Saturday, April 30, 2011

New plastic chemical study linked to industry

"Inferis/FlickrA new review of BPA science still leaves the question of safety open.Four authors of a new report concluding that bisphenol A is safe have ties to companies and groups that benefit from the controversial chemical."

WHO takes on chronic disease

"The World Health Organization focused for decades on infectious diseases, but now it's putting non-communicable diseases near the top of its agenda."

May 6 To Be Lawn Pesticide Awareness Day

May 6 To Be Lawn Pesticide Awareness Day

"Groups Proclaim May 6 Lawn Pesticide Awareness Day"

Unmuzzle scientists, federal leaders urged

Unmuzzle scientists, federal leaders urged
'We would remove the gag order,' Liberals say

"The party leaders vying to form the next Canadian government are being urged to "take off the muzzles" from federal scientists."

Crude oil chemical linked to heart defect in babies

Crude oil chemical linked to heart defect in babies

"Babies who are exposed before birth to ethyl benzene, a toxic component in crude oil, may have a higher risk of developing congenital heart disease, US researchers said Saturday."

Organic Bytes: Help Stop the Monsanto/USDA Madness!


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Stop the Monsanto/USDA Madness

#274, April 28, 2011

In this issue:


Quote of the Week

Vandana Shiva: Monsanto's Great Seed Robbery

"The seed, the source of life, the embodiment of our biological and cultural diversity, the link between the past and the future of evolution, the common property of past, present and future generations of farming communities who have been seed breeders, is today being stolen from the farmers and being sold back to us as 'propriety seed' owned by corporations like the US-headquartered Monsanto."

- Vandana Shiva, "Great Seed Robbery," Deccan Chronicle, April 27, 2011

Read More



Millions Against Monsanto Fundraising Appeal

Three hundred thousand have already signed up as participants and supporters in our Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign. But we need money to print leaflets, to buy educational videos, to print up T-shirts and bumper stickers, and to pay our campaign staff. As you know, GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, climate stability, and all living things. As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial contributions to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic standards, and to pressure the entire food industry, including natural food stores and co-ops, to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.

Please Donate



Stop USDA's Plan for Monsanto and the Biotech Industry to Police Itself!

Genetically modified organisms, planted on 165 millions acres of US farmland, are damaging public health and the environment and undermining climate stability. GM crops have increased the use of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, destroyed soil fertility and carbon-sequestering capacity, spawned super-weeds, contaminated organic & non-GMO crops, and are less nutritious and more likely to trigger allergies, in general making plants, animals and human beings weaker and disease-prone. Genetically engineered corn for ethanol has decreased grain supplies, raised food prices, and increased world hunger; meanwhile generating the same carbon footprint (greenhouse gas pollution) as conventional gasoline. Genetically engineered trees, fish, and farm animals pose similar hazards to human and environmental health.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has aided and abetted Monsanto and the biotech lobby by failing to accurately assess the environmental and climate impacts of GMOs, just as they have failed to properly assess the monumental damage of chemical agriculture. Now, APHIS, using the excuse of efficiency and cutting costs, wants to turn over the job of conducting environmental assessments to biotech companies like Monsanto that have a vested interested in getting their new GMOs deregulated.

This is a very dangerous game to play with the future of food, agriculture, and our common environment and climate. Tell APHIS to halt their pilot program and instead put their resources towards a more vigorous review of the potential harms of new GMO crops and animals.

Take Action


Millions Against Monsanto

See You in Chicago, Seattle & New York!

To gear up for the Millions Against Monsanto actions on World Food Day, October 16, 2011, we're hosting regional anti-GMO summits at each of the Green Festivals around the country:

Chicago May 14-15, 2011
Seattle May 21-22, 2011
New York October 1-2, 2011

We need volunteers in each city to host gatherings at their homes or community centers, to put up OCA staff and volunteers in their homes and to work in the Millions Against Monsanto booths.

To volunteer, please click here.

If you've already volunteered, thank you! Campaign Director Alexis Baden-Mayer will be contacting you shortly.


Millions Against Monsanto

Get Monsanto Out of Whole Foods & Trader Joe's!

