Support Environmental Health Research in Massachusetts

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Working toward the goal of breast cancer prevention, MBCC submitted a request for state funding for $1.2 million over two years for its sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, to study exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water and homes in Central MA and on Cape Cod. This request also includes funding for MBCC to launch education and outreach projects to disseminate research results to the public.

UPDATE: With bipartisan support, two amendments have been filed to include this funding in the recently released MA House of Representatives budget. Please take action below to help these amendments get passed!

Take Action:

Before April 24th, ask your State Representative to co-sponsor both Amendment #1115 and Amendment #439. Feel free to use our sample letter as a model (click the button below) but please note that personalized messages have greater impact than formulated samples. If you write your own letter, remember to include both amendment numbers (#1115 and #439). This helps legislators locate the amendments to sign on.

Research Summary:

1. Investigate exposure to chemical herbicides in groundwater and homes on Cape Cod:

How? Using a combination of lab and field studies, researchers will evaluate the movement of herbicides used for vegetation management and lawn maintenance into groundwater, exposures through contact with sprayed areas, and migration of herbicides into indoor dust.

Why? Exposures to herbicides have been linked to hormone disruption, DNA damage, mammary tumors, and developmental toxicity in animal studies. In 2013 NSTAR resumed spraying herbicides on Cape Cod as part of a vegetation management plan and many herbicides are widely used for lawn and turf care.

2. Research exposure to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) on Cape Cod and in Central MA:

How? Researchers will assess PFC exposure from consumer product use through lab experiments measuring PFCs leaching from non-stick cookware and food packaging. Researchers will also measure PFCs in water by testing wells in several towns in Central MA.

Why? PFCs can cause mammary tumors and liver damage in animals and have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption in people. Past research at Silent Spring Institute detected perfluorinated chemicals in Cape Cod drinking water! For more information about Silent Spring Institute’s past water research, check out the Research Updates video segment, “Is Your Drinking Water Safe? Silent Spring Institute Water Quality Research.”

3. Public Information & Outreach:

How? The proposal includes funding for MBCC and Silent Spring Institute to organize education programs to disseminate research results through community meetings, news articles, videos, and more.

Why? Many people are unaware of new science about harmful exposures from everyday products and pollutants in homes. Citizens deserve access to this information to make informed decisions on issues which will affect their health and the health of their families.

Supportive Representatives:

The following State Representatives already support these amendments. If your Representatives is already a co-sponsor of both amendments, please send a thank you note!

Amendment #1115 was filed by Representative Frost (R-Auburn) and is co-sponsored by:
Representative Beaton (R-Shrewsbury)
Representative Durant (R-Spencer)
Representative Gifford (R-Wareham)
Representative Gobi (D-Spencer)
Representative Khan (D-Newton)
Representative Madden (D-Nantucket)
Representative Mannal (D-Barnstable)
Representative Peake (D-Provincetown)
Representative Vieira (R-East Falmouth)
Amendment #439 was filed by Representative Mannal (D-Barnstable) and is co-sponsored by:
Representative Durant (R-Spencer)
Representative Dykema (D-Holliston)
Representative Frost (R-Auburn)

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