Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Companies, hospitals move away from toxic material

Special Report: Toxic America

Is enough being done to protect us from chemicals that could harm us? Watch "Toxic America," a special two-night investigative report with Sanjay Gupta, M.D., at 8 p.m. ET June 2 and 3 on CNN.

(CNN) -- Worried about toxic waste and chemical exposure, more and more companies and hospitals are moving away from polyvinyl chloride.

PVC is used in everything from home siding, pipes and flooring to school supplies, car interiors and packaging, electrical cords and medical tubing. But making or burning PVC waste produces dioxins, cancer-causing chemicals that are among the most toxic substances known.

"Our concerns about the ways in which PVC can be disposed of, burned for example ... caused us to begin eliminating PVC from our products," Hewlett-Packard's Tony Prophet said. The computer giant launched its first PVC-free notebook computer last year.

Microsoft, Honda, Wal-Mart, Target and Nike are among other large corporations moving away from polyvinyl chloride, said Mike Schade, the PVC campaign coordinator for the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.

"There's been a major market shift away from PVC in just about every major sector of the economy," Schade said.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

S. 1939 - Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.

VVA reiterates our strong support for passage of S. 1939 the Agent Orange Equity Act, and the companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2254. VVA particularly thanks Senator Gillibrand of New York for introducing this proposed legislation. We must do whatever needs to be done, in this thirty fifth year since the end of the Vietnam war, to ensure that these veterans receive some measure of justice as soon as possible.

In the latest biennial update pursuant to the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the National Academies of Science (NAS), unequivocally reiterated that there was no valid scientific reason for the exclusion of so-called “Blue Water” Navy veterans from the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange and other harmful toxins present in South Vietnam during the war. It is clear that the study performed by the University of Queensland regarding the desalination plants on board Australian ships at the time is directly applicable to American Navy personnel. Not only did the desalination plants on the American vessels work in exactly the same manner as those on Australian ships, they were manufactured and installed by the same company. The methodology for creating fresh water for both the boilers and for drinking, cooking, etc. actually had the perverse effect of concentrating dioxin in the “cleansed” water that was then ingested by the fliers and sailors on board.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Town Hall Meeting

Open Panel Discussion
Saturday, June 19th
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
State House, Room 11
Montpelier, Vermont
Guest Speakers will address birth defects
in the children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans
Invited guests include Sen. Pat Leahy and Sen. Bernard Sanders
Sponsored By the Vietnam Veterans of America
Vermont State Council
For information, contact John Miner at 802-447-0407;
802-733-8576 (Cell)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


George Claxton discovered this article during his recent research and wanted to share it with VVA's leadership as it offers documented proof of the coverup re dioxin that he and others have been talking about these many years. This article appeared in the 2005 American Journal of Public Health.

There is broad agreement that regulatory decisions should be based on evidence. But interested parties have used the "sound science" mantle to demand extended research, analysis, and review of evidence for the sole purpose of delaying health-protective regulation. This historical review shows how the forces behind the "sound science" reasoning leading to the Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc decision on science in the courtroom have operated in parallel in environmental regulation.Like Daubert, certain "sound science" regulatory tools can be used to improve decision quality. However, these tools can also challenge the federal government's ability to safeguard the public's health and well-being. Most recently, political tampering with science provides the foundation for some policymakers to disregard science completely in the environmental regulatory process.

July 2005, Vol 95, No. S1 | American Journal of Public Health S81-S91
© 2005 American Public Health Association
DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.044818
Regulatory Parallels to Daubert: Stakeholder Influence, "Sound Science," and the Delayed Adoption of Health-Protective Standards

Roni A. Neff, ScM and Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MPH

Roni A. Neff is with the Department of Health Policy and Management and Lynn R. Goldman is with the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md.

Correspondence: Request for reprints should be sent to Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MPH, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Room E6636, Baltimore, MD 21205 (e-mail:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

DOW Chemical says, "Agent Orange is a corporate issue and we are not in a position to comment on that...."

Dear Friends,

While in Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate the 35th anniversary 1975 - 2010, I took the opportunity this morning 5th May to call at the office of DOW Chemicals. I had, before I left London, faxed the office asking for a meeting to discuss some matters relating to Agent Orange.

The reply told me that "Agent Orange is a corporate issue and we are not in a position to comment on that...." They suggested I contact their global government affairs and public policy leader, based in Switzerland.

However, as I was in town, decided to call at the office, met by young Vietnamese lady to who I gave my card asking to speak with Director or the deputy. After about 10 mins another Vietnamese lady came out with copy of my fax and said I had been informed to contact the Swiss office, as they could not deal with the matter here in Vietnam.

I agreed, but said all I needed was to ask a few questions. Was then told the person is out of the country and repeated I should contact their Swiss office. I asked if he was Vietnamese and was told he is a foreigner....

I was then handed a statement issued by Dow Chemical. When reading it through told the young lady it was total nonsense, indeed it was a complete lie. Victims suffering from Agent Orange will, on reading the statement, be very very angry that Dow could make such a statement that was completely untruth. American veterans would be more than angry at this statement.

On leaving I expressed my anger that no one in authority had the courtesy to see me even for a few minutes. On being wished a good day I left.

Here are a few extracts from the statement:
"To offset ambush attacks and protect allied forces, the US military sought to defoliate combat areas by developing and using the herbicide Agent Orange. US military research developed Agent Orange, and the product was formulated based on exacting military specifications.

Public concern over Agent Orange has centered not over the product itself, but an unavoidable by-product that was present in only trace levels of one of the product's ingredients. The unavoidable trace by-product was the dioxin compound 2,3,7,8-TCDD.

The scientific investigation on Agent Orange has gone on since the Vietnam War and continues today. There have been extensive epidemiological studies of those veterans most exposed to Agent Orange. Today the scientific consensus is that when the collective human evidence is reviewed, it doesn't show that Agent Orange caused veteran's illnesses."

That one of the companies responsible could make such a statement that goes against all known scientific research and having met with hundreds of these tragic Vietnamese victims, shows the mountain that we have to climb to obtain justice for the victims.

We cannot and must now allow this statement to go unanswered.

Len Aldis

Len Aldis. Secretary
Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society
Flat 2, 26 Tomlins Grove
London E3 4NX


Thanks to Chuck Palazzo for this information

Health Effects of the Vietnam War - The Aftermath - HEARING 05-05-10

From Paul Sutton -

WATCH HEARINGS: House Veterans Affairs Committee website at:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hatfield Consultants Agent Orange reports

Hatfield Consultants has now made available a number of their Agent Orange reports for download at their website. Please visit:

These reports are available at no cost.


Dr. Wayne Dwernychuk

Environmental Scientist



Saturday, May 1, 2010

EPA Staffers Were Forced to Ignore Science, Investigation Finds
Environmental Protection Agency staffers have been forced to ignore relevant science, have lacked key monitoring data on human health and environmental impacts, and have worked without crucial information needed to protect the public, according to the preliminary findings of a scientific advisory board.

The Committee on Science Integration for Decision Making is still working on its investigation, but has quietly posted draft summaries on the agency's website of 73 interviews with 450 EPA employees -- an unusual bottom-up examination that could bring sweeping changes to the 40-year-old federal agency. Some staffers traced the problems in the agency to the Bush administration, while others said the obstacles are longstanding and continue to this day.