U.S. Advocates Impacted by Toxic Contamination Meet in Washington DC

U.S. Advocates Impacted by Toxic Contamination Meet in DC

Advocates across the nation are connecting and learning that government agencies meant to protect the environment and public health have failed to safeguard natural resources and track disease clusters plaguing their neighborhoods and hundreds of other communities. These families are coming together to hold agencies accountable for doing their job. 

According to consumer reports, more than 25 million Americans drink from the worst water systems in the nation. Many Americans are unaware of dangerous contaminants that are unregulated and allowed in public water systems across the United States. People will continue to see widespread contamination situations with deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of environmental regulations.

From contaminated water to soil and air, these communities were forced to do the job of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their state health departments as they fell sick and began to uncover the negligence of polluting industries surrounding their homes. When corporations self-report their data and pollution "spills" and have input over the EPA and other agency decision-making processes, it's the fox guarding the hen house.

There is a misconception that contamination happens only in rare circumstances in the United States. When you mention water contamination, people think of the infamous Erin Brockovich case in Hinkley, California, and don't fathom that it's likely happening in their backyard.

Advocates across America march to the Environmental Protection Agencies' headquarters in Washington, DC. Image by John Nelson

Hundreds of advocates and their families met in Freedom Plaza to recount their heart-wrenching stories of how industry pollution has impacted their communities. They traveled to Washington, DC, to tell agencies that it was time to protect people, not industries.

 
Some water systems report hundreds of violations year after year without any action from the government or notifying customers. There are consequences of even the tiniest levels of contaminants in water. Government agencies have relied on unenforceable health levels, and federal standards have consistently failed to develop national standards that protect all Americans. The lack of standards is why nationwide advocates have been forced to defend their communities.

Hawaii Red Hill Water Contamination

One of those communities is in Hawaii, where the U.S. Navy's fuel storage facility poisoned nearly 100,000 residents, sending thousands to seek medical help after suffering from petroleum exposure.

Those impacted by the Navy jet fuel spill in Hawaii speak at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

For months, pregnant women, children, service members, and pets experienced dizziness, breathing difficulties, vomiting, headaches, and rashes. The Navy denied the dangers despite sickening thousands, including their family and friends. A month after the fuel contaminated the drinking water, the Navy agreed to stop the leaking tanks. Since 1943, it is estimated that 200,000 gallons of fuel have leaked from the Red Hill facility.


A study revealed that the tanks could have chronic leaks releasing up to 5,800 gallons of fuel annually. Despite these warning signs, the facility chose to continue operating the facility making minimal improvements, leading to the catastrophic leak in 2021.

U.S. Army major Mandy Feindt speaks of the health effect of leaked jet fuel. Image by John Nelson

Americans Poisoned on U.S. Soil

Mandy Feindt is a U.S. Army major who has dealt with the health effects of leaked jet fuel. Feindt has served on active duty for the past 16 years, with overseas tours, including to Afghanistan. In November of 2021, Feindt was impacted by Department of Defense contamination after jet fuel leaked into the drinking water in Oahu, Hawaii. Her one-year-old son experienced chemical burns on the lower half of his body from bathing. Her four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with neurological conditions after unknowingly drinking and bathing in the contaminated water. Feindt is one of the thousands of military members and their dependents impacted by Department of Defense contamination across the nation.

The Hawaii jet fuel contamination is one example of how self-regulation doesn't work. The Navy was aware it got into the groundwater and failed to notify the public after losing nearly 14,000 gallons of jet fuel. In fact, the Navy issued a notification stating; 

"There are no signs or indication of any releases to the environment, and the drinking water remains safe." 

One month later, sampling showed petroleum levels were 350 times above the safe drinking water limit. 

Seven-inch tall letters spelled out EPA DO YOU JOB were pushed on rolling carts to the front of the Environmental Protection Agencies' headquarters in Washington DC by advocates impacted by environmental contamination nationwide. Image by John Nelson

Department of Defense Contamination

Our military uses almost 21 billion liters of fuel every year, and Hawaii isn't the first or only incident of fuel leaks. In 2014, a defense contractor spilled jet fuel at Fort Hood and then lied about it to investigators. 94,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled in Virginia Beach at the Naval Air Station Oceana Bulk Fuel Farm in 2017. Kirtland Air Force Base had the largest toxic spill in the history of the U.S. as jet fuel leaked into soil and groundwater for decades, an estimated 24 million gallons.

