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Driving the environmental health movement in southeast San Francisco is a clear sense of urgency and duty to protect current and future generations from an avalanche of toxic chemicals linked to cardiopulmonary diseases, cancers, neurological and immune diseases, behavioral disorders, birth defects and infant mortality rates. The investigative team included myself and pioneering community scientist Raymond Tompkins. Offering academic leadership were San Francisco State University chemistry professor Dr. Peter Palmer and UCSF School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Carol Miller, MD. Dr. Kim Hooper of the State of California Toxic Laboratories assisted in submission of the proposal.
San Francisco is home to the former Hunters Point Shipyard. Once called “the world’s greatest shipping yard,” it was declared a federal Superfund site in 1989, defined by USEPA as “one of the nation’s most contaminated lands.” Contaminated by radioactive and toxic waste from decades of military and industrial use, including toxic metals, PCBs, radionuclides, pesticides and volatile organic compounds. Numerous studies document Southeast SF is burdened by adverse health impacts due to cumulative exposures to toxic air pollution, carcinogens and industrial waste.
Seventy years! As I was sorting through papers, correspondence, news clippings and records, I realized that nuclear bomb and nuclear power development occurred within my lifetime. It was July 1945 when Trinity, the first atomic bomb, was detonated at the nuclear site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, followed the next month with a uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and a hydrogen bomb on Nagasaki. At least 129,000 men, women and children were immediately killed.
Generations of Treasure Island residents are living with radiation from the Navy ships exposed to the atomic bomb tests at Bikini in the South Pacific, which were brought to San Francisco to see if they could be cleaned. Though the Navy has the data, it never conducted longitudinal studies of adults and children it impacted with radioactivity. Help the people of Treasure Island win justice at the RAB meeting Tuesday, Aug. 19, 7-9 p.m., Casa de la Vista, 191 Avenue of the Palms, Treasure Island.
Situated at Treasure Island’s northwest corner on Site 12, Halyburton Court consists of a small cluster of vacant 24-unit apartment buildings that, from the 1970s to 1996, housed military families. Considering all possible contamination sources, it is noteworthy that from 1957 to 1969, before Halyburton Court was built, the Navy operated a radiological training school just south along the perimeter facing San Francisco.
California District 13 Congresswoman Barbara Lee made it clear, on Friday, Aug. 31, that she sees no imminent threat to the U.S. from Syria and that the Constitution therefore requires President Obama to seek congressional authorization to launch a military strike. She has persuaded 64 members of Congress to sign a letter calling on the president to instead initiate a debate and seek congressional authorization before taking military action.
The U.S. State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as the world judge of human rights again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it.
"Biomonitoring is the next logical, critical step for us to take in addressing threats to public health." - Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, author of the California Biomonitoring Program, SB689