Whole Foods Market claims to support mandatory GMO labels, but admits selling unlabeled foods made with genetically modified organisms.

Whole Foods & Trader Joe's both have non-GMO policies for their store-brand products, but the policy doesn't apply to the rest of the food they sell.

The Millions Against Monsanto campaign is stepping up our efforts to get Monsanto out of Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.

Click here for action ideas!


Millions Against Monsanto

Get Ready for World Food Day Actions 10/16/11

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto campaign is calling for World Food Day actions to get genetically engineered organisms out of our food.

Get involved by joining your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter!

The goal is to have 435 actions, one in each U.S. Congressional District, and for each action to represent 2300 Millions Against Monsanto supporters.

435 x 2300 = 1,000,000 Against Monsanto

It would be great to have 2300 people participating in each event, but we can also demonstrate our numbers by delivering petitions signed by 2300 people in each Congressional District.

Anyone who can't attend an action on 10/16/11, can join the virtual rally by signing the Millions Against Monsanto petition.

Time to start planning! Here's how to get started.


Via Organica

Join Us In Mexico for a Spring Sustainability Conference

Engineers without Borders, The Center for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability- Mexico (CATIS-Mexico) and the Earth and Lime Institute are hosting a month-long spring workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  The OCA's sister organization Via Orgánica has been invited to teach during the Small Scale Sustainable Farming week, June 20-24th, 2011. A solution-based course, this program teaches skills in small-scale organic food production for both urban and rural dwellers. Participants will have the opportunity to link practical skills in variety of locales, as well as analyze how overarching global issues like climate change and food scarcity can be confronted.
We are inviting our members to participate in this exciting course.  Register by May 7th for the early bird special.  Combine your spring vacation with an enlightening and authentic educational experience in the outskirts of beautiful San Miguel.  Meet OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and the Vía Orgánica staff. 

To register click here, and you can take a look at the poster for the event here.


Videos of the Week

Save The Farm

"Save The Farm" tells the story of the largest urban farm in the United States, a 14-acre organic farm in South Central Los Angeles. For 14 years, the farmers fed their families and community, and created an urban oasis. But when the city sells this public land to a developer in a closed door session, activists and celebrities stage an 11th hour tree sit to try to save the farmers from eviction. This film shows that urban farming is a successful and sustainable solution for local and organic food in cities everywhere.


Watch more of OCA's favorite videos on our YouTube Channel!


Little Bytes

San Francisco Votes to Allow Small-Scale Commercial Farming in Residential Areas, No Conditional Use Permit Needed

The Growing Food Crisis, and What World Leaders Aren't Doing About It

Food Rights Network to Hollywood: Stop Greenwashing Toxic Sludge

Protect Health Food and Dietary Supplements from Attack by Opposing New Congressional Bill

Monsanto Wants to Start Testing GM Wheat


Message From Our Sponsors

Help Us Build a Sustainable Future!

 Our friends at Chelsea Green offer the latest books on sustainability, democracy, new science, and pathways to peace. Thanks to our new Affiliate Program, your online purchase supports the OCA!

This weeks featured book is: Chasing Chiles

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus). Chiles are delicious, dynamic, and very diverse—they have been rapidly adopted, adapted, and assimilated into numerous world cuisines, and while malleable to a degree, certain heirloom varieties are deeply tied to place and culture—but now accelerating climate change may be scrambling their terroir. 

Learn More


Become an OCA Sponsor!

Every issue of Organic Bytes now goes to 265,000 organic consumers with a thousand new subscribers each week. Please help us and your business by letting our subscribers know who you are and that you support the work of the OCA. Please contact us if you want more information!



 If you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us, please click here.

Asthma Awareness Month Resources

From the National Environmental Education Foundation:

May is National Asthma Awareness Month and World Asthma Day will be observed on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Several resources that may be helpful for your asthma activities are available on the National Environmental Education Foundation's website :


-          EPA's Asthma Awareness Month Event Planning Kit- provides ideas and strategies for hosting asthma awareness events, guidance on partnership development, resources for kids, and media relations outreach activities.


-          CDC's asthma website and public health tracking network.


-          CDC's Vital Signs- the asthma edition will be released on May 3, along with an accompanying MMWR, Fact Sheet, and press release.


