Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Such a long time since I posted...it's hard to believe how quickly the months have flown by. So many things to tell you about! Sun-powered roads in Italy, the world's first hybrid tugboat, the wonder food spirulina, solar parking lots, microbes that can clean up toxic waste, and so much more.
When not working my full time job, I've been busy developing a line of organic soap, shampoo, lotions, etc. for people, like myself, who suffer from chemical sensitivity. Thanks to my friends and family I've been able to try different recipes and the results are encouraging. It's been an incredible learning experience. I am working on developing organic fragrances, as well, since fragrance chemicals are the leading cause of sensitivity in a high percentage of individuals.
If you haven't already read "The High Cost of Progress", please do so. Support the companies making products that are safe, and made with sustainably produced ingredients. Check out local sources of organic products. Your local health food store will often carry products made by local artisans. The best way to influence the marketplace is with your purchasing power. If more people demand safe, sustainable products, then more of those products will become available, and the more affordable they will be.
Until next time...become the change you imagine.
Monday, June 21, 2010
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Services on June 9, 2010 594 birds, 250 turtles and 30 mammals in Louisiana and Florida have perished due to the oil spill and 466 oil saturated animals have been cleaned, rehabilitated and some released.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Oil Spills and Disasters
The following list includes major oil spills since 1967. The circumstances surrounding the spill, amount of oil spilled, and the attendant environmental damage is also given.1967
- March 18, Cornwall, Eng.: Torrey Canyon ran aground, spilling 38 million gallons of crude oil off the Scilly Islands.
- Dec. 15, Buzzards Bay, Mass.: Argo Merchant ran aground and broke apart southeast of Nantucket Island, spilling its entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of fuel oil.
- April, North Sea: blowout of well in Ekofisk oil field leaked 81 million gallons.
- March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.
- June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.
- July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2.
- March 30, Stavanger, Norway: floating hotel in North Sea collapsed, killing 123 oil workers.
- Feb. 4, Persian Gulf, Iran: Nowruz Field platform spilled 80 million gallons of oil.
- Aug. 6, Cape Town, South Africa: the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire, spilling 78 million gallons of oil off the coast.
- July 6, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world's worst offshore oil disaster.
- Nov. 10, Saint John's, Newfoundland: Odyssey spilled 43 million gallons of oil.
- March 24, Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and spilled 10 million–plus gallons of oil into the water, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
- Dec. 19, off Las Palmas, the Canary Islands: explosion in Iranian supertanker, the Kharg-5, caused 19 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi north of Las Palmas, forming a 100-square-mile oil slick.
- June 8, off Galveston, Tex.: Mega Borg released 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire in the pump room.
- Jan. 23–27, southern Kuwait: during the Persian Gulf War, Iraq deliberately released 240–460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers 10 mi off Kuwait. Spill had little military significance. On Jan. 27, U.S. warplanes bombed pipe systems to stop the flow of oil.
- April 11, Genoa, Italy: Haven spilled 42 million gallons of oil in Genoa port.
- May 28, Angola: ABT Summer exploded and leaked 15–78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Angola. It's not clear how much sank or burned.
- March 2, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well.
- Aug. 10, Tampa Bay, Fla.: three ships collided, the barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.
- Sept. 8, Russia: dam built to contain oil burst and spilled oil into Kolva River tributary. U.S. Energy Department estimated spill at 2 million barrels. Russian state-owned oil company claimed spill was only 102,000 barrels.
- Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick.
- Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea.
- Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.
- Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.
- Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.
- July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.
- Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.
- Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.
- June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.
- July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.
- August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country's fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort.
- December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea's west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.
- July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.
- March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area's beaches.
- Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
- April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a "spill of national significance." BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Originally posted Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ingredients: SULPHURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; (SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE) Ingredient Sequence Number: 01
Unusual Fire And Explosion Hazards: EMITS TOXIC FUMES ON THERMAL DECOMPOSITION
Health Hazard Data
Route Of Entry - Inhalation: YES
Route Of Entry - Skin: YES
Route Of Entry - Ingestion: YES
Health Hazard Acute And Chronic: ACUTE: CAUSES MILD IRRITATION ON CONTACT WITH SKIN, EYES OR MUCOUS MEMBRANES. SKIN CONTACT COULD CAUSE IRRITATION OR ALLERGIC REACTION. MODERATELY TOXIC BY INGESTION.
CHRONIC: TESTS ON LAB ANIMALS INDICATE MATERIAL MAY CAUSE MUTAGENIC EFFECTS
Emergency/First Aid Procedure:
EYES: FLUSH THOROUGHLY WITH WATER FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES
SKIN: WASH THOROUGHLY WITH SOAP & WATER.
INHALATION: REMOVE TO FRESH AIR.
