and are part of the Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists and intended to serve as resources for anyone interested in learning more about monitoring air quality. Please feel free to share the link with others: www2.epa.gov/air-research/community-air-monitoring-training. Also, check out the blog announcing the video release.

Direct links to the videos are available here: Air Quality Monitoring and Sensor Technologies by Ron Williams, project Lead for EPA’s Office of Research and Development emerging technology research area. How to Start a Citizen Science Program by Liz Barry, Co-founder and Director of Community Development at the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. Citizen Science Study Design by Rachelle Duvall, Research Physical Scientist in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Data Measurement, Management, Quality, Uncertainty by Bob Judge, Air Monitoring Team Leader in EPA’s Region 1 Office in Boston. Quality Assuranceby Ron Williams, Project Lead for EPA’s Office of Research and Development emerging technology research area. Short Term Measurements and Air Quality Messaging/ Regulatory Requirements for Data by Kristen Benedict, Atmospheric Scientist in EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.


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Our Health Comes First. Ban Leaf Blowers
Good Health Is Good Business  
From Ellie Goldberg, Newton, MA 02459 6/5/15
TO: kdean@newtonma.gov, Program and Services Committee, Newton Aldermen
RE:  Proposed Ordinance #31-15 (LEAF BLOWERS)
We share the air. Let's take BETTER ACTION NOW (BAN).

We need a public health policy based on an ethic of community that sets a high standard for health protection and pollution prevention.

I hope you agree that it is unacceptable that in a short fifteen-minute early morning walk to the Newton Center T station from my home you would walk through the gritty fog created by from five to ten crews each using multiple leaf blowers.    

We need to stop the use of leaf blowers to protect us all from the deafening barrage of noise and noxious clouds of fumes, particulates, pesticides, feces, mold and pollen that assault us not only when we are outside but that come through our windows into our homes.  

Please do not be confused by business owners who defend leaf blowers as a wonderful innovation and claim that it is more efficient to use leaf blowers or that they would need to charge higher fees.

That claim reminds me of a phone call I got when I started working to try to stop Newton's use of pesticides on the school playing fields and parks. The angry caller told me that her family depended on her husband's job as a pesticide applicator. I told her that I support pest control professionals who are knowledgeable about preventative and corrective measures, but that I do not accept that a business has a license to poison my children or her children.

In fact, the use of leaf blowers indicates an ignorance of or indifference to good horticultural principles and safe practice. For example, the landscape crew that works across the street from me often has three or more leaf blowers going at the same time, often chasing just a few leaves off a driveway. Then they stroll up the street to another client, leaf blowers going, spewing street debris, mold spores, weed seeds, and fungal diseases on gardens and lawns far and wide.

A full ban would protect even those neighbors who ignore the damage and distress they cause themselves and others.  And it would protect the workers who are the most exposed to the air pollution and noise. Most often they work with no personal protection equipment. We know they will live with the lung damage and hearing loss for the rest of their lives.  

A full ban on leaf blowers would show that Newton values our health and supports those local professionals whom we can trust to safeguard our health and the health of our landscapes. 

Good health is good business.  I support a full ban on leaf blowers and urge you to take 


The more they dig, the more they find: DDT cleanup continues for mid-Michigan town. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2015/jun/michigan-superfund-ddt-epa-birds-health-pesticide
Federal, state officials are making progress cleaning up harmful chemicals in St. Louis, Michigan, but more work remains and there is still no health study.*
June 11, 2015 By Brian Bienkowski Environmental Health News

ST. LOUIS, Mich. — During recent summers birds were found littered around the town, poisoned with a long-banned pesticide.

This summer? The school athletic grounds, where kids practice football and softball, are being dug up after it was discovered they too are contaminated with DDT.

It is the latest chapter in a seemingly endless effort to rid this small, rural mid-Michigan town of toxic chemicals that have plagued it since the 1960s. And, despite wildlife deaths and some lawns contaminated to levels deemed harmful to humans, no one is conducting health testing on DDT exposure in the community.

Schoolyard contamination
St. Louis, an hour drive north of state capital Lansing, has long dealt with contamination left behind by the Velsicol Chemical Corp., formerly Michigan Chemical, which manufactured pesticides until 1963 and abandoned loads of DDT, which was banned 40 years ago.

The pesticide was made famous by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, which exposed the hazards of DDT, especially for birds, in 1962. Populations of bald eagles and other birds crashed when DDT thinned their eggs, killing their embryos. Exposure also has been linked to multiple health problems in humans, especially developing babies.

*Read full article


Rachel Carson fws pub domain.jpgRachel Carson is an inspiration. She taught us that our health depends on the quality of our environment. Her extraordinary responsibility and courage wakes up the voice in me that calls for action with a sense of political urgency as pollution and illness threaten the people and places I love. 

We know that, in spite of the truth of her science, Rachel faced a deliberate campaign to discredit her. Today we must be equally resolute in confronting the ongoing attempts to bamboozle us with slick ads for natural gas, pink ribbons on carcinogenic products, or meaningless labels with false claims of safe and natural. 

We can not afford to be indifferent or passive. Rachel’s example calls us all to stand up, sign up, speak up, and team up to conserve our natural resources and to work for clean energy, clean water, clean air and safe food.