-          NEEF's Pediatric Asthma tools and resources.



Friday, April 29, 2011

"Think Before You Stink!" Shirts Now Available

"Think Before You Stink!" Shirts Now Available

MCS America is having a t-shirt designing contest for MCS Awareness Month!

MCS America is having a t-shirt designing contest for MCS Awareness Month!

Designs can be words and/or drawings or photographs as long as they are your own design and not copyrighted. The design should be 10x10 in jpeg or gif format. If you have a phrase or sentence you'd like on a design, but don't have the software to design it, ...we will design it for you. Just send us the idea!

Designs must be received by May 10th for inclusion. The winner will be selected by our readers on May 15th and featured in our June newsletter. Submission indicates understanding that designs may be sold on Cafe Press by MCS America at Cafe Press cost. MCS America does not mark-up the items for profit.

The winner will receive a free yellow t-shirt with their design.

Send designs to with your name and email address.

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hawaii Governor Signs MCS Proclamation and Thanks MCS America for it's Contributions to the Health and Wellness of the Hawaii Community!

When I was told that the governor of Hawaii had signed a proclamation declaring May 2011 as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month, I was delighted! As I patiently waited for the proclamation to arrive, I never anticipated this perfectly and beautifully worded document thanking MCS America for its contributions to the health and wellness of the Hawaii community! I am honored that Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Shatz have formally recognized MCS America’s efforts.

Since its inception in 2006, MCS America has worked to gain medical, legal, and social recognition for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults; provided support and referral services to the individuals with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), and other environmental illnesses; and worked toward ensuring that environmental toxicants are identified, reduced, regulated, and enforced through promoting effective legislation. This is only possible because of community involvement.

On behalf of MCS America and our MCS community, I humbly thank Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Schatz for this gracious proclamation. Their recognition of MCS America's outreach efforts to people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is greatly appreciated. This proclamation will be used to foster awareness of this health crisis, encourage policy and procedure changes to support people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and make public services and places accessible to people with MCS in Hawaii and all across America.

To view and download the 2011 Hawaii proclamation in PDF format, see

A special thank you also goes to Susie Collins at the Canary Report for working with me on the proclamation request. Susie operates one of the best online social networks in the U.S. for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. For more information, visit

Every year countless individuals and organizations across the United States request proclamations for many forms of environmental illness, including:

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Electromagnetic Sensitivity

Toxic Injury

Indoor Toxic Mold

Chemical Awareness

Food Allergy

Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Gulf War Illness

For more information on how to request a proclamation and plan for awareness events, download a free event planning kit at

Para obtener más información sobre cómo solicitar una proclama y el plan de actividades de sensibilización, consulte

With Aloha,

Lourdes Salvador

Key Words: multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS, EI, environmental illness, sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance, fibromyalgia, chronic fatiuge, FM, CFS, mold illness, clinical ecology, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, neuropathy, encephalopathy, toxic, chemical

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Chemical Management: Prioritizing Childrens Health

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Chemical Management: Prioritizing Childrens Health

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that chemical management policy in the United States be revised to protect children and pregnant women and to better protect other populations. The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976. It is widely recognized to have been ineffective in protecting children, pregnant women, and the general population from hazardous chemicals in the marketplace. It does not take into account the special vulnerabilities of children in attempting to protect the population from chemical hazards. Its processes are so cumbersome that in its more than 30 years of existence, the TSCA has been used to regulate only 5 chemicals or chemical classes of the tens of thousands of chemicals that are in commerce. Under the TSCA, chemical companies have no responsibility to perform premarket testing or postmarket follow-up of the products that they produce; in fact, the TSCA contains disincentives for the companies to produce such data. Voluntary programs have been inadequate in resolving problems. Therefore, chemical-management policy needs to be rewritten in the United States. Manufacturers must be responsible for developing information about chemicals before marketing. The US Environmental Protection Agency must have the authority to demand additional safety data about a chemical and to limit or stop the marketing of a chemical when there is a high degree of suspicion that the chemical might be harmful to children, pregnant women, or other populations. Pediatrics 2011;127:983–990"

Chemical toxicity may be more than meets the eye

Chemical toxicity may be more than meets the eye 

"Last month the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other collaborating agencies announced that they are using a new robotic system to study the toxicity of 10,000 chemicals that are currently used in consumer products, personal care products, food additives, pharmaceuticals and other industrial products."

