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, 5/17/13 – 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.
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.
Safe Chemicals Act would reform a broken system; industry is poised to challenge
Anchorage, AK – Led by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), 29 senators today (4/10/13) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. The legislation would provide long overdue remedies to repair the nation’s broken chemical policies and limit the use of unsafe chemicals linked to cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive harm, and other illnesses.
Under current law, the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), chemicals are presumed safe until regulatory agencies can prove them harmful. There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market, yet only a handful of them have been tested for safety. This bill would update the current law and require manufacturers of industrial chemicals to test the safety of all chemicals and would act swiftly to replace the worst chemicals with safer alternatives.
In Alaska, studies have shown that people living in northern latitudes are more highly exposed to persistent, bioaccumulative chemicals from local and distant sources. Read more. Safe Chemicals Act Press Release 4/10/2013