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newsies 17-23 july '97

            "Chickens Get Stay of Execution [Business Roundup]."  Washington
            Times, 17 July 97, B7.
                 Tyson Foods, Inc. will temporarily suspend slaughter
                 operations because of high levels of dioxin.
                             ACROSS THE USA: from USA TODAY
            "Batesville, Arkansas [Across the USA]."  USA Today, 16 July 97,
                 Workers returned to work at the ConAgra poultry plant after
                 Federal officials closed the facility after finding dioxin
                 in poultry. The 1300 workers will be processing foods other
                 than poultry.
            "World Breast Cancer Forum Blames Environmental Ills."  New York
            Times, 19 July 97, 4.
                 The first World Conference on Breast Cancer gathered in
                 Kingston, Ontario, this week to plan the eradication of
                 breast cancer. Organizers of the conference believe
                 1,000,000 women will die this year and incidence of the
                 disease is rising. The group focused on the prevalence of
                 toxins and industrial chemicals in the environment. One of
                 the sponsors was the Women's Environment and Development
                 Organization, led by Bella S. Abzug, a cancer survivor.
            "Deformed Frogs Offer Mystery."  Washington Times, 20 July 97,
                 Scientists investigating the large number of deformed frogs
                 that have been turning up have considered a number of
                 possible causes. At a recent conference in Shenandoah
                 National Park in Virginia, scientists and researchers
                 explored various issues. A drug like retinoic acid may be
                 the cause; a pesticide may also be responsible. Thinning
                 ozone and ultraviolet radiation have also been suggested.
                 One researcher, Stan Sessions, said most of the frog
                 deformities in Minnesota have natural causes, like viruses,
                 predators and parasites. Others, however, reject this claim.
                 Most seem to agree that the reason to study deformed frogs
                 is because of the potential for identifying effects on human
    4 07/21/97 Scientists examine impact of chemicals on health By Sue Pleming
  WASHINGTON (Reuter)  Estrogen-like substances found in the environment may
  play a role in declining fertility and other health risks, but much more
  conclusive research is needed, scientists said Monday. ``There may be
    3  [2] The Guardian  July  23, 1997 HEADLINE: LETTER: DOOM FOR THE
  MILLENNIUM DOME BYLINE: Peter Melchett.  YOU report a number of
  uncharacteristically anonymous ministers as saying that  Greenpeace  has
  "lost the scientific argument" against PVC ('Poisonous' dome claim rejected
    2   Hamilton Spectator  July 23, 1997 Harris wants answers, too: Premier
  says inquiry may be only way to resolve Plastimet questions by Richard
  Brennan - A public inquiry may be the only way to answer serious questions
  left in the wake of a toxic plastics fire that burned for four days
    3  The Toronto Sun  July 20, 1997 DLINE   TOXIC SHOCK IN STEEL CITY; AVOID
  DEADLY SOOT, KIDS TOLD  Hamilton residents may be asked to scrub their lawns
  next week as the city continues to cope with toxic fallout from a plastics
  recycling plant fire. The July 9-12 fire at the Plastimet plant in north-end
    2 [2] The Toronto Star  July 22, 1997 FIREFIGHTERS SICK AFTER HAMILTON
  PLASTICS FIRE: Residents also concerned about effects on health By Ken
  Kilpatrick HAMILTON - Almost 100 firefighters have been sick since battling
  a huge four-day inferno at a plastics and vinyl recycling plant here, union
    3  The Toronto Sun  July 22, 1997  FIRM OK'D TO HANDLE OWN TOXIC CLEANUP
  Ontario's environment ministry is trusting Plastimet Inc. to mop up after a
  massive plastics fire that tainted vegetables in surrounding gardens with
  toxins. Plastimet faces no written clean-up order because it seems
  >PUBLICATION    The Spectator
  >DATE   Thu 17 Jul 1997
  >SECTION/CATEGORY       Local News
  >BYLINE Denise Davy
  >Ball plant safe, ministry says: Greenpeace chemist is `appalled'
  >The Ministry of Labour has given the thumbs-up to a cleanup at a plant hit
  >by fallout from last week's massive fire.
  >Workers have been inside Ball Packaging since Monday vacuuming out the soot
  >that blanketed the plant as a result of last week's fire at Plastimet Inc.
  >across the street.
  >A Greenpeace spokesperson was ``appalled'' to hear workers were being
  >allowed inside the plant, saying more tests need to be conducted to
  >determine whether it's safe.
  >``I can understand people going in because they need a job,'' said Matthew
  >Bramley, who is a chemist. ``But there's a whole range of chemicals and
  >contaminants in there we don't know enough about yet.''
  >The Wellington Street North plant is across from the site of the fire that
  >burned for four days and spewed out toxic plumes of smoke. Residents are
  >still worried about long-term health effects.
  >More than 650 residents were forced from their homes. Some 150 Ball
  >Packaging employees who were working when the fire broke out had to leave
  >the plant.
  >Highly toxic chemicals included hundreds of tonnes of polyvinyl chlorides,
  >or PVCs. Last Thursday, an air quality testing station about a kilometre
  >southwest of the fire found 19 picograms of dioxins (a picogram is
  >one-trillionth of a gram) per cubic metre over a 24-hour period. The normal
  >level is five picograms.
  >Labour ministry spokesperson Duncan Martin said tests show the Ball
  >Packaging plant does not contain dangerous levels of chemicals. He said
  >preliminary tests from the Ministry of Environment showed workers are safe.
  >The ministry inspected the site yesterday and determined that proper
  >equipment and training is being provided for workers.
  >``From what we've gathered at this point, the levels are normal.''
  >Martin said as a precaution, workers have been told to wear respirators and
  >protective clothing, including hard hats, safety boots and gloves.
  >Martin said the inspection was conducted as a result of a complaint from a
  >worker. He said the ministry is not pro-active and only acts on complaints.
  >Some of the workers are high school students who were hired through a
  >student employment centre. One 18-year-old male quit after one day because
  >of concerns about safety. He said there were several times he didn't wear
  >his respirator because of the heat.
  >Bramley was concerned that workers might not know what to do with their
  >clothing. He said it ``should be bagged and put out as hazardous waste.''
  >Ministry officials said their clothing will be safe if washed normally.
  >The workers were hired through ServiceMaster, in Burlington, which was
  >contracted by Ball Packaging. ServiceMaster contacted temporary placement
  >agencies, including The Hire Purpose, which listed the openings with the
  >Human Resources Centre for Students in Burlington.
  >Ball Packaging managers originally estimated their loss at about $10
  >million, but plant spokesperson Bob Lauer said yesterday they now believe
  >the loss to be much smaller.
  >Ball Packaging produces about 650 million metal cans a year. Companies
  >across Canada the United States use them for food products.
  >Lauer said they had to get the product shipped out this week ``or else some
  >of those companies will start shutting down.''
  >The Spectator
  Miranda Holmes, Toxics Campaigner
  Georgia Strait Alliance
  1726 Commercial Drive
  Vancouver, BC V5N 4A3
  Phone: 604-251-4953 Fax: 604-253-0114