Mexican-American Children Have High Levels of Flame-Retardants in Blood

Mexican-American Children Have High Levels of Flame-Retardants in Blood

"Levels of the chemicals were much higher than among kids in Mexico, study finds"

Pardon me. Are you aware of the Fragrance-Free Policy?

This is a sign on the door of the hospital room of a member of The Canary Report community who just had a three-day stay following surgery.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Study finds flame retardants at high levels in pet dogs

Study finds flame retardants at high levels in pet dogs

"Indiana University scientists have found chemical flame retardants in the blood of pet dogs at concentrations five to 10 times higher than in humans, but lower than levels found in a previous study of cats."

Green Environments Essential for Human Health, Research Shows

Green Environments Essential for Human Health, Research Shows

"Research confirms that the impacts of parks and green environments on human health extend beyond social and psychological health outcomes to include physical health outcomes. (Credit: University of Illinois)ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Research shows that a walk in the park is more than just a nice way to spend an afternoon. It's an essential component for good health, according to University of Illinois environment and behavior researcher Frances "Ming" Kuo."

Monday, April 25, 2011

New concerns over swine flu jab after children given it 'hit by sudden sleep syndrome'

New concerns over swine flu jab after children given it 'hit by sudden sleep syndrome'

"A swine flu vaccine which has been given to thousands of children in Britain may cause the sleep disorder narcolepsy."

Epigenetic changes seen in elderly men after prolonged air pollution exposure.

Epigenetic changes seen in elderly men after prolonged air pollution exposure.  

"New research suggests that long-term exposure to certain air pollutants alters DNA methylation, a mechanism that controls gene expression."

Madrigano J, A Baccarelli, MA Mittleman, RO Wright, D Sparrow, PS Vokonas, L Tarantini and J Schwartz. 2011. Prolonged exposure to particulate pollution, genes associated with glutathione pathways, and DNA methylation in a cohort of older men. Environmental Health Perspectives
Synopsis by Heather Volk

Background and Objective: DNA methylation is a potential pathway linking environmental exposures to disease. Exposure to particulate air pollution has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and lower blood DNA methylation has been found in processes related to cardiovascular morbidity. We hypothesized that prolonged exposure to particulate pollution would be associated with hypomethylation of repetitive DNA elements and that this association would be modified by genes involved in glutathione metabolism and other host characteristics.
Methods: DNA methylation of the Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 (LINE-1) and the short interspersed nucleotide element, Alu, were measured by quantitative PCR-Pyrosequencing in 1406 blood samples from 706 elderly participants in the Normative Aging Study (NAS). We estimated changes in repetitive element DNA methylation associated with ambient particles (PM2.5), black carbon and sulfates, with mixed models. We examined multiple exposure windows (one to six months) prior to DNA methylation measurement. We investigated whether this association was modified by genotype and phenotype.
Results: An increase of an interquartile range in black carbon over a 90-day period was associated with a decrease of 0.31% 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) (95% CI: 0.12%, 0.50%) in Alu. An increase in an interquartile range of sulfate over a 90-day period was associated with a decrease of 0.27% 5mC (0.02%, 0.52%) in LINE-1. The GSTM1 null genotype strengthened the association between black carbon and Alu hypomethylation.
Conclusion: Prolonged exposure to black carbon and sulfate particles was associated with hypomethylation of two types of repetitive elements.
PMID: 21385671

Pediatricians want better chemical laws, but evidence always a problem

Pediatricians want better chemical laws, but evidence always a problem

"Toxic chemicals are endangering children, and the government isn't doing enough to protect them—that's the gist of a policy statement released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sick and dying workers question safety of Ogden Superfund site

Sick and dying workers question safety of Ogden Superfund site

"So is Jim Sproul, who sat next to her in an office in the Utah National Guard's Joint Language Training Center. And so is Chris Jensen, who sat beside Sproul.

Across from Seager sat Mike Chen; he survived a brain tumor. A few feet away was Mark Hepper; he's dying.

