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newsies 21 sept.-4 oct. '97
"Environmental Racism In a Louisiana Town [Letters to the
Editor]." Wall Street Journal, 29 September 97, A23.
Jerome Balter, Environmental Law Project, Public Interest
Law Center, Philadelphia, takes exception to Henry Payne's
Sept. 16 editorial page commentary "Environmental Justice
Kills Jobs for the Poor" about a proposed vinyl chloride
manufacturing plant to be located in the low-income black
community of Convent, La.
"U.S. Reshaping Cancer Strategy As Incidence in Children Rises.
Increase May Be Tied to New Chemicals in Environment." New York
Times, 29 September 97, A1, A14.
The suspicion that the increase of cancer among American
children may be the result of growing exposure to new
chemicals in the environment is beginning to shape Federal
research priorities and environmental strategies. A team
assembled by EPA drafted a research plan to obtain funding
to study the problem. EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner
said, "`I'm talking about new research on air pollutants,
water pollutants and pesticides and their effects on
children...and new testing guidelines that routinely
incorporate children's issues into E.P.A.'s risk
assessments. I'm talking about moving beyond the
chemical-by-chemical approaches of the past, and instead
looking at a child's total cumulative risk from all
exposures to toxic chemicals.'" Sidebars: A chart showing
that the rate of childhood cancer has been rising since the
early 1970's, while the death rate has been dropping; "The
Most Common Cancers" consists of charts showing the number
of cases of brain and other nervous system cancers and acute
lymphocytic leukemia from 1974 to 1994.
Study Links Minnesota Water to Deformed Frogs. The Washington
Post, October 1, 1997, pA12.
Over the past several years, frogs with mutations such as
missing limbs, extra limbs and even a frog with an eye growing in
its throat, have been found in Minnesota. Mutant frogs have also
been reported in other states, Canada and Japan.
The disfigured frogs caused concern among environmentalists
who view the amphibians as a "sentinel species".
In recent research, scientists grew embryos of a common
research frog, Xenopus, in water from Minnesota wetland site that
had high numbers of deformities.
The researchers also grew embryos in a number of watery
environments ranging from no Minnesota water to 100% Minnesota
water over a 4 day period.
The scientists found that deformities were common in
solutions containing 50% or more Minnesota water.
The results of the research were released yesterday in St.
Paul by researchers from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
"We know that something in the water, including groundwater
used by human residents for drinking water, is extraordinarily
potent in malforming frogs," said George Lucier, director of the
NIEHS environmental toxicology program.
Researchers are currently testing the water to try to
isolate the chemical causing the mutations and to study the
health of people living near affected waters. "Whether that's
going to be something that translates over to humans remains to
be seen," said Judy Helgen, a research scientist in water quality
for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
EPA officials have not yet seen the research. "We look
forward to reviewing the findings of this research and stand
ready to assist the state to take whatever steps necessary to
protect public health and the environment," said Robert
Perciasepe, EPA assistant administrator for water.
"Study Links Minnesota Water to Deformed Frogs." Washington
Post, 1 October 97, A12.
Researchers from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and
the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
(NIEHS) released results of new research showing that a
yet-unknown chemical in the water is causing developmental
abnormalities in frogs. Embryos of the Xenopus frog were
allowed to develop in a variety of watery environments: at
concentrations above 50 percent of Minnesota water from
sites where deformity rates were high, deformities were
common; embryos grown in water from ponds without deformed
frogs developed normally. Researchers hope to isolate the
chemical causing the abnormalities and to study the health
of people living near the affected ponds. EPA officials
have not yet seen the new research, but Robert W.
Perciasepe, assistant administrator for water, said through
a spokeswoman: "`We
look forward to reviewing the findings of this research and
stand ready to assist the state to take whatever steps
necessary to protect public health and the environment.'"
"Frog Deformities Linked to Something in Water." New York Times,
7 October 97, C2.
Scientists from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and
the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
have concluded that something in the water where frogs are
born contributes to their deformities. Frog eggs hatched in
water from ponds where the abnormalities have been are
observed continue to give birth to deformed frogs. Eggs
taken from the same ponds but hatched in "`clean'" ponds
exhibit no abnormalities. So far, deformed frogs have been
observed in Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, California, and