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The Mechanics
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Environment/Sustainability Mon Feb 15 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Attacks BPA

The Environmental Working Group's Facebook page pointed fans to some good reporting today. If you have some spare time this week, consider checking out some of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's great reporting on toxic chemicals and the frustrating efforts to get these chemicals properly regulated. According to the newspaper's reports, "Chemicals in the packaging, surfaces or contents of many products may cause long-term health effects, including cancers of the breast, brain and testicles; lowered sperm counts, early puberty and other reproductive system defects; diabetes; attention deficit disorder, asthma and autism. A decade ago, the government promised to test these chemicals. It still hasn't."

One of the infamous chemicals reported on -- Bisphenol A (BPA) -- is found in food and beverage packages and many more household products. There is some good news for those of us who live in Chicago and are babies: In May, Chicago became the first U.S. city to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.

But the chemical still lurks in several other products nationwide, and to make things worse, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have said they don't have enough power to regulate the chemical. The Journal-Sentinel reports that "because BPA was classified years ago as an indirect food additive, it is not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other chemicals are." And according to reporter Meg Kissinger's latest report, published yesterday, "In its ongoing investigation of BPA, the Journal Sentinel has found government regulators have routinely deferred to industry officials on questions of safety, even though hundreds of studies have linked the chemical to problems such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hyperactivity, sexual dysfunction and asthma."

Read the newspaper's full archive of chemical safety stories here.

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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