Green Buckeye RN


Newsletter: Vol. 2 No. 3: August 2009

>>NEW RESOURCES/PUBLICATIONS
>>CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
>>AT THE MOVIES
>>LEGISLATIVE/REGULATORY NEWS
>>SUMMER READING
>>ENVIRONMENTAL NURSES ARE TALKING


>>NEW RESOURCES/PUBLICATIONS

booksThe Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell, has published
A Common Agenda for Health and Environment, a statement of six Generaltional Goals to be achieved within one generation that will leave our children a healthy world:

1.  Safe and Healthy People
2.  Vibrant Communities
3.  Green Jobs in a Green Economy
4.  Protection and Restoration of Ecosystems
5.  Shared Responsibility for Environmental Justice
6.  A World at Peace.

The report can be accessed at http://www.towardtomorrow.org/commonagenda.about.php.

Also from the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production is a paper addressing state leadership in chemical policy.  State Leadership in Formulating and Reforming Chemicals Policy can be located at http://www.chemicalspolicy.org/downloads/StateLeadership_000.pdf.

The EPA has released a consumer publication, Indoor airPLUS Better Environments Inside and Out to support newly constructed homes supporting energy efficiency and indoor air quality.  Homes must meet both the Energy Star and Indoor airPLUS guidelines to qualify for both labels.  www.epa.gov/indoorairplus

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, a statement of The Endocrince Society (http://www.endo-society.org/), is a comprehensive evaluation of the effect of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on health supported by scientific studies.  Download the statement at http://www.endo-society.org/journals/scientificstatements/upload/edc_scientific_statement.pdf

Plastics Are Forever, a pamphlet produced by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (www.algalita.org), looks at the consequences or plastics accumulation in the world’s oceans and its impact on marine ecosystems. 
Go to http://www.algalita.org/pdf/plastics%20are%20forever%20english.pdf.

Stay on the alert for the Center for Environment, Health, & Justice’s (www.chej.org) 2009 Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies.  The 2008 guide can still be accessed at http://www.besafenet.com/pvc/documents/Back%20to%20School%20Guide%20to%20PVC%20Free%20School%20Supplies.pdf.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the launch of its Environmental Public Health Tracking Network; a web-based tool that tracks and reports environmental hazards and the health probems that may be related to them.  Childhood lead poisoning and asthma are among the health conditions CDC’s Tracking Network covers, while air and water quality are among the environmental indicators.  Visit the Tracking Network at www.cdc.gov/ephtracking.

The American Medical Association (AMA) approved a new policy resolution in support of practices and policies within health care systems that promote and model a healthy and ecologically sustainable food system.  The resolution calls on the AMA to work with health care and public health organizations to educate the health care community and the public about the importance of healthy and ecologically sustainable food systems that “provide food and beverages of naturally high nutritional qualaity.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/healthy-role-models.shtml/ .  Organic Consumers Association http://organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18297.cfm.

The Pesticide Action Network (http://www.panna.org/  has developed a searchable database for consumers and activists to investigate the pesticides used in food production.  Go to www.whatsonmyfood.org for information and quick facts on pesticides and pesticide exposure through the foods you eat. 

Getting your nails done?  Download the  Phasing Out the Toxic Trio wallet card from Women’s Voices for the Environment (www.womenandenvironment.org).  The card lists which mail polishes don’t contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, or toluene.  Ask for a brand free of these products to reduce your exposure and that of your ail salon technician to toxic chemicals.
 Go to http://www.womenandenvironment.org/Nail_Polish_walletcard.pdf.

A new government report on global warming, released by the Global Climate Research Program (http://www.globalchange.gov/), reinforces the need for urgent action and strong legislation.  The report is the most comprehensive effort to detain the effects of global warming in this country.  Get Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States at  http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts.

Other climate change resources from the National Environmental Education Foundation (http://www.neefusa.org/)  and the Cooperative Program on Operational Meteorology Education and Training are Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together and Weather and Health.  These new online courses were created to help meteorologists, health care professionals and others broaden their understanding of the impacts of weather and climate on public health.  http://www.earthgauge.net/courses.  

