Ten times a year the mail brings us the TOXICS WATCHDOG from editor Sam Bulova of the Toxics Coordinating Project (TCP) in Sacramento, California and we love it. Every issue brings useful news for toxics fighters everywhere. The Watchdog has two sections of general interest: News Notes and Publications. Here are a few examples from the latest issue, showing why we value the Watchdog so highly:
The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) annual budget decreased between 1981 and 1986, from 5.1 billion to 4.9 billion, and these figures are not adjusted for inflation. During the same period, the annual military budget increased from $175 billion to $260 billion and annual payments on the national debt increased from $100 billion to $180 billion. [NY TIMES Feb. 16, 1988.]
Mushrooms that have been treated with radioactivity are reportedly being used in Rice-A-Roni and Mushroom Noodle Roni. The National Coalition to Stop Food Irradiation (NCSFI) says the irradiated mushrooms are being used under conditions that may be illegal and they recommend phoning your protest to Quaker Oats, toll free, at (800) 621-9525. Dennis Mosgofian, the director of NCSFI, can be reached in San Francisco, CA, at (415) 566-2734.
A California state Public Utilities Commission Report accuses Southern California Gas Company of ignoring health risks by buying and distributing gas drawn from a landfill and contaminated with vinyl chloride and other gases known to cause cancer. The utility defends itself saying the landfill gas was diluted with natural gas before it was piped into peoples' homes, thus diluting the hazard. [California Public Utilities Commission's phone, in Sacramento: (916) 445-5231.]
A Citizen's Guide for Community Health Studies is available free from the Michigan State Toxic Substance Control Commission. "So clearly written and evenly stated that it's hard to believe that a government agency could produce it," says the Watchdog. Outlines the pluses and minuses of conducting a community health study, and offers a process that provides a clear role for, and a degree of control by, the affected community. Free from the Commission in Lansing at: (517) 373-1031.
ASBESTOS ABATEMENT: A GUIDE TO ABATEMENT from: Asbestos Victims of America, P.O. Box 559, Capitola, CA 95010. $10.00. [Phone: (408) 476-3646.]
THE NEW SUPERFUND: WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT WORKS "a small, handy brochure" from EPA, dated August, 1987, describes the new parts of Superfund. Free from the Superfund hotline: (800) 424-9346.
The TOXICS WATCHDOG is a publication of the Toxics Coordinating
Project, one of the toughest toxics coalitions in the country.
Incidentally, the Project is looking for an executive director to
replace Mike Picker, who is retiring from that position though
remaining active with the Project. Mike's shoes will be difficult
(impossible) to fill, but the Project is solid and offers an
excellent opportunity for a toxics activist to lead the way on
toxics use reduction, which is a TCP priority the next few years.
Contact the Project c/o the Coalition on Environmental and
Occupational Health Hazards, 2609 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA
95816; phone (916) 441-4077. The Watchdog is $25/yr and worth it.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: ca; tcp; toxics coordinating project; epa; food irradiation; ncsfi; national coalition to stop food irradiation; quaker oats; consumer protection; landfilling; cancer; carcinogens; puc; health; occupational safety and health; toxics watchdog;