Semper Fi: Always Faithful to Alaska
Film exposes the military cover-up of one of the largest drinking water contamination incidents in American history and the uncovering of rare male breast cancer cluster
Anchorage, AK, 5/28/13 – Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) welcomes national hero Jerry Ensminger to Alaska from May 29-June 3, 2013 for a lecture and film series. The tour of five Alaska communities will feature the award-winning documentary film, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which exposes the Marine Corps cover-up of one of the largest drinking water contamination incidents in American history. Jerry Ensminger is a former Marine Corps Master Sergeant who brought national attention to the groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, and exposed a disease cluster, including what is perhaps the largest cluster of rare male breast cancer ever identified. An estimated 1 million Marines and their families were exposed to toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water over several decades.
In Jerry’s own words: “I have been fighting for justice in the Camp Lejeune drinking water contamination issue for 15 years. My fight has given me a very unique perspective into our country’s programs and policies which are contributing to disease clusters and the overall demise of public health in general.”
The film Semper Fi: Always Faithful will tour with Jerry Ensminger beginning in Anchorage on Wednesday May 29th at the Anchorage Museum with a reception beginning at 6:30 pm. The next stop for the lecture and film tour is Fairbanks on Thursday May 30th at the Pioneer Park Theater with a reception at 6:30 pm. Jerry will visit Nome on Monday June 3rd with a film showing and talk on Monday June 3 at Old St. Joseph’s Church at Anvil Square. He also visits Gambell and Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island on June 1st 2nd, respectively. Read more.
A new bi-partisan effort for Toxic Chemicals Reform
Important public health safeguards are still needed in new bill for meaningful toxic chemical reform.
Anchorage, AK, 5/24/13 – The “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013” was introduced by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA)in a new bi-partisan effort for toxic chemicals reform. This legislation amends the Toxic Substances Control Act, which has not been updated since 1976.
“Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) appreciates that Senators Murkowski and Begich joined in the bi-partisan effort to reform the country’s ineffective federal chemical management policy system that has failed to protect human health. Over the past several years, we know that they have heard from Alaska Native communities, health care professionals, and many other Alaskans that we need to protect people from the acute and chronic dangers of industrial toxic chemicals. We are committed to work together with our Senators in making the Chemical Safety Improvement Act as strong as possible to protect those most harmed by failed chemical regulations, including adding protections for ‘hot spots’ – communities most harmed by chemicals – and to ensure expedited action to restrict known persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals. We also must ensure that states have the right and authority to enact stronger and more protective measures if needed,” said Pamela Miller, Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics.
“The ongoing release of persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic chemicals is of great concern to Arctic Indigenous peoples who have some of the highest chemical body burdens of any population on earth”, stated Vi Waghiyi, a Yupik mother and grandmother, a tribal member of the Native Village of Savoonga from St. Lawrence Island and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director with Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Our people are suffering and dying because of the chemicals that we are exposed to without our consent. This must change and hold the industries accountable. We call upon our Senators to take leadership in ensuring that our communities have the strongest possible protections for our health and well-being and future generations.” Read more.
Geneva, Switzerland, 5/3/13 – International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) congratulates governments for their provisional decision to globally ban production and use of the commonly-used flame retardant, Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). This historic consensus decision was made at the meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants by over 100 countries.
“We applaud countries for their decision to ban this chemical and not to allow the recycling of products containing it,” said Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN senior adviser. “This will prevent materials containing HBCD from being recycled into new products and protect people from contamination that would otherwise cause serious damage to their health.” Read more.