Find out about the quality of the air in your county.  Go to the American Lung Association’s online State of the Air Report at http://www.stateoftheair.org/?tr=y&auid=5048387.

The America’s Children and the Environment website has recently been updated with the most current data available for measures of contaminants, body burdens and illnesses important for children’s environmental health.  Overall, updated data are presented for 18 different measures of children’s environmental health, including measures for drinking water contaminants, blood mercury levels, and neurodevelopmental disorders.  http://www.epa.gov/envirohealth/children/index.htm

Carbon Dependence Syndrome: It has come to the attention of the health profession that common usage patterns of carbon-based fuels bear all the hallmarks of a substance dependence syndrome.  Once recognised as a medical condition, its enormous clinical impact is producing shock waves in the health community.  However, although extremely serious, carbon dependence has been found to be eminently treatable, and evidence-based guidance on its diagnosis and management is now available – as presented on the pages of this site.  To find out what this is all about, go to http://www.carbonaddict.org/.


Setting a date>>CONFERENCES AND EVENTS

Women’s Voices for the Earth (www.womenandenvironment.org) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (http://www.safecosmetics.org/) will offer a webinar and virtual book club on Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan.  The author will present via webinar on August 18th; the virtual bookclub follows on August 25, 2009.  Go to either website for further directions and registration.

The Ohio Asthma Coalition will meet on September 11, 2009 from 10am-3pm at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.  The program will include information on parental predictors of astham control in inner city youth, school interventions in northern Ohio, and more.  http://www.ohioasthmacoalition.org/

Promoting Environmental and Policy Change to Suport Healthy Aging will be held September 15-16, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  This symposium is a third in a series funded by CDC’s healthy Aging Program.  www.prc-han.org.  Alliance Alert, July 2009

The OHA Environmental Leadership Council will meet on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 from 10am-2pm at the OHA offices located at 155 E. Broad St., Floor 15, Columbus, Ohio 43215.  http://www.ohanet.org/p2/.

The National Mid-Year Conference on Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning, Implementing Healthy Homes Programs and Combating Indoor Environmental Hazards will be held October 15-16, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This conference brings together professionals from health, housing, community development, community groups, advocacy organizations, the lead industry, real estate firms and residential and commercial facilities to explore the ways to undertake programs and projects designed to prevent incidents of lead poisoning and eliminate indoor envrionmental hazards. http://www.leadmoldconferences.com/website/about.  Alliance Alert, July 2009

The 2009 National Environmental Public Health Conference: Healthy People in a Healthy Environment is scheduled for October 25-28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The purpose of this conference is to promote the nation’s environmental health capacity by enhancing the expertise of environmental professionals. http://www.team-psa.com/2009nephc/main.asp.  Alliance Alert, July 2009

Healthcare Design 09 will meet October 31-November 3, 2009 in Orlando, Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.  http://www.hcd09.com/ME2/Sites/Default.asp?SiteID=EA5CA38A9F7B4FACA1EEC36819936E27

The American Public Health Association will be holding its Annual Meeting, November 7-11, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The theme is “Water and Public Health: the 21st Century Challenge.”  The conference will explore the latest publice health challenges and what can be done to protect our resources, our health, and our world.  For more information or to register, visit http://www.apha.org/meetings/.  Alliance Alert, June 2009.


>>AT THE MOVIES

FilmSeveral movies of interest to environmentalists have been released recently, including

Food, Inc:  According to the Los Angeles Times, “Food, Inc. is more than just a documentary – it’s a riveting cautionary tale.”  In unveiling the “highly mechanized underbelly” of industrial agriculture, Food, Inc. covers issues ranging from agribusiness’s corporate control of the flood system, to food safety, and farmer and food-worker exploitation.  PAN Alert, June 11, 2009.  http://www.foodincmovie.com/   Explore the Hungry for Change Cafeteria to learn about healthy food choices in school lunches when you visit this site.