We don’t have to think of ourselves as whistle blowers or canaries in the mine, but as guardians, steadfast sentries, the defenders of our community. We can imagine ourselves to be sentinel lions, the universal symbol of protection at the entrances of cities, libraries, schools, bridges...guarding the treasures of community.

Join voices with Green Decade and other advocates such as Clean Water Action, the Conservation Law Foundation, Food and Water Watch, Toxics Action Center, Mass Breast Cancer Coalition, the Union of Concerned Scientists and 350.org. 

Tell your friends and tell our policy makers that we want divestment from fossil fuels and investment in safe renewable energy. We want a meaningful carbon tax. We want to affirm that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. 

We want to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, to stop the cruelty of factory farming, to stop fracking, to stop Tar Sands, to eliminate plastic bags, plastic bottles and Styrofoam, and to plug the gas pipeline leaks in our streets. Let’s claim our right to be safe from products and packaging with hormone disrupting plasticizers, useless but carcinogenic flame retardants, herbicides (especially RoundUP), microbeads, and genetically engineered organisms.

May 27 is Rachel Carson’s birthday. On that day, take a moment to remember Rachel, especially her book Silent Spring and its message, “prevention is the imperative.”  Rachel was right. Now the future is up to us​.​

-- Ellie Goldberg, www.healthy-kids.info

We tolerate cancer-causing agents in our environment at our peril…For those in whom cancer is already a hidden or a visible presence, efforts to find cures must of course continue.  But for those not yet touched by the disease and certainly for the generation as yet unborn, prevention is the imperative need.” — Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


Clip: The Bravery of Rachel Carson billmoyers.com

  "The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals are the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world — the very nature of its life." -- From Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring

Biologist Rachel Carson didn't want to write the blockbuster Silent Spring but felt a responsibility to do so.  billmoyers.com


Winter Newton 2015

snow 2 15 15.jpg
by Ellie Goldberg

Did your roof cave in?
Did your gutters droop or fall?
Did the melt come inside?
And drizzle down the wall?

Did your pipes freeze and flood?
Did your driveway heave and crack?
Did your heating system fail?
Did shoveling break your back?

Did the sidewalks fill with snow?
Did branches bend or break?
Did power lines go down?
Did potholes spoil your day?

Do you love this new normal?
The extremes of heat and cold?
Do you have a back up plan
or a better place to go?

Support divestment now
to stop burning fossil fuel.
Then invest in cleaner power
for safer water, air and food.

Let's choose the wisest way
to tax carbon, risk and waste.
Trust efficiency, wind and solar
to conserve the human race.

            - 0 -


Poison Control and Pesticide Information Organizations Collaborate to Strengthen Pesticide Safety and Education

On February 23, 2015, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), which supports the work of the nation’s 55 poison control centers, and the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University, announced that they have teamed up to focus on pesticide safety and education.

The two organizations will bring their collective expertise and experience to developing bilingual health and safety educational materials for the general public related to pesticides such as antimicrobials, herbicides, and insecticides.
 Newton Committee for Alternatives to Pesticides

To read the joint press release in full, see http://www.aapcc.org/press/41/

Information about Poison Prevention Week 2015, March 15-21, 2015 http://www.poisonprevention.org/poison.htm


Rachel Carson’s warnings about global warming

Rachel Carson was born in 1907 and she died in 1964.  She was one of the first scientists to alert the world to the importance of caring for the environment.  

Larry J. Schweiger, the author of Last Chance:  Preserving Life on Earth, wrote this on the 100th anniversary of Carson’s birth.  He wrote,
“Forever listening to birds and watching the movements of fish, Rachel discovered that they were shifting from their historic ranges all over the world and moving quite strikingly and consistently toward the poles. In her second and wildly successful book published in 1951 entitled, The Sea Around Us, Rachel wrote a chapter entitled: ‘The Global Thermostat’ detailing the many range shifts and glacial changes seen in nature in the preceding decades concluding with, ‘now in our own lifetime we are witnessing a startling alteration of climate…’Because Rachel was listening, she was able to faithfully record fish and bird migratory changes and melting glaciers and rightfully associated them with a warming climate.
Read whole article: Doug Craig, Climate of Change


By Marion Herz. As chief of staff for EPA’s Office of Compliance, job #1 for me is protecting people’s health and their communities.


The Power of One Voice

A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson is a groundbreaking documentary examining the life of Rachel Carson and the profound implications of her environmental work. Perfect for classrooms and community events, this 51-minute film features interviews with Rachel Carson’s adopted son, Roger Christie, her biographer, Linda Lear, and other notable writers, scientists and advocates. By highlighting the power of Carson’s voice, we hope to inspire others to add their voices to this essential conversation. ~Mark Dixon (Director/Producer) and Patricia DeMarco (Executive Producer)

Premiere in ‪#‎Pittsburgh‬! January 29, 2015, at 7:00 P.M. at the National Aviary! 
Remarks by Ellie Goldberg, May 2007: The Legacy of Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964)   VIDEO (2:50 min)



Published on Oct 24, 2013
In her presentation entitled "Roundup: The Elephant in the Room," Dr. Seneff outlines adverse health and environmental effects caused by chemicals that are being applied directly to foods we eat.