Join Us in Protecting Water Quality in Massachusetts

Clean drinking water is important for everyone. 

As advocates for prevention, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) has requested funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for its sister organization, Silent Spring Institute.  The funding will be used to study exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water throughout Massachusetts and provide online tools for residents to learn about their drinking water quality.  On Monday, April 10th, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its budget recommendations and Representatives will have the opportunity to add amendments prior to the house debate at the end of the month.  After the House debates, the budget will then move on to the Senate where there will be additional opportunities to have funding added for Silent Spring Institute. MBCC needs your help with the following action to support the passage of the bill, filed by Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn), Bill H.2919 An Act Relative to Drinking Water and Ground Water Research, to establish a research trust fund.

Take Action!

We need your help now! 

Contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture to request support of Bill H.2919 An Act Relative to Drinking Water and Ground Water Research, to establish a research trust fund.  In addition, ask for their support to find funding for this trust fund.

Contact your State Representative and State Senator to support clean water research funding for Silent Spring Institute.

Go to: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator to find contact information for your legislators.

Thank you!


Free Pass to Pollute?

Submitted by Sue Phelan, GreenCAPE

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times…Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement…                                                                                                                         
—   Clarissa Pinkola Estés

We greet 2017 uneasily…..but with firm resolve. The electrical utility Eversource (formerly NStar) has persisted in spraying toxic herbicides on Cape Cod – on private residential properties and public municipal lands over an EPA-designated Sole Source Aquifer for the past 4 years, with no consideration for their customers or the contaminants they leave in their wake. Eversource casually disregards the Cape economy, which relies nearly exclusively on Clean Water. No one at Eversource or the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources (the state regulator of Eversource) has been willing or able to guarantee that the thousands of gallons of herbicides, (along with their undisclosed trade secret “other ingredients” comprising the majority of the herbicide product), which are sprayed annually into the air, soil, and water throughout the Cape and the Commonwealth won’t result in health problems for residents, tourists, and animals. They can’t make that claim of safety because federal law won’t allow it and their lawyers would certainly advise against it. For residents, summer visitors, and businesses on the Cape, their health and the health of the economy is the most immediate concern.

However, there’s an additional aspect to this surreptitious electrical Rights-of-Way (ROW) spraying wherever it occurs — and that’s global distillation. Global distillation refers to the transport of these same chemicals hundreds and thousands of miles from the original site of application. What’s sprayed on Cape Cod — or Sudbury or Boston or Minneapolis, etc., — doesn’t stay where it’s sprayed. It travels far afield on air and ocean currents. Depending on its chemical makeup, a toxic substance can persist for some time in our environment, food, and water — AND inside us. It has been shown that our most vulnerable population, our infants, are now being born “pre-polluted” with as many as 287 different synthetic chemicals in their bodies, many of which are toxic to the brain and nervous system, (and include IQ deficits), or linked to cancer. But Eversource and its state regulators are willing to chance that their pollution won’t be tracked back to them, and that those affected won’t even be aware they were ever exposed to Eversource chemical trespass on their bodies. By the time any of this is determined to have harmed communities, those utilities will likely attempt to erase their toxic liabilities via corporate spinoffs and/or mergers. But, their clock may have started to run out. Communities across the Commonwealth and beyond that have been harmed by Eversource activities are beginning to join together in the common fight. Current energy policies that result in projects that harm our communities need to be stopped. Eversource cannot continue to be given a free pass to pollute–regardless of their influence $$$.

Though we do not yet know the outcome of our many challenges to the electric utility Eversource at this moment, what we do know is that we have learned an enormous amount about how to take on large corporate interests, government agencies, and politicians when they threaten or ignore the interests of customers/constituents and the environment. This “practicing” has awakened us to any future challenges and we know there will be many. Jump Start the New Year by making a commitment to persist in holding Eversource (800-592-2000) and your Representatives/Senators (https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator) accountable for that utility’s poor performance, AND organize your own community to resist their toxic behavior.  Hope is grounded in taking action against these injustices and in recalling the history of great movements – history is filled with activists like Rachel Carson, who act out of altruism and integrity, and resolve to stand tough in dark times. Yes, we certainly face challenges ahead, but we can each do our part to protect the health of our environment and our neighbors by joining larger efforts to bring communities together and make HEALTH happen. There’s lots of work to be done in 2017!