The Department of Defense is one of the country's largest polluters. The lack of accountability, reporting, and data, makes it challenging to track their environmental impact. They create 750,000 tons of toxic waste every year in depleted uranium, oil, jet fuels, pesticides, leads, and other chemicals, according to MPN reports


Military Bases Across the Nation Impacted

The city of Tuscon, Arizona, found that the Air Force had been dumping industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) into the water for 29 years resulting in over 1,300 cases of cancer and illnesses. From 1953 to 1987, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina contaminated the groundwater with harmful chemicals that impacted service members and families with numerous ailments. In Colfax, LA, the military burns toxic waste several times daily with no environmental emissions control. Federal data shows that military bases in Hawaii dumped more than half a million pounds of nitrate compounds into the ocean in 2019. 

Water supplies in areas around military bases across the nation are contaminated, with the most recent catastrophe coming from firefighting foam. The DoD used Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for decades and knew that PFAS chemicals were harmful to the environment, wildlife, and human health but continued to use dangerous levels of these toxic chemicals.


Nationwide Contamination of PFAS Chemicals

Nearly all Americans have some exposure to PFAS, and these chemicals have been found in water supplies across the country. Since the 1940's PFAS have been manufactured and used in industrial applications and firefighting. PFAS doesn't break down in the environment, can move through soil contaminating drinking water, and are very persistent in the environment and human body. Exposure to these chemicals has adverse reproductive, developmental, and immunological effects. Millions of Americans are exposed to PFAS-contaminated water, and the EPA failed to take action for 20 years after being made aware of the health hazards of these toxic fluorinated chemicals in 1998.

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) President Edward Kelly speaks at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Firefighter PFAS & Occupational Exposures

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) President Edward Kelly spoke of the risks firefighters face with PFAS substances in firefighters' personal protective equipment (PPE). PFAS plays a role in contributing to the increased incidence of cancer among firefighters. The IAFF represents more than 326,000 professional firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical dispatchers across the United States and Canada. 

"For many years, we thought our cancers were caused by smoke, off-gassing from burning combustibles, building debris," Kelly said. "Now we know our own gear is part of that problem. The very thing that is supposed to be keeping us safe is costing us our lives." 

Several powerful voices came to Washington DC to demand that federal agencies do more to regulate toxic chemicals impacting firefighters. 

Left is Diane Cotter, Middle is Paul Cotter 

Relentless Advocacy in the Face of Adversity

President Kelly recognized Diane Cotter, who was at the rally with her husband, Paul, a Worcester, MA, firefighter. Diane's pursuit for answers after suspecting that turnout gear was behind Paul's cancer diagnosis in 2014 led to a study by Notre Dame nuclear physicist Graham Peaslee, Ph.D., finding dangerous carcinogens in the protective gear. 

The fight wasn't always easy for Diane, who was among the first to raise concerns over PFAS in gear. The Cotters were shunned by the firefighter's union and the IAFF General President at the time, Harold Schaitberger. Her search for answers quickly made their family the target of viciously made-up rumors and intimidation tactics by the union and corporate operatives to silence them. Through persecution, she persisted, and the relentless efforts to discredit her failed as she exposed the truth through scientific research and now has tremendous support in opposing PFAS in gear. 

The Cotter's experience with retaliation is echoed across America as advocates share details of their encounters with government, industry, and agencies. 

"President Kelly gave long-awaited recognition that I have been seeking from the IAFF. I am very grateful. It removed a hole in my heart that I've been carrying. It was an emotional moment I did not know was coming and didn't realize how badly I needed it." - Diane Cotter

 

Left: Diane Cotter, Stel Bailey, Elizabeth Baker, Representative Jim McGovern, Paul Cotter, and Kevin Ferrara

Cancer Incidence Among Firefighters

Firefighters are at higher risk of developing cancer than the general U.S. population. They can be exposed to hundreds of chemicals, from gases to vapors and byproducts of combustion or burning. The blazes they fight today contain synthetic plastics and chemicals that coat firefighters in toxic soot. Fire departments nationwide are taking exposure and protection more seriously. 

