Conscious Disregard

If we are allergic to nuts we try to follow a diet which has no nuts in it, which is not easy, but anaphylactic shock can kill. When we see people bathing in one of the most polluted rivers in India, the Ganges, we know they are likely to get hepatitis A, typhoid, other acute gastrointestinal illnesses and dysentery. When we learn chemicals which cause cancer have been allowed to enter our drinking water over decades without our knowing, we know there was a conscious disregard of our life quality by those allowing this to happen.

Having allergies from certain foods like kiwi fruit, sesame seeds, shellfish, milk, eggs and a range of nuts limits the selection of foods available to those with such allergies. But there is an effort made by the food industry to raise awareness of ingredients, usually on the label ‘contains traces of nuts’; in the case of other foods, once an allergic reaction has been found, the person involved will work hard to stay safely away from the target foods. We have a system, and it saves lives.

If your religious beliefs are overwhelming common sense to cause you to bathe in a highly polluted river, then questions need to be asked of those perpetuating this ritual.

If your tap water is dangerous to you and your family, but you were never told all the years of your life, then trust in those who should be keeping you safe (that is, the authorities) is lost. Worse than that, they have acted in a way which has indicated your life is not of great value to them and if you die a premature, horrible and painful death as a result, they are not concerned. What does concern them is that the media will eradicate their ‘trusted brand’ reputation and so they must manage the media with lies upon lies and keep the ‘story’ limited in its influence.

In my March blog “Will we be Fishless? XI” I wrote of the shocking case Robert Bilott valiantly worked on to prove the chemical company, DuPont, emitted poisons via its Washington Works, Parkersburg, West Virginia. The resultant contamination was covered up for over 57 years.

Successive management were informed by their own scientists. They knew the chemical they were using in their products was harming their own workers and surrounding community. They used all means possible to cover up and deny the harm they had done until it was finally proven in court. This kind of crime goes by the term ‘Malice’, or Conscious Disregard.

Ultimately, it was found to have sent these poisons into the bodies of all living things.

One man’s dogged determination resulted in “one of the greatest victories for environmental law” See his book Exposure, a gripping read.

The extract below is from Ch 28 The Second Wave

August 2005, West Virginia, New Jersey and Minnesota

As the C8 Health Project was drawing blood, the debate over PFOA was drawing new scientists out of the woodwork. Our litigation had triggered an explosion of scientific interest in PFOA, and new research projects were beginning all over the world – studies that had no connection to our case or to DuPont. Our settlement had granted the Science Panel full discretion to consider relevant data from any of those studies, not just DuPont’s or 3M’s own self-serving studies or data collected through the C8 Health Project.

Adding to my sense of growing momentum, in June 2005, EPA’s Science Advisory Board- the agency’s mechanism for peer review-looked at the draft of EPA’s risk assessment. Based on data its members had seen, which was essentially all the data I had been sending, they recommended that EPA revise its risk assessment and upgrade PFOA from a “suggestive” to a “likely” human carcinogen. This was an important technical distinction that could impact regulatory requirements down the road. It also had another, more immediate impact; headlines suggested that EPA had earlier downplayed the cancer risk and its own advisory board was now calling it out.

While the science was mounting against PFOA, however, a controversial faction of the scientific community was publicly defending it. The American Council on Science and Health-a non profit “consumer education consortium” of scientists-was vocally saying that there was “not a shred of evidence” that either Teflon or PFOA posed any cancer risk whatsoever. It claimed that “junk science” was being used to set public policy. And it criticised EPA for trying to protect us from “canceer risks that do not exist”.

Scientists often disagree on a lot of things, but that group was a great example of why it’s important to trace the money behind the science. The innocuous sounding The American Council on Science and Health was founded in 1978 by a Harvard trained public health scientist as a counterpoint to advocacy groups such as the Environmental Working Group, which it accused of fearmongering with claims it said lacked scientific basis. The Council billed itself as an independent group of scientist aiming to debunk the bogus scientific findings it claimed were driving political decisions in public health and environmental policy.

But critics called the Council an industry front group” funded by corporate donors it refused to disclose. Leaked internal documents showed a donor line-up of household names in industries ranging from Big Tobacco to pharmaceuticals to petroleum and, yes, chemicals, including 3M. They were the same industries the group fiercely defended in the science wars that played out in the media.

