Back in the 1970′s, Dr. Landrigan was an investigative scientist for the Centers for Disease Control who discovered children in El Paso Texas suffered from learning disabilities because of the large lead smelting plant in the center of town. At the time, the plant was a source of jobs and pride for the residents of El Paso, but the lead emitted from the giant smokestack was profoundly harming their children and the neighboring families in Juarez, Mexico.
BPA manufacturers and canning companies today are claiming that legislation forcing them to switch to a nontoxic alternative would cost jobs and increase food and beverage prices. But at what price? This same El Paso company, the American Smelting and Refining Company, announced today that they will pay $1.79 billion in settlements for the land it polluted and lives it destroyed.
One can’t help but wonder if this story foreshadows the fate of the BPA and other chemical manufacturers. If closing companies that manufacture toxic chemicals saves lives, that seems like the right decision to me.
National Public Radio – February 4
A Toxic Century: Mining Giant Must Clean Up Mess
A landmark study by the Centers for Disease Control in the early 1970s found that more than half of the children living within a mile of the smelter had levels of lead in their blood four times today’s acceptable limit. The lead study was so influential that it contributed to the EPA’s decision in 1973 to phase lead components out of gasoline. “We found in these children who seemed to be healthy that they had reduced IQ, slowing of their reflexes, impairment of their motor coordination,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, the epidemiologist who led the research nearly 40 years ago. “This was one of the very first demonstrations that lead could cause toxicity on the human brain in children who appeared to have no symptoms.”
-Dr. Philip Landrigan, Professor & Chair, Preventive Medicine, Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Learn more: http://www.wbur.org/npr/122779177
submitted by Rhonda Sherwood