 


Take Action to Support Drinking and Ground Water Research

Your calls to House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey remain important.

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition has always advocated strongly for funding to support water quality research in Massachusetts. A cover story in the Boston Globe shines a spotlight on the “big water problems” facing Cape Cod. You can read the article here.  Plus, read the Boston Globe article here about the potential dangers the state’s groundwater poses to citizens, stating that as much as 90% of the water may be corrosive.

We believe it is unacceptable that the citizens of Massachusetts cannot have confidence in the quality of their drinking water from private wells and ground water. We urge you to take action and make your voices heard. House Bill 4166, An Act relative to drinking and ground water research, currently sits in the House Committee on Ways and Means.  The bill establishes that the Department of Environmental Affairs be directed to create a Drinking and Ground Water Research Trust Fund to be used for the purpose of establishing a drinking and ground water research project in collaboration with Silent Spring Institute.

Please Take Action to support Silent Spring Institute’s research of unregulated chemicals of concern in public and private drinking water wells and ground water in Massachusetts. Please contact Chairman Brian Dempsey of the House Ways and Means Committee asking that the Committee report out the bill favorable to the House floor.  You can visit the House Committee on Ways and Means’ webpage and contact members and staff of the Committee.  Please visit https://malegislature.gov/Committees/House/H34 to contact the committee, or call (617) 722-2990.


Make Phone Calls to Support Drinking and Ground Water Research

As advocates for prevention, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition needs your help with the following action to support the passage of H.4166, An Act relative to drinking and ground water research.

Please Take Action to support Silent Spring Institute’s research of unregulated chemicals of concern in public and private drinking water wells and ground water in Massachusetts.

Take Action!

We need your help now!

Call Senator Karen E. Spilka, Chairwomen of Senate Ways and Means, 617-722-1640 or email at Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov to request keeping the $25,000 earmarked for Silent Spring Institute in the final version of the State Budget.

Call Representative Brian S. Dempsey, Chairman, House Ways and Means, 617-722-2990 or email at Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov to support H.4166 being reported out favorable to the House floor and for keeping the $25,000 earmarked for Silent Spring Institute in the final version of the State Budget.

For more information on House Bill H.4166 An Act relative to drinking and ground water research, click here to read a Memo from the Office of Assistant House Minority Whip, State Representative Paul K. Frost Regarding a Legislative Update on House Bill 4166.

 


Advances in Breast Cancer Prevention

Dr Michael MisialekBy Dr. Michael Misialek
Associate Chair of Pathology, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Medical Adviser, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

In the United States, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and more than 40,000 women die yearly from breast cancer. As a pathologist, I diagnose breast cancer far too often. As a medical adviser to the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, I understand the importance of prevention. This is finally being recognized in the medical community.

In an effort to promote a better understanding of the importance of toxic exposures and breast cancer, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) launched the Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures program. MBCC is helping facilitate the discussion between health professionals and patients about environmental exposures and chemicals of concern. Many chemicals of concern are industrial chemicals that do not stay isolated inside factories. Minimizing exposure to chemicals linked with negative health impacts can lessen the burden of disease and improve public health.

To make this important public health topic more palatable, MBCC has created a booklet for health professionals and a medical brochure for patients. These documents are available for download and are intended to be used in tandem.

As a health professional, I believe that the Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures medical booklet offers providers a wealth of resources to communicate with patients, evaluate and assess a patient’s exposure history, and further understand the effects and impact of common chemicals of concern.

For the informed patient, the Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures brochure can help manage the risk of toxic exposure. This patient brochure, which is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese, provides basic steps to reduce toxic exposures in the home and enables patients to choose safer alternatives to harmful products used daily.

The majority of breast cancer research has traditionally focused on treatment and screening while funding for prevention lags far behind. A far greater benefit in lives saved would be realized from efforts directed towards prevention. Additionally, the financial impact is much greater. It is less expensive to keep a patient healthy and out of the hospital.

To download the Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures Medical Booklet for Health Professionals and the Brochure for patients, please visit the Let’s Talk Prevention Tab on the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition webpage: www.mbcc.org.

There is reason for optimism. Research into prevention is gaining momentum. Help keep progress moving forward. Please consider helping support MBCC in its efforts to end the breast cancer epidemic.