Tag Archives: air

Protect Gainesville’s Citizens Fact Sheet is Just Plain WRONG

19 Mar

Part One:

BlowingDust
In response to a “Fact Sheet” that was circulated throughout the Stephen Foster neighborhood by the Protect Gainesville’s Citizens group: Dioxins are NOT water soluble. This means PGC’s claim that “routine cleaning” will eliminate dioxin contamination from your home is false. The referenced literature PGC uses is for lead contaminated dust, which IS water soluble. Dioxin contaminated dust bonds to substances on a molecular level.

When you clean hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fan blades, bookshelves, open cabinets, etc, or go into your attic, PLEASE wear a mask and disposable gloves. Dioxins can enter your body through skin pores, ingestion, and inhalation. There are some hypotheses that professional cleaning may reduce the amount of dioxin contaminated dust in treated areas of homes, which explains the rash of Stanley Steemer vans seen in the neighborhood before EPA’s 2012 testing.

Also, it’s wrong to determine the pathway of contaminated dust to be solely from foot traffic. That’s just a convenient way to tie indoor contamination to the remediation of outside soil and pretend the problem is solved. A lot of dioxin contaminated dust enters through windows and attic vents, and then settles throughout the home. This has been going on since the wood treatment plant was in operation for the last 100 years.

Take a look outside at your car. It’s covered with pollen and you don’t have to park under a tree for that to happen.

Take a look outside at your car. It’s covered with pollen and you don’t have to park under a tree for that to happen.

In the FDOH Health Consultation:

“CONCLUSION #3 The past health risk from exposures to chlorinated dioxins/furans in the dust of 17 (tested) homes near the Koppers facility prior to 2012 is unknown.

BASIS FOR DECISION #3 There was no testing of indoor dust specifically for chlorinated dioxins/furans prior to 2012.”

This lack of data prior to 2012 when the plant was operating leaves a gaping hole in the risk assessment analysis. Attic dust has become increasingly useful for assessing historical emissions of dioxins and other toxic environmental contaminants and could have been sampled to help fill in historical loading. Attic dusts pose a probable health hazard if the dust is disturbed and allowed to plume within the living areas of a dwelling. An attic sample can represent the long-term dynamic accumulation of material that has been influenced for many years by the natural movement of air, penetration of the dust indoors, and the eventual deposition of dust on many surfaces. The major concern is that important household activities and home maintenance may disturb the attic dust (e.g., roof replacement, renovations).

The sole purpose of PGC’s “report” is to deny the initial findings of the independent indoor dust testing done by residents in 2010 who were concerned about their safety. That independent testing collected a comprehensive 125 samples as far away as 2 ½ miles from the Superfund site to determine the contamination’s drop-off point (there was none found). Because of this independent testing the EPA was shamed into doing its own set of indoor dust samplings later. But rather than doing a comprehensive sample analysis for all the Contaminants of Concern from the Superfund site like arsenic and PAHs, the EPA chose to test only for chlorinated dioxins (associated with Koppers) and brominated dioxins (not associated with Koppers). The EPA’s indoor dioxin dust sampling was not done with the intent to accurately access the toxic trespass of contaminates from the Koppers site and evaluate the human risk associated with them. The only reason for their testing was to discredit the original independent testing. The PGC testing continued with this negating premise. As if that isn’t enough, residents said they witnessed dilution of the EPA soil samples with clean dirt brought by the sample gatherers.

The context of PGC’s “study” is brought in to focus when you read the 99 page report. The bulk of the report concentrates on every other kind of dioxin possible in homes (most extensively brominated), not the chlorinated dioxins  from Koppers they should be focusing on. PGC does this because CALUX Bio-assay testing that is not pre-cleaned tends to have higher positive results for dioxin-like compounds than the HRGC/MS method, due to the contribution of brominated or mixed halogenated compounds to the total TEQ of the sample. The 2010 independent testing used a patented clean up method to separate chlorinated and brominated dioxins. It’s not that complicated to fingerprint the contamination to Koppers.

It’s not only disgraceful, but dangerous that PGC distorts the facts and lies to residents when they help shape policies and have the duty to act as liaison between the EPA and the citizens of Gainesville. All the government grants PGC has received, nearly $150,000 of taxpayer money, should guarantee better research and advice for the residents they are entrusted to inform. Residents’ health risks and human rights demand to be taken seriously.

Will Residents Lose Their Rights With Neighborhood Topsoil Removal Plan?

16 Feb

On February 6, 2014 Maria Parsons told the City Commission about Stephen Foster Neighborhood residents’ concerns that by agreeing to participate in Beazer East, Inc/EPA’s topsoil replacement plan- at any time before, during, and/or after the soil replacement process- they are signing away their rights to take any possible future legal action that may be needed involving the polluter or any other responsible party for ongoing contamination and toxic exposure from Koppers chemicals.