Megan Cate, Scott Forman, Jackie Leedy, Andy Swatsenbarg — all of them worked in the same small office. All of them are sick. None of them knows why."

Missouri Governor's Council on Disability Fragrance Free Policy

Missouri Governor's Council on Disability Fragrance Free Policy

2011 Winner for CFS Public Service Announcement

2011 Winner for CFS Public Service Announcement

Key Words: multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS, EI, environmental illness, sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance, fibromyalgia, chronic fatiuge, FM, CFS, mold illness, clinical ecology, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, neuropathy, encephalopathy, toxic, chemical

Saturday, April 23, 2011

May is MCS Awareness Month and the Theme this Year is Yellow!

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." - James Thurber

May is MCS Awareness month and the theme this year is yellow! People around the world are making a statement by wearing yellow on May Day, Sunday, May 1 and throughout May. T-shirts, hats, scarfs, and pins all show awareness and support of people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Please join us for this important observance!

One of the greatest ways to generate awareness is to wear clothing and accessories which mention and promote MCS. MCS America has provided several designs to Cafe Press on a volunteer basis to further the awareness of MCS and to support the mission of MCS America. All the designs are available in yellow shirts and bags. Cafe Press prints these designs and sells the items from their website. Our Cafe Press mark-up is 0%, so we take no income from this project and buyers pay Café Press’s wholesale cost only.

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) affects over 48 million men, women, and children of all races. Even though MCS is of widespread epidemic prevalence, public awareness of the toxicity of common environmental insults and ways to manage and accommodate MCS remain limited.

Please join us in spreading awaress this May!

Key Words: multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS, EI, environmental illness, sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance, fibromyalgia, chronic fatiuge, FM, CFS, mold illness, clinical ecology, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, neuropathy, encephalopathy, toxic, chemical

Turn Off Your Cell Phone Buttons Now Available

Turn Off Your Cell Phone Buttons Now Available thru Cafe Press at Cafe Press cost. We take no profit on these.

Cafe Press is also offering a $3 discount on all orders over $30 thru April 27th. Use TAPR1130 in the discount box to receive the $3 credit.

MCS Awareness Month Begins May 1st: Free Planning Kit Available

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) affects over 48 million men, women, and children of all races. Even though MCS is of widespread epidemic prevalence, public awareness of the toxicity of common environmental insults and ways to manage and accommodate MCS remains limited. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month, May 2011, bestows upon us a great opportunity to work towards increased public awareness of MCS.

Organizations around the world have put forth great effort to establish May of each year as either Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month or Toxic Injury Awareness Month. Many are working to improve awareness and appropriate healthcare around the world. Activities are organized around the month of May and continue throughout the year. MCS America plays a special role during this time and is committed to promoting awareness of toxic chemicals which may cause MCS and trigger reactions in those already injured by toxic chemicals.

This entire month of May is dedicated to planning for individuals and organizations in the U.S. to hold local events during Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month and beyond. You will find numerous ideas for promoting awareness, educating others, increasing recognition, and planning community events. There are many editable sample materials which may be downloaded and used locally.

Thousands of multiple chemical sensitivity awareness events are expected to take place across the United States this May. MCS America provides an MCS Event Planning Kit and a Spanish Evento SQM Planificación Kit to help you plan both small and large awareness events. MCS America can help publicize your event on news feeds, blogs, newspapers, our newsletter, and other venues. Submit your event to We value your feedback on the usefulness of the sample materials and welcome suggestions for future materials.

We would like to thank you for any and all efforts towards increased awareness in your locality. We look forward to assisting you in any way we can. Working together, we can help America to take control of toxic chemicals and eradicate multiple chemical sensitivity.


MCS America


P.O. Box 29290, Parma, OH 44129 Phone (440) 845-1888


MAY 2011


From 5 to 15% of the U.S. Population is affected by chemical sensitization in varying degrees. (Miller & Ashford 2004; Caress & Steinemann, 2003; Neutra, Kreutzer & Lashuay, 1999; Vorhees, 1999; Meggs, Dunn, Bloch, Goodman & Davidoff, 1966).