INGESTION: IF STILL CONSCIOUS, INDUCE VOMITING.
GET MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR ALL CASES OF EXPOSURE
Precautions for Safe Handling and Use
KEEP CONTAINER CLOSED. STORE AT CONTROLLED ROOM TEMPERATURE. DO NOT BREATHE DUST. DO NOT GET IN EYES, ON SKIN, ON CLOTHING. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.
Respiratory Protection: NIOSH/MSHA APPROVED RESPIRATOR APPROPRIATE FOR EXPOSURE OF CONCERN (FP N)
Ventilation: MATERIAL SHOULD BE HANDLED OR TRANSFERRED ONLY IN AN APPROVED FUME HOOD OR W/ADEQUATE VENTILATION.
Protective Gloves: NEOPRENE, PVC OR EQUIVALENT GLOVES.
Eye Protection: ANSI APPROVED CHEMICAL WORKERS GOGGLES (FP N).
Other Protective Equipment: EYE WASH & SAFETY EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE READILY AVAILABLE.
Work Hygienic Practices: WASH THOROUGHLY AFTER HANDLING.
Supplementary Safety & Health Data: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER.
Label Required: YES
Technical Review Date: 17MAY95
Label Date: 17MAY95
Label Status: M
Common Name: SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE, DX2495
Chronic Hazard: YES
Signal Word: WARNING!
Acute Health Hazard: Moderate
Contact Hazard: Moderate
Fire Hazard: None
Special Hazard Precautions:
ACUTE: CAUSES MILD IRRITATION ON CONTACT WITH SKIN, EYES OR MUCOUS MEMBRANES. SKIN CONTACT COULD CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTION.
MODERATELY TOXIC BY INGESTION.
CHRONIC: TESTS ON LAB ANIMALS INDICATE MATERIAL MAY CAUSE MUTAGENIC EFFECTS.
Protect Eye: YES
Protect Skin: YES
Protect Respiratory: YES
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Overexposure: May cause skin irritation. May cause burns to eyes.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic overexposure: Prolonged skin contact my cause dermatitis and skin sensitization. May cause eye burns.
Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure: Sensitive skin.
Ingestion: Relative to other materials, as single dose of this product is rarely toxic by ingestion. Irritation of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and stomach can develop following ingestion.
exceedingly rare and initially had no agreed-upon name. Its name implies the presence of
synthetic chemicals. In 2003 approximately 80,000 synthetic chemicals existed which had
not yet been invented in 1950. DDT, a biological warfare agent declassified for
agricultural and garden pesticide use, was the most widely used toxic chemical in 1950. From
1960 to 2003, synthetic chemical production rose from approximately 10 billion pounds per year to an estimated annual release of about 35 billion pounds into soil, air and water in the US alone. Of these only about 600 are known to be carcinogenic, neuro-toxic and/or teratogenic because the rest have never been tested for safety.
By 1999 MCS was integrated into mainstream medical research and supported by animal
and human experimental investigations, theoretical explanation, therapeutic interventions,
and some statistical and epidemiological data. Below is a list of the signs and symptoms commonly observed with MCS according to the research done by the University of Toronto published in the Archives of Environmental Health , September 2001.
Central Nervous System
Increased sense of smell, problems with concentration, fatigue, confusion, headache,
temporary memory loss, dizziness, sleep disorders (some people can’t sleep, others sleep
14 hours every night), anxiety, hyperactivity, and generalized sense of disorientation and
confusion (following exposure) known as “brainfog”, a term coined by a famous MCS patient, the Chief Librarian of the United States Library of Congress (he was a patient of Dr. Randolph’s), intolerance to bright light and to heat and cold.
Joint pain, backaches, muscle spasms, swollen joints or limbs, muscle twitching, and
severe muscle weakness.
Respiratory System Symptoms
Frequent colds or bronchitis, asthma, heavy chest, shortness of breath.
High or low platelets (depending on status of immune function), easily bruised, anemia or
Water retention, frequent urination and urgency, inability to void, chronic infections of
urinary tract, enuresis, infertility.
Gastrointestinal Tract Symptoms
Nausea, diarrhea, bloating, constipation or all of these in rapid succession, often followed
Rapid heartbeat, irregular beat, hypertension, severe flushing of the face (sometimes
involving the whole upper body) when exposed to an offending chemical or reduced
oxygen supply), tingling in hands and feet.
Ear, Nose and Throat Symptoms
Chronic stuffiness and runny nose, earaches, frequent ear infections, watery and itchy
eyes, frequent sinus infections, intolerance to noise.
Rough skin, sores, generalized itching, intolerance to certain fabrics.
