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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oct. 7 - We Interact with 100,000+ Chemicals ...

Dear Friends,

Love and Light.


We Interact with 100,000+ Chemicals, and the Dangers Are Barely Understood

By Monona Rossol, AlterNet. Posted October 7, 2009.

Our regulatory system works according to a 'guilty until proven innocent' logic, where new chemicals are available and safe, until the day we realize they aren't.

Last month, the Chemical Abstract Service, an agency that registers every new chemical as it is invented or discovered, assigned a registry number to the 50 millionth chemical. It's a landmark to be sure, but not one we're likely to look back on fondly.

The Chemical Abstract Service began to register chemicals in 1956, and it took 33 years to register the first 10 million new chemicals.

They identified these chemicals primarily from research papers accumulated from worldwide sources. But the last 10 million chemicals were registered in nine months at the rate of 25 per minute!

Even more important, their primary source for identifying these chemicals was not research papers. Instead, 60 percent were from major patent offices worldwide. And the next significant category was chemicals already available in chemical catalogs!

In other words, these chemicals are already out of the box and out there.

Of these 50 million chemicals, there are various estimates of the total number of chemicals in commercial use. The number used by most people in the U.S. is 100,000, based on EPA estimates.

This is probably a low estimate since the European Union has registered 140,000 and at this moment still registering more.

You could be forgiven for thinking these chemicals are tested before making their debuts, but that wouldn't make you any less wrong. Our regulatory system works according to a kind of "guilty until proven innocent" logic, where new chemicals are available and safe, until the day we realize they aren't. (Even if they're remarkably similar to chemicals we already know are dangerous.

How many of these chemicals have been studied for safety? Not many.

If we restrict our concerns to the 100,000 chemicals in commercial use, it is absolutely frightening that only 642 of these have been studied sufficiently for American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists to set workplace air-quality guidelines for them.

As for long-term testing, only about 900 chemicals have been studied for cancer effects with enough depth to be assessed by the major cancer-research agencies, and about 300 chemicals have been assessed for reproductive and developmental effects and birth defects.

Obviously, we can't assume that majority of the 140,000 or even the 50 million chemicals are nontoxic. There are probably 140,000 surprises out there for us. We are really clueless about this swamp of chemicals through which we slog.

The advertising from most manufacturers leaves consumers with the assumption that all of the ingredients they use in their products have been tested for all kinds of toxic effects, including cancer.

If you want to know how they actually test, look at their lab rats. There's one in your mirror.

New Formula! New and Improved!

Sounds great. But since the "new and improved" products usually function almost the same as the originals, it's likely that one or more of the chemicals in the products have been switched with other chemicals that do the same job.

This is called "chemical substitution," and it's a big part of the reason we "need" to keep inventing new chemicals.

Chemical substitution is possible because chemicals that are closely related by formula and structure also have similar physical properties. So chemical substitution is a way for manufacturers to alter their products to avoid regulation -- often without making the product safer for us to use.

For example, if a chemical is banned, manufacturers can look for another chemical that is almost identical to the banned chemical.

Unfortunately, similar chemicals also often have toxic properties that are similar. And often the replacement chemicals are not as well studied and don't even have to be reported as toxic on labels or material safety-data sheets.

If we learn more about chemical substitution, we can use these same principles to select truly safer products. And to begin, we need to look at how chemicals are found to be so toxic that they are banned and must be replaced with substitutes.

European Union to the Rescue?

The U.S. industry practice of creating chemicals and putting them into commerce without testing has been observed critically by the rest of the world and particularly by the newly forming European Union.

It did not want to operate on the faulty U.S. principle that chemicals are "innocent until proven guilty."

The E.U. chose to frame its approach to this problem in the reverse. In short, its position is that chemicals should be "guilty until proven innocent."

In essence, E.U. regulations to say to industries, "if you can't prove your chemicals are safe, you can't put them on our market."

This is called the "precautionary principle." It assumes that in the absence of test data, you cannot assume a chemical is safe and that precautions should be instituted as if the chemical was toxic, until or unless the manufacturer proves otherwise.

This simple principle forms the basis for the E.U. 's regulatory programs.

First on the E.U.'s agenda is getting the testing done. It understood the absurdity of trying to set safety and environmental policies in the absence of toxicity data. It passed regulations that require physiochemical, toxicological and ecotoxicological testing of "all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1,000 tons or more."

Estimates are there are over 30,000 of these large-volume commercial chemicals on which there are almost no data. And there are even more smaller-volume chemicals for which testing will have to wait.

The program under which the E.U. requires this chemical testing is called Registration, Evaluation, Authorization [and Restriction] of Chemical Substances. Now, REACH requires each industry to submit the basic test data or the manufacturer will not be allowed to import or sell either the chemical or products containing the chemical anywhere in the E.U.

The first REACH report of chemical test data is scheduled for 2012. By that time, industry will have invented millions of new chemicals, so it's still a race in which industry is winning.
But the E.U. regulations are at least making it a race rather than the compete rout we see here in the U.S.

From: AlterNet
Author: Monona Rossol

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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