Kevin Ferrara

US Air Force veteran and owner of AFSO 21, Kevin Ferrara, is a leading and passionate voice on firefighter health and safety issues, including occupational cancer and PFAS exposures. He served as a volunteer firefighter and airman at various military bases. Ferrara was exposed to Aqueous Film Foam (AFFF) almost daily in his career as he was in charge of discharging the foam and, after retiring, had a blood test done for PFAS exposure. His test result showed about 22,000 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS. Working to change the future, Ferrara passionately educates listeners on his podcast and brings forward candid discussions on harmful exposures. 

Firefighter Jason Burns speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Jason Burns

Massachusetts firefighter Jason Burns has witnessed numerous friends develop and succumb to occupational cancer. Burns's fight started a few years ago when he buried two fellow firefighters who died in their 30s. According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, two out of every three firefighters who died in the line of duty died of cancer. Burns is seeing a shift in the fire service where his generation is getting sicker and younger and has dedicated time to advocate for changes that would help better protect his colleagues. 

"We have a problem in the fire service, and it's not just my local, it's happening all over the country," Burns said. "Fire fighters are dealing with cancer at rates we have never seen. I have seen too many widows and too many fatherless children now. I will no longer tolerate having these chemicals in my gear." 

 


9/11 Survivors Face High Cancer Risk

Firefighters and other first responders to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks on September 11, 2001, have higher rates of blood cancer and other diseases because they were exposed to ash, debris, and harmful particles as massive dust clouds covered New York City after the collapse of the Twin Towers. The continuing fires in the aftermath of 9/11 also exposed residents and workers to carcinogenic combustion by-products. Workers were also exposed to hazardous chemicals at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Those impacted had to fight for monitoring and treatment for 9/11-related health conditions. It is estimated that 400,000 people were exposed to toxic contaminants in days, weeks, and months following the attacks. 

9/11 Survivor Rob Serra

At 21 years old, Rob Serra had just graduated from the FDNY academy on September 10, 2001. The following day he would fight his first fire at Ground Zero in New York City. Serra hadn't even been assigned a firehouse yet but willingly got on a bus heading toward the catastrophic World Trade Center fire alongside other responders. His gear was so new that he pulled off tags during the afternoon ride toward the site. Serra spent countless hours on site helping pull debris out and volunteered to go back in the following days and months. During that work, he was exposed to harmful toxins and immediately experienced nose bleeds that continued for years. Then nearly a decade after 9/11, he started having neurological, autoimmune, and neuropathy issues. Neuropathy isn't recognized or covered under the WTC Health Center Program, but Serra is one of the numerous volunteers behind the Ray Pfeifer Foundation. This was formed after one of his mentors, Ray Pfeifer, passed from a 9/11 cancer. The foundation helps first responders with medical needs not covered by insurance. 

9/11 Survivor Joe McKay

Joe McKay made it to the chaotic scene of lower Manhattan after the towers collapsed and began putting out fires. He spent days searching for survivors and digging through piles of debris while exposed to toxic air. A little over two weeks after the attacks, McKay was fitted with a respirator, but by that time, he was already exposed to harmful toxins. Six months after September 11, 2001, he began experiencing stabbing pain behind his eye, later diagnosed as cluster headaches. According to the CDC, nearly 21 percent of those exposed to 9/11's toxins experience severe headaches. McKay has played a vital role in helping push for health benefits and compensation for 9/11 responders and has helped lobby alongside comedian John Steward to secure funding for 9/11 victims' healthcare.

Susan Wind in Washington, DC, brings attention to hazardous waste, childhood cancer, and agencies' failure. Image by John Nelson

Coal Ash Contamination Across the Nation

Coal ash is produced from burning coal in coal-fired power plants. It contains heavy metals, including mercury, lead, barium, thallium, and arsenic. Coal ash is dangerous; exposure can lead to heart damage, lung disease, kidney disease, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illness, and various cancers. Most ash is mixed with water and stored in ponds, which tend to leak and flood. For years the EPA has refused to classify coal ash as hazardous waste. Instead, they refer to it as solid waste, the equivalent of household garbage. Nearly all coal-burning power plants in the United States have contaminated groundwater. 