The End of the Line, a world class documentary about the devastating effect of overfishing on the global oceans made its debut in Denver, Colorado.  The film, which is narrated by Oceana (http://www.oceana.org/north-america/home/  Board member Ted Danson, examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in hube overpopulation of jellyfish; and the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation.  Oceana Wavemakers, July 2009.  http://endoftheline.com/

The Cove “follows a team of activists and filmakers as they infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan.  In this remove village they viness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: More that 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often labeled as whale meat” (http://www.takepart.com/thecove/).   Go to http://www.thecovemovie.com/festivals/upcoming_screenings.htm to locate or request a screening in your area.

Earth Days, opening August 14th, looks back to the dawn of the mdern environmental movement, from its post-war rustlins in the 1950s and the 1962 publlication of Rachel Caron’s bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration, President Nixon’s unlikely creation of the EPA, and beyond.  New Dream News, July 2009.  http://www.earthdaysmovie.com/

  


>>LEGISLATIVE/REGULATORY NEWSUnited States Capitol Building

At the Federal Level

In early June, the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act of 2009 hit a crucial milestone by passing the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.  The bill, which will require four heavily-polluting chlor-alkali plants to clean up their act, now heads to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.  While coal-fired power plants top the list of mercury emitters, the chlor-alkali plants are responsible for emitting hundreds of pounds of mercury into the environment every year.  One of the four plants is located in Astabula, Ohio.  http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2065:

Introduced by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), The Household Product Labeling Act 2009 will require that common household products carry a full list of their ingredients, including potentially harmful chemicals.  The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3057:

Bills recently introduced in both the House and Senate seek to force natural gas drilling companies to disclose what chemicals are pumped into the ground in a practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  Although the practice has been linked to drinking water contamination and other harms to public health and the environment, companies are currently allowed to conceal the toxic chemicals they use.  Fracking fluid is known to often contain benzene, toluene, and pesticides, among other harmful substances (OMB Watch, June 2009).  The legislation is known as the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act.   http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2766:

The Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2009 will eliminate bisphenol-A ( BPA) from beverage containers.  BPA is an endocrine-disruptor and may be the cause of birth defects and reproductive damage…even at very low doses.  BPA is used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic and is widely used in water bottles, baby bottles, and some toys and microwaveable dishes.  http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1523:

The Water Protection and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was introduced this month by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).  The bill establishes a trust fund that will provide federal support for the repair and/or update water infrastructures.  http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3202:

Meanwhile, we continue to await legislative action on the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), Clean Water Restoration Act, Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and the National Water Research and Development Initiative Act of 2009.  See the May Green Buckeye RN newsletter for more on these bills.

Only July 30th, the House approved the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (HR 2749) which supports  increased authority of the FDA to inspect and enforce regulations concerning our food system.  While supported by many groups, including consumer and trade groups, farm interests have been less enthusiastic saying the bill places unprecedented burdens on small scale and organic farmers.  http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2749:

On to the Senate for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, having passed the House at the end of June.  This first attempt to fight global warming could certainly be more comprehensive and/or carry a bigger bite, but it is a start…the government’s nod to the rising concern about the future of planet Earth.  http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2454:

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act  passed the House and Senate in June of this year, giving the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products.

At the State Level:

As we all know, HB 1, the budget bill, was passed in mid-July after a series of interim measures to keep the state government rolling.  The budget bill has both bad (cuts, no funding, less environmental protection) and good (retention of the Ohio’s Scenic Rivers Program) impacts on Ohio’s environmental stability and future.  Cuts to county soil and water conservation programs willmean less conservation of topsoil and more polluted waterways.  Likewise, funding is flat for state nature preserves and the mapping of Ohio’s underground resources.  Perhaps we’ll do better in September when lawmakers may amend the budget.

