"Nationally, our primary standard is the Toxic
Substances Control Act.
The main goal of the act was to require
comprehensive cancer tests
for thousands of chemicals in
widespread use - a goal yet to be achieved.
failure, two decades ago California enacted Proposition 65, requiring a
list by the governor of chemicals known to cause
cancer, and then a warning before exposure where they pose a significant
The California agency charged with this task has not used its
independent authority to list a carcinogen in more than five years."
- Al Meyerhoff
cancers are the result of human failure.
This failure has resulted
in a misguided war on cancer
focusing on the effect and not the cause allowing the continued addiction
by agriculture and
other industries to toxic agents.
It also reflects
a failed regulatory scheme
coupled with antiquated and ineffective toxic
chemical control laws.
compounds resulting from coke production sythesized
coal tar 'soup' from which
new petrochemicals amalgamated under fire and pressure emerged to create the
German chemical and pharmaceutical
Many of the 10,000 different molecules in the coal tar
'soup' are cyclic carbon rings - benzine and its variants - such as phenols,
aniline, and heterocyclics.
These kinds of ring structures are highly
reactive and easily open the door to
The easiest carbon ring to form
and modify is the 6-carbon ring, "benzene".
Today these are nearly 10%
of the 24 million known (disclosed) compounds in the Chemical Abstracts
Service Registry database.
blocks of a similar size - rings or not - when polymerized (strung together in repeating
units), form plastics.
strung-together chains zig-zagged repeatedly instead of being straight and
taught, then the polymer was
potentially elastic and might be a synthetic rubber.
If the factory
does the polymerization for you, it
is a plastic or synthetic rubber.
you do the polymerization, the product is a
varnish (paint) or glue.
You polymerize with oxygen and UV bombardment;
i.e., putting the varnished, painted or glued item out in the sun to "dry"
For varnish or pigmented varnish ("paint"), solvents are
added to retard polymerization, so in a sense the varnish or paint really is
"drying", but the real issue (goal) here is polymerization not solvent loss.
If the air's oxygen isn't enough, a chemical oxidizer is used. "MEKP"
is popular (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide). " - J. I. Nelson, Ph.D.
6-carbon rings of benzene are easily added to
because half the carbon-to-carbon bonds are double and can be "opened".
One of the original chemical bonds continues to hold the ring together,
while the chemical engineer attaches something new to the other.
Plastics (whether based on rings or not) can use opened
double bonds to link the long polymerized chains to one another.
This hardens the plastic, changing it from
bendable to hard (wine glass, plastic knife).
rubber by cross-linking it this way is called "vulcanization".
are called margarine, but there are no calories if you use up all the double
bonds ("saturated fats").
It's better if each building block has
more than one double bond left ("polyunsaturated") because your own body can
more easily attach another molecule (metabolize it), rather than
hardened oils to pile up as arterial deposits.
1802 Éleuthère Irénée du Pont
founds DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware two years after fleeing France to escape
the French Revolution and religious persecutions against Huguenot
1826 Several species of
Indigofera, especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera
suffruticosa, are used to produce
Colonial planters in the Caribbean grow
transplant its cultivation when they settle in the colony of South Carolina and
North Carolina where people of the Tuscarora confederacy adopted the dying
process for head wraps and clothing.
When Eliza Lucas Pinckney and
enslaved Africans successfully cultivate new strains near Charleston indigo
becomes the second most important cash crop in the colony (after rice) before
the American Revolution.
Indigo comprised more than one-third of all
exports in value.
Aniline is first isolated in by Otto Unverdorben by
destructive distillation of indigo.
Aniline is an organic compound with
the formula C6H5NH2.
Consisting of a
phenyl group attached to an amino group, aniline is the prototypical aromatic
The main use of aniline is in the manufacture of precursors to
polyurethane and other industrial chemicals.
Like most volatile amines,
it has the odor of rotten fish.
Aniline ignites readily, burning with a
smoky flame characteristic of aromatic compounds.
1827 Heinrich Emanuel Merck begins manufacturing and selling
1834 Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge extracts
carbolic acid, or
phenol, from coal
Joseph Lister pioneered the use of phenol as an
1842 Nitrobenzene to aniline is first
performed by Nikolay Zinin using inorganic sulfide as a reductant (Zinin
1849 Pfizer is founded by two
German immigrants selling painkillers and antiseptics during the Civil
1854 Antoine Béchamp reduction method
sets the stage for the evolution of a massive dye industry in Germany.
1856 William Henry Perkin creates mauveine while
trying to synthesise quinine.
Other aniline dyes - fuchsin, safranin,
and induline - follow.
BASF, originally Badische Anilin- und
Soda-Fabrik (English: Baden Aniline and Soda Factory), now the largest chemical
supplier, echoes the legacy of the synthetic dye industry, built via aniline
dyes and extended via the related azo dyes.
The first azo dye was
1863 Bayer is founded as a dye
maker in Wuppertal.
German dye manufacturers have
perfected the purification of individual organic compounds from coal tar and
other mineral sources and have established rudimentary methods in organic
1916 After World War I foreign countries disregard German
patents and enter the market with competing products.
The Dreibund and
the Dreierverband joined with "Chemische Fabrik vormals Weiler ter Meer" to
form the precursor to IG
Farben, the Interessengemeinschaft der deutschen
(Common Interest Association of the German Coal
Tar Dye Factories)
1917 Chemische Fabrik
Griesheim-Elektron joins IG Farben.
Duisberg pressures them to give up their independence, and after eight years he
IG Farben AG merging
BASF, The Badischen Anilin- und Sodafabrik (Ludwigshafen)
Bayer ( Leverkusen near Cologne) Agfa, or Aktiengesellschaft für
Anilinfabrikation (Mortsel near Antwerp and Leverkusen) Hoechst (including
Casella and Chemische Fabrik Kalle) Chemische Fabrik vormals Weiler ter Meer
(Uerdingen) Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron (Griesheim)
resources of coal allow it to became a major steel producer.
processing for steel production involves driving off the
volatile organic compounds in
coal by heating it (without air) to make coke, which burns hotter and imparts
no further impurities to steel save carbon.
Carbon ("carbon steel")
makes it possible to heat-treat (harden) and temper (soften) the
2005 Nearly 6% of the
American women of child bearing age have sufficent quantities of
mercury in their blood to
impair neurological development of the fetus.
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention releases a study in July 148 toxic compounds were looked for
in the blood and
urine of 2,400 Americans age 6
Several toxic compounds, including
phthalates are found to be in nearly
every American child.
"There are more
than 80,000 chemicals on the market, the vast majority of which lack even basic
information on health effects and toxicity.
We do know that at least
1,400 chemicals have known or probable links to cancer,
reproductive effects and other
health problems such as learning
Although the incidence of these diseases has been
increasing for decades, a whole host of other obstacles to healthy development
have also been on the rise, including premature birth, low birth weight, early
puberty and childhood obesity.
Recent science indicates that these
problems are related to chemical
exposure." - Dan Jacobson
The Story of Stuff
there are now 100,000 (one hundred thousand) chemicals on the market.
Long term effects of most chemicals are unknown and none of the
combined effects have ever been studied.
More than 77,000 chemicals are
in active production in North America.
More than 3,000 chemicals are
added to our food supply.
More than 10,000 chemicals in the form of
solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives are used in food processing,
packaging, wrapping, and storage.
315 chemical contaminants were found
in US tap water.
One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in
personal care products are industrial chemicals.
other chemicals are added to vaccines.
A German study shows that
vaccinated children have at least 2 to 5 times more diseases and disorders than
More than 1000 new chemicals are developed each
Most of us have between 400 and 800 chemical residues stored in
the fat cells of our bodies.
2007 The series of five articles was published in a supplement
of the journal Cancer on May 14, 2007.
Research by Silent Spring
Institute -with additional researchers from Harvard University, Roswell Park
Cancer Institute and the University of Southern California - synthesized
national and international data sources and identified 216 chemicals that
caused breast tumors in animal studies, and several chemicals that have been
linked to breast cancer.
compounds cause breast tumors in animal tests:
73 - in consumer
products or as contaminants in food
35 - air pollutants
occupational exposures affecting more than 5,000 women a year
production in the US exceeds 1 million pounds per year
The database is
accessible free of charge and include references to 900 studies, 460 of which
are human breast cancer studies
that were critically evaluated by the research team.
Silent Spring Institute's review of environmental factors and
Chemical Security Act
Seven weeks after the
September 11 attacks Jon Stevens Corzine
introduces the Chemical Security Act, a bill that would require chemical plants
to reduce toxic chemical inventories where practical and switch to less toxic
chemicals when it was economically feasible. In many cases a plant manager
could store a 30 day inventory of toxic chemicals rather than a full six
"Simple, sensible economic reforms of that category could
save a lot of lives in a catastrophic event. The industry does what it desires
or what it thinks it can afford - and millions of Americans are at risk." -
The bill passed the Environment and Public Works
Committee in a 19-0 vote.
After the George Walker Bush
administration crushed the Chemical Security Act, Senator Jon Corzine stated,
"There are currently no federal security standards for chemical facilities.
None at all."
March 2003 Terrorism expert Rand
Beers resigns after providing counter terrorism advice to every president
beginning with Ronald
Reagan, "Of course, there's no
such thing as a perfect defense, but we are remiss if
we do not try to protect our
citizens. We know for sure, from
interrogation of terrorists,
measures have value, they discourage attacks. So, the
idea that we should leave the barn door open is
a dereliction of
2003 Conference Board,
a business research
group, finds that American corporations have increased security
expenditures less than 4% on average since the September 11 attacks.
Chemical weapons attack, like
the one at Bari,
Italy, has been a favorite weapon of fear mongers since
the Great War.
Bush thought it would strike fear into our hearts to
Iraq was known to have, namely chemical weapons. The notion that chemical
weapons pose any threat to us is farfetched. Mustard gas is effective in trench
warfare, not in cross-hemisphere attacks.
Even if terrorists smuggled
chemical weapons into the country, the casualties would be fairly minor.
The only way to kill a number of people with chemicals is to
concentrate the chemicals in huge quantities near a big city.
this country has lots of weapons like that. They're called chemical plants.
Attacking one with a truck bomb, or a small plane, would disperse far
more toxins than any chemical weapons attack.
Research Service has found that we have 100 chemical plants that, if
struck, would each endanger more than 1 million lives.
US intelligence has discovered that
al-Qa`ida has studied
the possibilities." - Jonathan Chait, 03-26-06
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