Susan Wind

Susan Wind is the driving force behind the grassroots movement SAFE and coordinator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protest in Washington, DC. She is a fierce mother fighting for the health and safety of future generations. Her daughter, Taylor, was one of 110 people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Mooresville, North Carolina. Wind describes the torment of watching a child suffer through illness at a young age and how these diagnoses cause mutilation of the human body. The one image she can't unsee is the numerous neighbors and children permanently marked with a scar from being cut ear to ear on their necks. She discovered an increased cancer rate in her community and moved her family to Florida. 

Having a background in the criminal justice field, where she was an analyst consulting with financial institutions all over the U.S., Wind used this skillset to investigate cancer cases and raise over $100,000 for a Duke University Study. She found that North Carolina uses coal ash to substitute soil in construction projects. More than forty-thousand tons of toxic soil was used next to her daughter's high school. The ash comes from a neighboring coal-burning power plant. Wind's concerns were dismissed by local and state governments, agencies, and representatives. The EPA admits that living next to coal ash disposal sites can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases but has failed to take steps to protect the communities exposed. Wind has worked to build partnerships with advocates across the United States who have also experienced environmental contamination and negligence by agencies meant to protect the environment and human health. 

"With the EPA on the sidelines, well-connected companies with lots of cash have the final say regarding what is safe in your backyard," said Susan

 

Dr. Edward Marshall speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Dr. Edward Marshall

Dr. Edward Marshall is a recently retired professor at Duke University who empowers low-income communities of color through business and economic development. Dr. Marshall has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for over 30 years and is leading an effort opposing a proposal to build housing on top of 60,000 tons of coal ash. 

Chemical engineer and environmental Attorney Chris Nidel speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Chemical Engineer & Environmental Attorney Chris Nidel

After several coworkers at a plant where Chris Nidel worked were diagnosed with rare illnesses and cancer, he discovered that harmful contaminants were leaking into the local water supply from beneath the facility. Nidel has a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering and is an attorney focused on environmental and toxic tort litigation. He decided to go to law school after realizing that the company was more concerned about profits than the illnesses they were responsible for. Nidel has worked on cases involving cancer clusters, unsafe landfills, and air and groundwater contamination.

Steven Donziger speaks at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Steven Donziger's Battle with Chevron

In a monumental legal battle against Chevron, attorney Steven Donziger won a 9.5 billion judgment against the oil company for polluting the Ecuadorian rainforest and was later retaliated against. The company spilled millions of gallons of polluted wastewater in the Amazon rainforest, contaminating waterways with toxic chemicals. Donziger and the plaintiffs won the case and were awarded the largest judgment in an environmental lawsuit. The company appealed the decision, accused the plaintiffs of ghostwriting an expert environmental opinion, and began a years-long campaign against the plaintiffs, attorneys, and the country of Ecuador. 

The oil company hired a private investigator to track Donziger and pursued a relentless smear campaign against him. Then Chevron sued Donziger for 60 million dollars in damages accusing him of extortion and invoking a statute initially created to fight the Mafia. Chevron won the suit and demanded that Donziger turn over his phone and computer to their legal team, which he refused to do, and was charged with criminal contempt of court. Donziger spent more than 26 months under house arrest with an electric ankle bracelet, was stripped of his passport, and had his bank account frozen. Donziger's story is an excellent example of how billion-dollar companies have the means to influence policies and target those who hold them accountable for their pollution. 

Charlie Smith speaks at freedom plaza. Image by John Nelson

Childhood Cancer on the Rise

Charlie Smith's son Trevor was diagnosed with brain cancer at thirteen and became the inspiration for Trevor's Law, which passed in 2016. Smith discovered four other children were diagnosed with brain cancer in their small Idaho town. Through research, they learned that there was a massive forest fire in 1994 where thousands of acres were burned through an abandoned mine site where contamination was never cleaned up. It wasn't until they began digging into the statistics on pediatric cancer that they realized there was a need for research into the causes of childhood cancer. The American Cancer Society says that about 1,000 suspected cancer clusters are reported to state health departments yearly. Trevor's law mandates federal assistance to communities experiencing contamination to research the causes of childhood cancer and develop a way to eradicate those causes. 