On the plus side, the Ohio EPA has been distributing Recovery Act funds for diverse water, sewage, and diesel projects.  www.epa.ohio.gov

  

>>SUMMER READINGbooks
From FEED:July 2009 http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/feed/feed-latest.html
If you’re looking for some inspiring summer reading, check out Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite out of Global Warming.  Coauthored by a chef (Laura Stec) and a climate scientist (Eugene Cordero), the book calls the standard American diet “a hummer on a plate.”  In an engaging, easy-to-read format packed with stories, recipes, and shopping tips, the book explains the connection between food and the climate and presents simple personal solutions.  While they acknowledge that changing your diet won’t single-handedly solve global warming, Stec and Cordero offer readers tools for evaluating the carbon “footprint” of commonly eaten foods and a three-step plan for reducing the carbon impact of daily meals.  Available on www.amazon.com.
Nature’s Second Chance: Restoring the Ecology of Stone Prairie Farm by Steven I. Apfelbaum, restoration ecologist, is a tale about restoring an eighty acre farm to its original prairie, wetland, spring brook, and wooded state.  That’s the story on the surface; more importantly, Mr. Apfelbaum makes a case for the interconnectedness of humankind, wildlife, and the land.  A long the way, he also details the how to promote buy-in from the surrounding community…neighbors, hunters, and farmers…and how to build a lasting legacy of restoration.  Available on www.amazon.com.
      
Top 5 Ways to Help Pollinators from the National Wildlife Federation (www.nwf.org)
 
 1.  Use native plants
  2.  Hang hummingbird feeders
  3.  Build a bee house
  4.  Plant a butterfly garden
  5.  Certify your yard with National Wildlife Federation
 

>>ENVIRONMENTAL NURSES ARE TALKING: STATEMENTS FROM NURSING
 
  The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Envrionments (www.e-commons.org) has released Wingspread Statement, 2009.  The steering committee of the Alliance gathered at the Johnson Foundation’s (http://www.johnsonfdn.org/)  Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin to create a plan that will strengthen the environmental health and nursing moment. The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments believes that:

Human health is interconnected with every aspect of the natural and built environment.  When the environment is harmed, human health is threatened.  When the environment is healthy and robust it promotes health.

All humans have the right to healthy and safe environments including a right to healthy living and working conditions, clean air and water, healthy and safe food and agricultural practices, and safe products that are free from harmful chemicals.

Nurses have a role in protecting human health, especially of the most vulnerable populations – the fetus, young children, the frail and elderly – from harm associated with environmental exposures.  Nurses also have a role in protecting those populations affected by socioeconomics, ethnicity-related and/or genetic vulnerabilities.

Nurses are responsible for health promotion and disease prevention.  As the most trusted profession, nurses are crucial in creating policies and programs that prevent disease, solve environmental health probems and reduce disease burdents.

The values of service, evidence-based science, collaboration, equity, justice and love are the foundation of the Alliance and its work in our environmental health and nursing efforts.

The original Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle was issued in 1998 by group of US scientists, physicians, environmental advocates, lawyers, and unionists.  The crux of the statement says: “When an activity raises threats of harm to huma health or the environment, precuationary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.  In this context, the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.”

The Alliance is for every nurse…join now!

The ANA’s Principles of Environmental Health for Nurisng Practice with Implementation Strategies was published in 2007. 

ANA’s Principles of Environmental Health for Nursing Practice:

1.  Knowledge of environmental health concepts is essential to nursing practice.

2.  The Precautionary Principle guides nurses in their practice to use products and practices that do not harm human health or the environment and to take preventive action in the face of uncertainty.

3.  Nurses have a right to work in an environment that is safe and healthy.

4.  Healthy environments are sustained through multidisciplinary collaboration.

5.  Choices of materials, products, technology, and practices in the environment that impact nursing practice are based on the best evidence available.

6.  Approaches to promoting a healthy environment respect the diverse values, beliefs, cultures, and circumstances of patients and their families.

7.  Nurses participate in assessing the quality of the environment in which they practice and live.

8.  Nurses, other health care workers, patients, and communities have the right to know relevant and timely information about the potentially harmful products, chemicals, pollutants, and hazards to which they are exposed.

9.  Nurses participate in research of best practices that promote a safe and healthy environment.

10. Nurses must be supported in advocating for and implementing environmental health principles in nursing practice.

 Available at www.nursingworld.org


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