It is important to note that MCS patients may have many of these symptoms at the same
time, not necessarily in the same order or combination, or progressing to the same
severity level. This makes them such a challenge for doctors not trained in environmental
medicine who attempt to treat all these many symptoms traditionally: one at a time, or
refer the patient to a psychiatrist – the doctor of last resort. Of course, each of these
symptoms could also, when presented in isolation and without a history of chemical
exposure at home or at work, be responsive to standard medical intervention. In the final
analysis, the history and the multiplicity of symptoms should alert the doctor to the
possibility of environmental illness.
I will be the first to agree that not all chemicals are villians. However, there is definitely a lack of sufficient testing before products are released, and insufficient labeling on products that have not been adequately tested. This is most prevalent with fragrances and fragranced products. There does seem to be a correlation between increased chemical production/use and increased health problems.
Once considered a minor ailment affecting only a small portion of the population, asthma is now the most common chronic disorder of childhood, and affects an estimated 6.2 million children under the age of 18. The fact that asthma runs in families suggests that genetic factors play an important role in the development of the disease, however, environmental factors also contribute to the disease process.
Although recent studies indicate that the number of autism cases is increasing dramatically each year, the causes of this disorder are not well understood. Twin and family studies suggest an underlying genetic vulnerability to autism, and a growing area of research indicates that the disease may be caused by an interaction between genetic and environmental factors. One hypothesis is that the disease may be triggered during early fetal development, and that environmental exposures during pregnancy could cause or contribute to the disorder.
According to the American Cancer Society, this chronic disease is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. with half of all men and one-third of all women developing some form of cancer during their lifetimes.
Research has shown that exposure to environmental pollutants may pose the greatest threat to reproductive health. Exposure to lead is associated with reduced fertility in both men and women, while mercury exposure has been linked to birth defects and neurological disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to endocrine disruptors, chemicals that appear to disrupt hormonal activity in humans and animals, may contribute to problems with fertility, pregnancy, and other aspects of reproduction. (From 1980-2005 there was a 41% increase in thyroid cancer in the U.S.)
Many immunotoxicologists say that exposures to certain chemicals can have a significant effect on immune function. Studies have shown that chemical exposures can affect immunity in two major ways: by causing hypersensitivity reactions, including allergy, which can be harmful to organs and tissues, and autoimmunity, in which immune cells attack self; or by causing immunosuppression, a reduction in the responses and activities of the immune system.
After all is said and done, we are left with an overwhelming amount of information about chemicals and their effects. As conscious consumers and concerned humans, we should educate ourselves as much as possible and limit our exposure to synthetic chemicals whenever possible.
Perhaps the answer is to pursue a simpler life.
Until next time...become the change you imagine.
Environmentally Caused Cancers 'Grossly Underestimated'
Topics: Environmental Health
In the fight against cancer we may not be paying enough attention to what's right before our eyes. A new report from the President's Cancer Panel reveals that cancer stemming from environmental factors have be "grossly underestimated," Marla Cone reports for Environmental Health News. "The panel advised President Obama 'to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives,'" Cone wrote.
The President's Cancer Panel was initiated in 1971 and oversees the National Cancer Program. This year, in recommending that Obama take more action to address environmental factors that could lead to cancer, the panel pointed its fingers at a few culprits in particular: bisphenol A, radon, formaldehyde and benzene.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The impending threat to marine life, shoreline, and local economies is real and very frightening. At a time when the economy is precarious, small communities along the coast that rely on tourism and tourist-related industries to survive, are poised to expect the worst.
Anyone who remembers the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 doesn't want to relive the horror of its aftermath. The vessel spilled 10.8 million
The proponents of offshore drilling continue to argue that increased demand for oil drives the decisions to drill offshore. My response to them is: find a way to lessen the demand. We have the technology to become less dependent on oil and its related by-products. Perhaps the president's bail out money would be better spent on research and development of clean, sustainable energy.Until next time...become the change you imagine.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Earth Day is April 22nd. Let every day be Earth Day by doing what you can to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Educate yourself on ways to restore, and protect the planet we call Home.
From the Nature Conservancy:
You can help save oceans when you use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. Sure, it's a small step — but it can make a big difference in the health of our oceans.
Have doubts? Then dive in to a firsthand account from Conservancy Caribbean program director Phil Kramer about why plastics are so damaging to the ocean. Or, read how the Conservancy's Cara Byington had a crisis in the checkout line — after seeing the skeleton of a whale that died from eating plastic bags.
To help encourage others, share where you take reusable bags or where you've found your favorite tote. You can get a Nature Conservancy tote from Marketplace by Resolution, Inc. or Payless ShoeSource, both of which support The Nature Conservancy's conservation work.
Read more about the ways that the Nature Conservancy is helping the planet.
Izmet's Dream shop has a variety of canvas totes that are perfect for shopping.
Until next time....become the change you imagine.