A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200 MARCH 1996


Time For Action: 3rd Citizens Conference
on Dioxin and Other Synthetic Hormone Disruptors
March 15-17, 1996, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

*drafted by the Organizing Committee

Please sign on to this resolution if you agree with it. Send the name(s) of the individual(s) or group(s) who agree to sign on to Waste Not. The resolution will be published by the Conference .

It is our conviction that human activities leading to the spread of dioxin and other synthetic hormone-disrupting substances* threatens the viability of living beings throughout the earth, including our own species.

WHEREAS, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are the most potent human-made poisons currently known, are persistent in the environment and bioaccumulate in living organisms, threatening species at the top of the food chain, including humans;

WHEREAS, many of the other hormone-disrupting substances that we are exposed to come to us in the form of common household products like detergents, cleaners, plastic packaging and cosmetics;

WHEREAS, in September 1994, the U.S. EPA confirmed that::

* Dioxin is likely to cause cancer in humans;

* Dioxin’s non-cancer effects, including damage to the immune system, endocrine system,

developmental system and reproductive system may be even more serious than its cancer-causing effects;

* The average person has dioxin tissue levels close to where these effects would be expected;

* Developing fetuses, nursing infants and recreational and subsistence fish eaters receive a daily dose

of dioxin far above levels considered “safe” by the U.S. EPA;

WHEREAS, dioxin is inextricably linked to the manufacture, use and especially incineration of chlorine-containing compounds;

WHEREAS, synthetic hormone disruptors have been implicated in rising rates of breast cancer, testicular cancer,prostate cancer, genital malformations, infertility, endometriosis, neurological and behavioral disorders, thyroid dysfunction and declining sperm counts in humans, as well as similar disorders in many wildlife species;

WHEREAS, the International Joint Commission (IJC), the monitoring body of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, has taken the position that “all persistent toxic substances are dangerous to the environment, deleterious to the human condition, and can no longer be tolerated in the ecosystem, whether or nor unassailable scientific proof of acute or chronic damage is universally accepted,” (IJC, 7th Biennial Report, March 1994), and recommends that the U.S. and Canadian governments, “develop timetables to sunset the use of chlorine and chlorine-containing compounds as industrial feedstocks.” (IJC Sixth Biennial Report, 1992);

WHEREAS, the American Public Health Association “(r)ecognizes that the elimination of chlorine and/or chlorinated organic compounds from certain manufacturing processes, products and uses may be the most cost-effective and health protective way to reduce health and environmental exposures to chlorinated organic compounds.” (APHA Resolution 9304, October 1993);

WHEREAS, nearly five years have passed since scientists who signed the Wingspread Conference Statement in 1991 identified chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system and agreed that “(u)nless the environmental load of synthetic hormone disruptors is abated and controlled, large scale dysfunction at the population level is possible.” Since then, governments and corporations have done little to nothing to lessen the amounts of these chemicals from entering our environment or their products;

WHEREAS, alternative technologies for many dioxin-producing industries are readily available and economically viable;

WHEREAS, workers in dioxin-producing facilities are often among the most highly exposed;

WHEREAS, demographic data reveal a disproportionate burden of dioxin-emitting facilities located within, upwind or upstream of low-income communities of color; and

RECOGNIZING the Principles of Environmental Justice, developed and adopted by the People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit on October 27, 1991, in Washington, D.C.;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the 3rd Citizens’ Conference on Dioxin and Other Synthetic Endocrine Disruptors as well as the undersigned organizations and individuals demand:

1. Immediate steps be taken by every relevant political institution and manufacturer to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate the dioxins and other endocrine disruptors going into our food and domestic products, into our children and into our communities.

2. An immediate halt to the incineration of municipal, commercial, industrial, hazardous, medical, military, and radioactive waste, and any such wastes incinerated in cement or aggregate kilns, or any other open-ended device.

3. That siting of any new waste handling or manufacturing facility must be consistent with the Principles of Environmental Justice; no waste handling or manufacturing process should be sited without the consent of any potentially-impacted population.

4. An immediate commencement of a phase-out of the industrial production and use of chlorinated organic compounds (including chlorinated bleaching agents used in the production of pulp and paper, chlorinated solvents, chlorine-dependent pesticides, and polyvinyl chloride -- PVC -- plastic).

5. That such a phase-out must be conducted in an equitable transitional process which takes into account the interests of impacted communities and workers who may experience economic and social consequences as a result of a sunset of chlorinated organic compounds.

6. That such a phase-out of industrial production and use of chlorinated organic compounds occur on an international level. Therefore, we call on the governments and corporation of the world to develop and support a legally-binding global instrument to ban dioxin and other Persistent Organic Pollutants, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

7. That the governments responsible for regulations which have permitted widespread exposure to dioxin and other endocrine disruptors, and the corporations that have made and released these chemicals, make available free health care and all other necessary reimbursements to all people who have been adversely affected, including workers at dioxin-producing facilities and Vietnam Veterans, their children and their grandchildren.

8. That government officials at the local, state, provincial, and national levels amend corporate codes, charters and/or certificates of authority to bar any corporation, association, sole proprietorship, partnership or other enterprise -domestic, foreign or alien (including their subsidiaries) which produces dioxin anywhere on Earth or which contributes to the production of dioxin anywhere on Earth, from conducting any business within their jurisdiction.

9. That as the phase-out progresses, and until there is zero discharge of dioxin and other synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals, governments mandate that all producers of dioxin and other synthetic hormone disruptors must inform the public of all releases of these chemicals to air, water, land and products; as well as their options for reducing or eliminating their use of toxic chemicals. All chemical substances present in commercial products must be systematically tested by producers for their endocrine-disrupting properties. The plastics industry in particular must identify and test ALL of the additives present in their products.

* Known Endocrine Disruptors:

DDT and its degradation products, DEHP (di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate), dicofol, HCB (hexachlorobenzene), kelthane, kepone, lindane and other hexachlorocyclohexane congeners, methoxychlor, octachlorostyrene, synthetic pyrethroids, triazine herbicides, EBDC fungicides, lead, cadmium, mercury, certain PCB congeners, 2,3,7,8-TCDD and other dioxins, 2,3,7,8-TCDF and other furans, tributyltin and other organo-tin compounds, alkyl phenols (non-biodegradable detergents and anti-oxidants present in modified polystyrene and PVCs), styrene dimers and trimers, nonylphenol, octylphenol, dieldrin, toxaphene, endosulfan.

WASTE NOT # 358. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $70.

Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, New York 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.