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Don’t Drink the Water: The West Virginia Chemical Spill as a Reproductive Justice Issue

Pregnant women and young families continue to face environmental, economic, and legislative hardships more than six weeks after a devastating chemical spill in West Virginia.

Pregnant women and young families continue to face environmental, economic, and legislative hardships more than six weeks after a devastating chemical spill in West Virginia.

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Pregnant Women Cautioned Against Drinking Tap Water in West Virginia

From WV Free: On January 9, nearly 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM (used to prepare coal) leaked into the Elk River, putting 300,000 families at risk. Days after the chemical spill and news that “flushing” was in process to restore safe water to West Virginians, a new advisory was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioning pregnant women against drinking the water. That advisory for pregnant women remains in effect.

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What We Don’t Know Will Hurt Us: The Need for Chemical Policy Reform

Even those of us with access to the best prenatal care and the resources to make (sometimes expensive) changes to our lifestyles can’t completely eliminate exposure to chemicals that are harming our health and that of our families.

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act is bipartisan legislation that offers an opportunity for chemical policy reform to help ensure all pregnant women see a decrease in exposure to chemicals.

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On Ethical Consumption: We Can’t Just Shop Our Way to a Better World

woman grocery shopping checking label

It’s good to shop with heart. But the key is the heart, not the shopping.

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UN and WHO: Chemicals That Harm Repro Health a “Global Threat”

2013-02-21-alcid

This week, an international team of experts, in conjunction with the WHO and the UN Environment Programme, released a report declaring hormone-disrupting chemicals a “global threat” that should be addressed.

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STOKING FIRE: Study Finds Persistent PCB Contamination Linked to Infertility

PCB-contaminated creek. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge)

Back in 1979, the U.S. government banned Polychlorinated Biphenyls [PCBs] after adverse health effects, including cancer, heart disease, and adrenal and thyroid problems, were linked to the chemical compound. Three-and-a-half decades later it turns out that PCBs are even worse than scientists initially thought, and have demonstrated effects on fertility.

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Lessons from Katrina: How Natural Disasters Affect Women’s Safety and Economic Status

Hurricane Katrina NOAA

Natural disasters tend to make low income and poor people—the majority of whom are women—even more vulnerable to physical assault as well as to greater economic challenges in the years that follow.

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STOKING FIRE: In Iraq, High Rates of Cancer and Birth Defects Linked to Use of Chemical Weapons in War

The U.S. war ended in December 2011, but families in numerous Iraqi cities are living with a dramatic rise in birth defects and cancer from chemical weapons that were detonated near homes, schools, and playgrounds.

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STOKING FIRE: OTC Weed-Killing Toxin Causes Birth Defects, Poses Wide Range of Other Health Hazards

TaminaMiller/Flickr.

According to the NIH, research indicates that the number of babies born with birth defects in places where Atrazine is sprayed is consistently higher in the months following its use. And the danger of Atrazine extends beyond physical imperfections in newborns. 

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Rio+20 Agreement Fails Women, and the World

Women wave scarves at Rio+20 protest. Photo by: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).

During meetings to finalize the Rio+20 document, Heads of State will adopt in the next few days at Rio+20, delegates agreed on a plan short on vision and big on compromises, including trading away women’s rights to placate the Vatican, Egypt, and Syria.

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