Mrs. Parsons asked the Commission to confirm or deny these concerns in writing, and to provide a copy of all agreement forms, contracts, releases and/or waivers that residents must sign in order to participate in the soil replacement plan.  The Commission directed Mr. Murry to obtain and forward the requested information and documents to her.  Mrs. Parsons has not heard from Mr. Murry yet. Farinda O’Steen asked the city for this information several months ago and is still waiting for their response, as are other concerned residents.

Residents also need to know whether deed restrictions will be placed on their properties and exactly what that entails.

Homeowners in and near the contantly-changing topsoil replacement zone would be wise to have any documents they receive pertaining to Beazer East Inc/EPA’s plan reviewed by an attorney before signing them.

National Institute of Health (NIH): Dioxin exposure causes transgenerational health effects

27 Sep

In a WSU press release, Skinner said of his latest findings, “It is not just the individuals exposed, but potentially the great-grandchildren that may experience increased adult-onset disease susceptibility.”

By Brant Hamel

A new study, funded in part by NIEHS, found that dioxin affects not only the health of an exposed rat, but also unexposed descendants through a mechanism of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

The study was conducted in the laboratory of Michael Skinner, Ph.D., a professor in the Center for Reproductive Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Washington State University (WSU) who designed the study. Co-authors included assistant research professor Mohan Manikkam, Ph.D., research technician Rebecca Tracey, and postdoctoral researcher Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna, Ph.D.

“Although not designed for risk assessment, these results have implications for the human populations that are exposed to dioxin and are experiencing declines in fertility and increases in adult onset disease, with a potential to transmit them to later generations,” the authors concluded.

Dangers of dioxin last for decades after initial exposure

Dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo[p]dioxin (TCDD), is a chemical compound that constitutes part of the Agent Orange herbicide used as a defoliant in the Vietnam War. According to research cited in the study, exposure is estimated to have caused 400,000 deaths and 500,000 birth defects. Dioxin has also been released from industrial accidents, leading to human exposures. Due to its extremely long half-life of up to 10 years in humans, dioxin may still affect pregnancies occurring even 20 years after exposure.

In the Skinner group’s experiments, exposure to dioxin caused changes in the DNA methylation patterns of sperm that were transmitted across generations, in an imprinted-like manner, to affect the health of multiple generations of descendents. The grandchildren of exposed rats showed dioxin-induced effects ranging from polycystic ovarian disease to kidney disease. The work raises the serious concern that even if toxic chemicals, such as dioxin, were completely removed from the environment, they could continue to cause disease for multiple generations.

Health effects of dioxin include early onset of puberty in females

Skinner’s group used low in vivo doses of dioxin, so that toxic effects were not expected. Female rats were exposed while pregnant, and both their direct progeny and descendants two generations removed were examined.

Although the most prominent phenotypes were kidney disease in males and polycystic ovarian disease in females, a number of other effects including abscesses, colon impaction, lung abnormalities, and missing testes were also observed in animals from the dioxin-treated lineage. Additionally, females from the dioxin-exposed lineage experienced the early onset of puberty. Conversely, males showed delayed puberty, suggesting sex-specific effects of exposure. Early puberty in humans has increased over recent decades and is believed to have an environmental link.

Dioxin alters methylation patterns in germ line DNA across generations

The researchers were able to identify 50 specific regions of DNA that were differentially methylated in the dioxin-treated animals. These regions were permanently reprogrammed and protected from DNA methylation, in a manner that allowed them to be passed down across generations. In the future, these regions may serve as biomarkers that would allow early detection of exposure and risk for disease.

Other chemical compounds, including bisphenol A, phthalates, the insecticide DEET, and the jet fuel JP8 have all been shown to promote disease across generations, through a similar mechanism of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance (see story). This pathway of disease propagation exists not only in rats, but also in humans, mice, worms, flies, and even plants. Thus, future research will be needed to see if other environmental compounds may also lead to health effects across generations.

In addition to NIEHS, NIH and the U.S. Department of Defense provided support for the study.

Citation: Manikkam M, Tracey R, Guerrero-Bosagna C, Skinner MK. 2012. Dioxin (TCDD) induces epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease and sperm epimutations. PLoS One 7(9):e46249.

(Brant Hamel, Ph.D., is an Intramural Research Training Award fellow in the NIEHS Laboratory of Signal Transduction.)

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2012/11/science-dioxin/

Alachua County Commission Votes to Ask Beazer East to Relocate Residents Out of Toxic Homes- Story and Video Coming Soon!!

19 Sep

Beazer East & EPA: Keeping Gainesville Toxic with a Little Help from AMEC

19 Jun

The United States has recovered more than 19 million from AMEC in damages and penalties to settle litigation regarding fraud, false claims and kickbacks on Federal contracts in Sacramento, San Francisco, St. Louis and New Jersey.