Trevor Schaefer speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

Cancer is the leading cause of death for children and adolescents. Many agencies and health organizations try to reduce the burden of cancer in children rather than prevent it. Children are more exposed to toxins and vulnerable than adults because of their size. There is epidemiological evidence of different contaminants that cause gene mutation in children and that some harmful chemicals are passed from mother to fetus. For instance, a soon-to-be mom drinking water contaminated with lead increases the child's chances of having brain damage or developmental problems. Many different DNA changes can lead to cancer and can be caused by various factors, including chemicals, radiation, and viruses. 

There are known risk factors that can increase the risk of a child developing cancer which is why research into the causes of cancer could be the key to decreasing childhood cancer rates. Trevor's Law is meant to help track and investigate exposures to toxins in the environment, but government agencies are taking their time on establishing guidelines and allocating money to conduct the investigations. 

Kari Rhinehart places flowers to remember children lost from cancer and holds a sign with an image of her daughter, who she lost in 2014. Image by John Nelson

If it Was Your Child

Kari Rhinehart is a registered nurse who founded a grassroots effort in 2015, If it Was Your Child, after finding an alarming pediatric cancer rate in Johnson County, Indiana. Rhinehart's 13-year-old daughter, Emma, passed on December 18, 2014, from a rare brain tumor.  Emma is one of 68 children in Johnson County diagnosed with cancer over ht past decade. The National Cancer Institute lists the county's pediatric cancer rate at 21.7 cases per 100,000 which is more than three cases higher than the state and national average. 

Rhinehart discovered that a wellfield near her home was designated a Superfund Site by the EPA and polluted with TCE, PCE, and other toxins. Many in her community used the wellfield for private wells and have found vapor intrusion at dangerously high levels in their homes and at two elementary schools. TCE is listed as a human carcinogen, and millions of Americans are likely exposed to TCE-laced water. 

TCE contamination and health impacts have emerged across the country in places like Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Woburn in Massachusetts, and Toms River in New Jersey. More than 400 Superfund sites are contaminated with TCE, which stays a long time in the environment and is difficult to clean up. Rates of childhood leukemia and brain cancer are on the rise, and toxic chemicals may play a role in this increase. Rhinehart, alongside parents in Johnson County and other impacted families across the U.S., are working to link environmental causes with childhood cancers. 


Deep Water Horizon Spill and Corexit Spraying

Moms like Lesley Pacey demand more research and accountability on environmental exposures and childhood cancer. Pacey's daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed with cancer at four. She noticed several other children in her small Alabama town were fighting leukemia and formed a nonprofit organization to assess the scope of environmental issues and cancer rates in her community. Pacey's efforts led to the film "The Cells of Baldwin County," as well as an article in the Lancet Oncology Journal

In recent years, she has focused on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Corexit, a chemical dispersant used in the cleanup effort to remove oil from the spill. Pacey works for a law firm helping chemically exposed victims with chronic health issues. She is also the associate producer of the documentary Cost of Silence about the BP spill. As a powerful voice in the aftermath of chemical exposure, Pacey educates and proposes measures to protect coastal communities from harmful contamination. 

Erik E. Crown speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson


Filmmaker Erik E. Crown

This documentary filmmaker shines a bright light on industries contaminating waterways, land, wildlife, and people across the globe. Erik E. Crown is battling a rare form of cancer, but it doesn't stop him from advocating or documenting polluters in action. Cancer has given him a unique perspective on how the environment plays a role in disease rates and an unlimited source of courage to tackle corporations ruining our natural resources.

