Stop Pumping Poisonous Mercury Into the Air

BY ON October 18, 2011

Kathy ScottThis is an excerpt of a guest post by Kathy Scott, founder of  Me and My 1000 Girlfriends:

What do transgender and homosexuals have that poisonous mercury toxins don’t have? How is it that they can rile millions as they try to marry, join the military or participate on “Dancing With The Stars,” and something that causes nearly 17,000 premature deaths a year doesn’t even get a ripple of controversy? When Chaz Bono was tapped to participate in this season’s “Dancing With The Stars,” hundreds, maybe thousands of conservative groups began a series of protests. And yet, the EPA’s proposal to put limits on toxins has no protests. In 50 years, nearly one million premature deaths will have been caused by having NO standards on toxin emissions. How can we get people to focus their attention away from their distaste of other people’s lifestyles to focus on issues that are killing our citizens? If Chaz Bono or married homosexuals were pumping toxins into the environment, I am absolutely certain this issue would be front and center.

I admit it. I’m not an environmentalist. I half-heartedly recycle. However, as a women’s historian, I covered Rachel Carson on Earth Day and found the vilification of her bizarre. What’s even stranger is the “Green Movement” seems to be over before it began and NOW politicians are calling for the elimination of the EPA, yes, the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. And I have heard no protests. Moms should be at the forefront of this issue. HELLO?

Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, had a presidential advocate who created the EPA because of her research. The title of her book is exactly what you think – silence – no birds singing in the spring, no new life.

If you think we have enough standards in place, consider this study by the University of California San Francisco:

“If you’re pregnant and you are living in the U.S., you are 99-100% likely to have these chemicals in your body as well as, “PBDEs – compounds used as flame retardants and now banned in many states, including California – and DDT – an organochlorine pesticide banned in the United States in 1972.”

In 2005, nine states sued the EPA because they exempted power plants from falling in line with mercury emission standards.

“The attorneys general said they also plan to challenge a second rule that allows trading of pollution credits. They assert that such action would allow many power plants to buy their way out of reducing mercury emissions, leaving neighboring communities exposed to “hot spots” of contamination.“

It was contended that this happened because of political pressure. According to the LA Times story, California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer says:

“We don’t have coal-fired power plants in California, but the emissions wind up in our state — in our water and in the fish we eat,” Lockyer said in an interview. “These power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions in the United States.”…



Thank you, Kathy!

Kathy Scott is the founder of “Me and My 1000 Girlfriends, That’s Who!” now with more than 3100 GIRLFRIENDS on her Facebook page. She started the page in February 2010 when she found she could not get a return phone call from her local city council members on issues related to a city garden foundation, a foundation in which she sat on the board. She asked her GIRLFRIENDS to mount an email campaign, which they willingly did. From that experience came the inspiration for “Me and My 1000 Girlfriends, That’s Who!” where GIRLFRIENDS can ask for help on various issues. The site has also become one of the most prolific in providing stories and quotes about the history of women, their concerns, their struggles and their triumphs.


TOPICS: Activism, Coal, Mercury Poisoning, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice