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Forum To Focus On Chemicals In The Environment

Published March 2, 2008

An environmental presentation, "10 Americans-287 Chemicals," is set for noon Monday in the Prairie State College auditorium, 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights.

The multimedia presentation will be given by Ken Cook, president of the
Washington D.C.-based Environmental Working Group.

The presentation focuses on 10 people the group tested and the 287 chemicals found in their bodies that are linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and reproductive or immune disorders.

State Representatives Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) and Elaine Nekritz
(D-Northbrook) are hosting the free program.

"Virtually every American is exposed to a daily cocktail of toxic chemicals that were never tested for safety before being released in the environment," Riley said. "People should be very concerned that rates of autism, childhood brain cancer, birth defects and reproduction problems have surged in recent year. Something is happening here, and many of the nation's top scientists, doctors and toxicologists believe they are directly linked to chemical exposure."

Under current outdated federal law, the chemical industry and manufacturers do not have to prove chemicals used in commerce and released into the environment are safe, according to Riley. As a result, Americans are being exposed to an untold number of chemicals.

"After seeing '10 Americans,' you'll understand the urgency for fundamental policy reform at the state and federal levels," Riley said.

Environmental Working Group is a non-profit public health watchdog. Cook is a frequent source of environmental commentary in the national press and broadcast media. For more information about the presentation, interested people may phone (708) 283-0400.


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