We are all aware of our dependency on polymer producing companies to provide the material for much of the bio-persistent products we all use on a daily basis. They seemed miraculous when chemical companies first experimented with their creation.

You can see the 2021 top chemical companies here.

Headlines in the UK papers on 26th May, 2021 are about the shortages of construction materials which are hampering plans for a booming building sector. One major element is a shortage of polymers from Texas. Read here about polymer use in the construction industry.

Such polymers include plastics, adhesives, foams, and even sealants and paints. Look around your home, maybe you can see the extensive use of these materials.

The basic materials of plastics are organic macromolecules (polymers), which are composed of repeating units. Due to increasing environmental concerns related to bio-persistence of petroleum based polymers, research efforts have intensified towards developing biodegradable materials with equivalent performance properties. But no satisfactory replacements are yet in wide use.

In an efforts to circumvent the recent regulation to no longer use PFOA, PFOS in the manufacturing process, alternative chemical makeups have been introduced, but they do not have a good reputation either. They seem to be even more toxic.

PFOA & PFOS replacements under fire (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)

3M replaced PFOS with perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) in its signature consumer product Scotchgard in 2003 and DuPont (and now Chemours) began manufacturing GenX. These replacements come under the umbrella name of PFAS. PFBS and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) have longer half-lives than PFOS and GenX could be a more potent liver toxin than PFOA.

Praedicat is now monitoring the biomedical science for 14 PFAS in addition to PFOA and PFOS.  This relative emphasis is motivated by the well-known phenomenon of “regrettable substitution.”  Although the science is immature for many PFAS on the market today, the chemical similarity of these replacement chemicals to PFOA and PFOS, their increasing production, and the intensity of scientific interest suggests heightened underwriting risk going forward.

Wherever industry scientists point to harm from the industrial process, the industry will spend high amounts of money to buy the services of environmental regulators to cover up the harm. The American Chemistry Council will lobby from its offices in Washington to ensure their industry stays strong, unruffled by allegations of poisoning Americans.

For industry to deliberately fund bodes such as the American Chemistry Council in order to use their pot of money to lobby and browbeat anyone who dares to expose their activities for what they are, is against humanity, against the planet we love and against all living things.

Giving no teeth to regulating bodies goes against common sense, unless we have a perverse incentive to give priority to providing high dividends for shareholders and keep the shareholders innocent of the harmful products being manufactured.

But shareholders can find out about the chemicals being used and carry out due diligence. They are careless if they remain ignorant about killing citizens with chemicals they are deriving wealth from. This is chemical warfare against citizens who are as innocent as the Jews were when led into what they thought was a shower chamber, but turned out to be a gas chamber.

Just because the poison takes years, like arsenic, instead of a few moments, there is no other difference. Poisonous substances have been spread throughout the globe due to the Chemical industry and people are dying prematurely as a result.

Science can only be of value if it lends itself to higher standards to safeguard all life on earth. The momentum for lower standards, allowing manufacturers to run amok and wreck the balance of nature, has reached a gruesome level of destruction.

Even today, the Summer Solstice, I read in the news of the US Navy testing a 40,000lb bomb, 100miles off Florida, shaking Daytona Beach, in order to check if an aircraft carrier’s structure could cope. This is a hideous example of insensitivity to the Atlantic Ocean’s marine life. There could be no justification that would convince me this was beneficial to the perpetuation of survival on earth. Simply another military complex test, like all the ‘tests’ since 1952 on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific. We are in a constant cycle of hysterical destruction as if the accelerator is stuck on.

About borderslynn

Retired, living in the Scottish Borders after living most of my life in cities in England. I can now indulge my interest in all aspects of living close to nature in a wild landscape. I live on what was once the Iapetus Ocean which took millions of years to travel from the Southern Hemisphere to here in the Northern Hemisphere. That set me thinking and questioning and seeking answers. In 1998 I co-wrote Millennium Countdown (US)/ A Business Guide to the Year 2000 (UK) see
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3 Responses to Conscious Disregard

  1. Pingback: Corporates Accessing Science, Perpetuating Conscious Disregard | borderslynn

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