Erik often goes undercover, risking his safety so that the world can see the reality of how our ecosystems are being damaged by humankind. Determined to bring change, he works alongside advocates to help protect the environment, wildlife, and human health. erikecrown.com

Brenda Staudenmaier holds a sign that says, "Fluoride is a drug in your public water. Just say no. My body, my choice." Image by John Nelson

Hydrofluorosilicic Acid in Drinking Water

Plaintiffs in a fluoride lawsuit fighting to prohibit the addition of fluoride in drinking water came to Washington, DC, in unity with advocates impacted by chemical contamination across the nation. Fluoride, also known as Hydrofluorosilicic Acid, comes from the phosphate industry and is contaminated with toxins like aluminum. Central Florida has some of the largest deposits in the world. In the process of mining, it creates liquid waste from pollution scrubbers that convert toxic vapors into Fluorosilicic Acid. What is being added to drinking water systems across America is transported from Florida fertilizer factories. Without fluoridation, the phosphate industry would be stuck with an expensive waste disposal problem. 

Eddie Poirier lost his wife to cancer and learned his water in Florida was contaminated. Image by John Nelson

Apopka Cancer Cases

Eddie Poirier learned that the City of Apopka was negligent in following backflow preventer regulations that allowed contamination into his water. He holds an image of his wife in front of the EPA headquarters in Washington DC, who lost her battle with breast cancer at 49.

Left Stel Bailey, Brenda Hampton, Mandy Feindt at the Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

The Angel of Alabama

Brenda Hampton donated a kidney to her mother after falling ill. Eventually, Hampton's remaining kidney began to fail, making her question why so many in her Alabama community were having health issues. She formalized Concerned Citizens of North Alabama and identified PFAS contamination in the water. She led a successful effort to hold the manufacturer accountable for filtering the water supply and played a crucial role in pushing the largest fast-food company Mcdonald's, to phase out waxy PFAS wrappers. Four years after Hampton gave her kidney, her mother passed. Experts have linked PFAS to kidney issues, and Hampton continues her pursuit of justice for her community exposed to the forever chemicals. 

Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image By John Nelson


Strengthening Environmental Justice

For 24 years, Mustafa Santiago Ali worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice and Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization. He is passionate about helping communities of color, low-income, and disproportionately burdened by pollution. Dr. Ali continues to elevate environmental justice issues to strengthen environmental justice policies, programs, and initiatives. He has focused on bringing positive change to often-forgotten communities for over two decades. 


Defending Whistleblowers

Tom Devine is a Government Accountability Project's Legal Director and has worked at the organization since 1979. Since that time, Tom has assisted over 7,000 whistleblowers in defending themselves against retaliation and in making a significant difference for the public - such as shuttering accident-prone nuclear power plants, rebuffing industry ploys to deregulate government meat inspection, blocking the next generation of bloated and porous "Star Wars" missile defense systems, instituting a national commercial milk testing program for illegal animal drugs; and sparking the withdrawal of dangerous prescription drugs such as Vioxx. He has not lost a case since 2006 and has prevailed in advocacy at numerous U.S. courses of appeals and the Supreme Court. 

Stel Bailey speaking at Freedom Plaza. Image by John Nelson

A Tragedy Nationwide

Nationally recognized Florida advocate Stel Bailey was impacted by cancer in 2013 alongside her uncle, family dog, little brother, and father. Through research, they discovered harmful contamination in the waterways, wildlife's blood, and soil from the aerospace industry and the department of defense on Florida's space coast. This led her on an advocacy journey to take proactive measures to protect her children's health and future home.

"I had to learn to be a caregiver and a cancer patient at the same time. We face some of the most unimaginable things, including our healthcare system. This is a lifelong diagnosis. They have normalized pollution and cancer like it's the flu, a virus like we catch cancer. Look around at who is standing here. This is an important moment, and this is what will make the difference." - Cancer Survivor Stel Bailey

These concerns are echoed in communities across the country, whether it's high-profile toxic cleanup sites, radiation, radium, PFAS, coal ash, pesticides, spills, TCE, or other pollution. Communities are dismissed, ridiculed, and the consequences of toxic exposures are downplayed by agencies meant to protect the environment and human health. The system built off taxpayers has been captured by industry and weakened by corporate interest. Households throughout America have taken on the burden of investigating disease clusters and protecting their families' environment and health. They are forced to combat a broken system. Veterans, active military, parents, siblings, workers, firefighters, scientists, and attorneys. These people are the backbone of our country compelled to contribute their lives to change what past generations and current agencies have failed to address. United, they stand. 








