Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Other Toxic Substances at Home: Uncle Sam’s Dioxin Cover-Up

Tom Macarthur - artist - visit Tom's store:
Another, vital missing element is for a knowledgeable insider to come forth and, like Admiral Zumwalt did on Agent Orange, bang some bureaucratic heads together until they do right the job of protecting the public from dioxin and other toxic substances, and helping the injured.

Vietnam and New Jersey, despite the vast distance between them, share a deadly link. Both places, lushly beautiful this time of year, were poisoned by United States government actions regarding one of the most toxic chemicals, dioxin

A new documentary, Mann v. Ford, that opened on HBO television channels this week highlights the painful reality for a Garden State community that was poisoned despite government assurances that safety measures were in place to protect people's health from industrial pollution. In a stunningly symbolic scene, two leaders of the contaminated neighborhood walk along a path beside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on their way to the Capitol Building, their reflected figures weaving in and out among the long columns of names of soldiers who died in the war.

In the early 1980s, years before Zumwalt’s scathing report, officials in New Jersey created an Agent Orange study commission, which found that contrary to federal government assertions dioxin could be found in Vietnam veterans’ bodies years after the war. As reports of long-suppressed health studies about dioxin exposure piled up, Congress in the early 1990s mandated that the VA treat or pay compensation to Vietnam veterans for a number of cancers, other illnesses, and their children with spina bifida. The list of illnesses associated with dioxin exposure has since grown substantially, and includes many if not most of the illnesses that beset the Ringwood neighborhood nearly surrounded by Ford dump sites.

The Source

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