"1999 consensus criteria for the definition of (MCS) were first identified in a 1989 multidisciplinary survey

of 89 clinicians and researchers with extensive experience in MCS. A decade later, their top 5 consensus criteria (i.e., defining MCS as [1] a chronic condition [2] with symptoms that recur reproducibly [3] in response to low levels of exposure [4] to multiple unrelated chemicals and [5] improve or resolve when incitants are removed) are still unrefuted in published literature.

Government studies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada that revealed 2-4 times as many cases of chemical sensitivity among Gulf War veterans than undeployed controls. In addition, state health department surveys of civilians in New Mexico and California showed that 2-6%, respectively, already had been diagnosed with MCS and that 16% of the civilians reported an "unusual sensitivity" to common everyday chemicals." Arch Environ Health. 1999 May-Jun;54(3):147-9.


Many toxic substances to which we are unwittingly exposed daily may cause debilitating conditions including cancer, asthma, and MCS as well as impair functional ability and quality of life. Chemical exposures can also deplete your nutrients and/or create imbalances.


Education is power. Learn how chemicals, molds, and fragrances can be harmful to you and your health as well as those with MCS. Protect yourself and your family as well as those in your community who are disabled with this complex condition.


See our website:

Check out

Gulf War, 911, & Katrina Film documentaries -

Visit your local library for related books and films. MCS displays in May.


It's hidden in perfume, in the cleaners and the sprays -

Bleach, paint, and so much more - and we can't get away.

It's poison! Noxious! Toxic! To many folks you see,

When affected by those chemicals, slowly dying by degrees.

It's real, stop and think – In a big kind of way.

The people of tomorrow need the air clean today.

Jeff Moyer 1997






For Further Information Contact:

Toni Temple, President  (440) 845-1888






            The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed several scientific studies about triclosan, an ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.  It may be found in clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, and also in products regulated by the FDA that include antibacterial soaps, toothpastes, and some cosmetics. 

Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation and can contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The FDA, EPA, and other agencies are engaged in ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient.  Ironically, FDA has no evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.  

The Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured (ONFCI) is a not-for-profit corporation that educates about and advocates on behalf of those who have been harmed by toxic chemicals in our everyday environment.  During Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) Awareness and Education Month in May, ONFCI encourages others to be aware of the ways in which people become ill so they can prevent MCS and other health disorders that are caused by preventable and unnecessary exposures to chemicals.  Other disorders include but are not limited to: cancer, asthma, diabetes (from pesticides), and Parkinson's.

Michael D. Connell, Registered Pharmacist at Nature's Pharmacy and an ONFCI Board Member stated: "Ingredients in some commercially prepared pre-op laxatives include polyethylene glycol (antifreeze), dyes in artificial flavorings, and preservatives.  Safer alternatives can be compounded without unnecessary additives."  Ask your medical providers and hospitals to provide you with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all medications, surgical supplies, and treatment ingredients and then do your homework.  Your pharmacy can provide you with full data on inert and active ingredients in medications.  You have the right to ask for less toxic products and safer prescription drugs.

The U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program evaluates data for each chemical and assigns hazard levels for human health and environmental concerns.  Bisphenol A (BPA) assessments and studies have shown that BPA is absorbed through the skin and mimics the effects of estrogen.  BPA is used in: baby bottles; plastics designed for food and drink containers; the linings of canned foods and drinks; and is also used to coat thermal paper which is used for carbonless cash register, grocery, ATM, gas station, and other receipts.  Ask your vendors to use BPA-free receipts.

            Libraries participating in MCS Awareness and Education Month include: Cuyahoga County Public Library's 28 branches; the Downtown branch of Cleveland Public Library, Science and Technology Department; and the Brunswick Library.  In May many libraries will have displays with related books, mayoral proclamations, and provide other related information.  

Many mayors including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem, Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr, and Strongsville Mayor Thomas Perciak, will again issue Proclamations supporting MCS Awareness and Education Month.

An ONFCI MCS article was published in the 2011 Ohio Environmental Briefing Book and will be available soon on the Ohio Environmental Council's website at .

 For further information about MCS and the ONFCI visit our website at or contact ONFCI at (440) 845-1888.

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