Full Links & Additional Reading:
  • A Civil Action: https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Action-Jonathan-Harr/dp/0679772677/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=A+civil+action&qid=1557760083&s=books&sr=1-1
  • AFSO 21: https://afso21.com/
  • Angel of Alabama: https://www.genxthefilm.org/angel
  • Boston TCE Contamination: https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/100/9/614/917879
  • Brenda Hampton: https://etherealfilms.org/angel/
  • Cancer cluster reported: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/general-info/cancer-clusters.html#:~:text=About%201%2C000%20suspected%20cancer%20clusters,state%20health%20departments%20each%20year
  • Cancer in Firefighters: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967542/
  • Chevron Case: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/business/global/15chevron.html
  • Childhood Cancer & Environmental Contaminants: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9654794/
  • Coal Ash EarthJustice: 
    https://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/coal_ash_addendum_new_final_email.pdf
  • Coal Ash NC: https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/07/18/scientists-recommend-expanding-investigation-of-suspected-thyroid-cancer-clusters-in-nc/
  • Consumer Reports: https://www.consumerreports.org/water-quality/how-safe-is-our-drinking-water-a0101771201/
    Correlation between contamination water and leukemia: http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/woburnleukemia/Lagakos_et_al_Woburn.pdf
  • Cost of Silence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-tWj5dkMKI
  • CDC on Firefighter Cancer: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pgms/worknotify/pdfs/ff-cancer-factsheet-final-508.pdf
  • EPA Risk Document: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-06/documents/risk_assessment_letter_and_summary.pdf
  • Diane Cotter: https://dianecotter.medium.com/you-were-lied-to-9bc004e639dd
  • Fluoride Lawsuit: https://fluoridealert.org/issues/tsca-fluoride-trial/fact-sheet/
  • Hawaii's seven wastewater plants discharge into the ocean: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/publications/shores/7Water_pollution_FLETCHER-final.pdf
  • IAFF: https://www.iaff.org/news/statement-from-iaff-general-president-edward-a-kelly-on-pfas-lawsuits/
  • If it was Your Child: https://www.facebook.com/groups/868115786643166/posts/6811191765668842/
  • Increased Risk for Leukemia and Childhood Toxin Exposure: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969702001699
  • Jet Fuel Spill at Fort Hood: https://thetexan.news/colorado-based-defense-contractor-agrees-to-pay-1-9-million-for-2014-jet-fuel-spill-at-fort-hood/
  • Kirtland fuel spill: https://ejatlas.org/conflict/kirtland-air-force-base-jet-fuel-leak
  • MNP Report: https://www.mintpressnews.com/on-earth-day-remembering-the-us-militarys-toxic-legacy/227776/
    https://www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis
  • Naval Oceana Jet Fuel Spill: https://www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/news/top_stories/naval-air-station-oceana-fuel-spill/article_c0103dd4-6aed-57f6-8db5-e878ab6cd949.html
  • SAFE: https://www.safeprotestepa.org/
  • Scientific literature on TCE: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/docs/atsdr_summary_of_the_evidence_for_causality_tce_pce_508.pdf
  • TCE Risk for Developing Autoimmune Diseases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3621199/
  • Toms River: https://www.amazon.com/Toms-River-Story-Science-Salvation/dp/055380653X
  • The Cells of Baldwin County: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKHwlKkFSJQ
  • The Lancet Journal: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(16)30645-3/fulltext
  • The Ray Pfeifer Foundation: https://theraypfeiferfoundation.org/
  • Trevor's Law: https://trevorstrek.org/about-us/Pesticide exposure to children: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9654794/
  • World Trade Center: http://www.cdc.gov/wtc/faq.html
  • World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program.
    http://ashpublications.org/blood/article/134/Supplement_1/3720/424089/High-Burden-of-Clonal-Hematopoiesis-in-First
  • Worst Cases of Water Contamination: https://law.yale.edu/studying-law-yale/clinical-and-experiential-learning/our-clinics/veterans-legal-services-clinic/camp-lejeune

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