At the World Trade Center, AMEC destroyed very important evidence during the clean-up.  This and the tampering witnessed by many residents in our neighborhood render AMEC’s soils test results false and unacceptable and Un-American.  Why are we entrusting the health and the lives of Gainesville’s children to AMEC?

The “Raw Deal” as acknowledged by this Commission earlier this year really gives us a toxic waste dump.  Dumping additional toxic residential soil on top of the already contaminated superfund site allows creosote, and other Koppers chemicals to continue to contaminate our drinking water, the Floridan Aquifer.

Removing one foot of polluted soil and entombing residents in toxic homes does nothing to protect families.  Officials already know that in some homes two to four feet and even twenty to forty feet of toxic soil have already been replaced with clean soil, only to find out later that the replacement soil is just as contaminated as the original soil.

According to Beazer East employee Mitch Brourman, this clean-up is “the best clean-up ever in the nation”.  No, EPA and Beazer East, this is NOT “the best clean-up ever” and it is NOT protective of Gainesville residents and our city.  This is nothing more than a criminal cover-up that is Keeping Gainesville Toxic.  We need and want out of our toxic homes!

Residents want to thank Todd Chase: he is the only City Commissioner that fully understood the implications of accepting this cover-up/raw deal.  We are grateful to him for voting against it.  This Raw Deal will forever stamp Gainesville with the stigma of Toxic City.

Ron Hodill

 

Sandra Watts Kennedy on AMEC’s Canadian Scandal

14 Jun

City of Gainesville Commission Meeting

June 6, 2013

AMEC engineers and scientists hired to do environmental assessment for the Raven Coal Corporation in Port Alberni Canada falsified data about the Alberni Airshed, not once but twice.

When AMEC published their final assessment of air pollutant concentrations in the Alberni Airshed, they claimed that DIOXIN levels in the airshed were well below the safe level standard for air quality set by the Canadian Government and the World Health Organization.  But AMEC was not aware that the Canadian Government monitors the Alberni Airshed for air pollutant concentrations.

The Canadian Government’s reports confirmed major DIOXIN air pollution in Port Alberni, contrary to AMEC’s air quality report. Investigation into AMEC’s actions in Port Alberni proved that AMEC never collected any air quality data in the Alberni Airshed- their report was composed of false test results invented to meet the needs of their client.

AMEC’s fraudulent report included a map illustrating the locations of monitoring towers they claimed to have used for several years to collect their Alberni Airshed data.  Upon investigation it was established that these monitoring stations never existed.

It is said that one can tell a lot about a person’s character by the company they keep.  AMEC is criminally fraudulent.  Why does Beazer East keep using them in Gainesville?  And why has Beazer East repeatedly lied to residents about rehiring AMEC under another name?  Why is EPA allowing use of AMEC-derived data when the lives of Gainesville’s children are at risk?

This farce is costing lives in Gainesville!  We reject AMEC’s sham test results and all aspects of the Beazer East/EPA coverup!  Our families want out of our dioxin-contaminated homes while we’re still alive!

Stephen Foster Resident Martha Miller On AMEC’s Fraudulent History

14 Jun

City of Gainesville Commission Meeting

June 6, 2013

 

AMEC (Beazer East’s environmental consultant for Gainesville’s Koppers Superfund Site) is a huge British-owned corporation like BP that is notoriously corrupt and has faced indictments from countries all over the world.  For example: 

1.   In 2008 Great Britain’s Serious Fraud Office fined AMEC five million pounds for falsifying records and other related ethics violations.  

2.   In South Africa, AMEC was named in a bribery/kickback scandal involving contracts on the Lesotho Dam Project.

3.   AMEC carried out the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Chalillo Dam in Belize, and has been accused of burying the scientific analysis of the dam’s impact on wildlife that concluded the project would cause significant and irreversible loss of biological diversity. 

Geologists characterize AMEC’s Environmental Impact Assessment as “gravely flawed and so filled with errors so as to render it useless as a document for engineers to use in the design and the construction of the proposed dam.”  They go on to state “The mistakes made by AMEC in the geological mapping of the Chalillo site would get a failing mark in an introductory geology class”.  

4.   Likewise, University of Florida scientists found AMEC’s assumptions and models regarding health risks associated with Koppers Superfund Site to be so flawed that they recommended to Florida DEP that AMEC’s data should not be used at all.  

Given AMEC’s worldwide reputation for unethical conduct and unreliable work, continuing to use their falsified data to drive our remedial action is a major mistake that will forever impact the reputation of our city.  More importantly, Gainesville families will continue to sicken and die in toxic homes.  We want out of this toxic city.  We don’t want to die in beautiful but toxic homes- We reject this RAW DEAL!

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