Two weeks ago, over 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked into the Elk River from a tank farm in West Virginia. The result was poisoned a poisoned water supply in the homes of over 300,000 people in West Virginia. Without adequate regulatory standards or public health guidelines for the chemical, the CDC had difficulty suggesting when the water might again be safe for citizens to use and drink. Initial recommendations were later amended to suggest that pregnant women may wish to drink from an alternate water source. Citizens were told that the water was safe to use and drink despite still carrying an odor of the chemical. In addition, the poisoned water continues to move down the river with speed and no one knows how this will impact public health, wildlife, other states or the environment.
No one is holding corporations responsible OR safeguarding the public when it comes to chemicals not under the jurisdiction of the Food & Drug Administration. When it comes to your water, toys, personal care products, food containers or other household products no one is looking out for you. In fact, the Environment Protection Agency has tried to regulate substances such as asbestos, but has been struck down by federal courts.
According to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, chemicals do not have to be studied before they are put into production. With over 60,000 chemicals that were approved in 1976, only 20 of them had been tested for safety. Since that time, only 5 of these substances have been restricted. The United States also has over 1,300 substances in production that are banned in the European Union. Europe practices the “Precautionary Principle” and benefits with lower cancer rates, but the United States sides with deregulation and lack of oversight to protect the public’s health, which means situations like West Virginia are possible because no one is ensuring it does not happen.
In 2008, an explosion and fire at Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, West Virginia killed two workers. The Chemical Safety Board recommended new procedures to help prevent additional chemical accidents and those recommendations were never adopted by the state environmental and health agencies because of lobbying by the chemical companies. In 2010, a chemical called phosgene leaked from a DuPont plant in Belle, West Virginia, and caused the death of one worker. The plant had not been inspected for over five years before the leak happened, which is a very common occurrence.
Join the #RealReform of Chemicals Twitter Party on Thursday, January 23rd from 6-7:30pm PST/9-10:30pm EST. Participants will discuss safeguarding citizens and real reform of chemicals. Several organizations and brands have stepped up to get involved to help educate the public about this crisis and how it can be prevented in the future.
Who: @Bookieboo, the Mamavation community, and several bloggers, organizations & brands
What: Twitter party to educate the public about the need for #RealReform of chemicals
When: Thursday, January 23rd from 6-7:30pm PST/9-10:30pm EST
Bookieboo LLC is a social media agency and network of more than 9,000 bloggers. We specialize in connecting healthier-minded brands with social media moms. Working with bloggers since 2007, Bookieboo’s network bloggers comprises over 200 million impressions per month, not to mention over 80 million on twitter and 50 million on Facebook. Bookieboo LLC also houses the Mamavation disease prevention campaign consisting of the first virtual sorority, The Mamavation Sistahood™ and the Mamavation Mom Boot Camp.