Friday, March 26, 2010

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

There are illnesses that are created and worsened by exposure to industrial pollutants. These are the illnesses we are investigating, that the local community wishes to understand and address.  Ordinary diseases such as asthma, heart disease, and renal disorders are worsened by the dioxin, ethylene oxide, vinyl chloride, chlorine and other chemicals emitted by the chemical and oil refineries that pollute the Louisiana/Texas "cancer alley.

But it is the cancers and strange blood disorders that most concern and frighten people. Brain, liver and lung cancers.  Anemia, inexplicably falling white blood counts and miscarriages afflict the families of Mossville.  Young people have cancers of the sinuses that one rarely see in anyone of any age. These and other conditions affect residents and plant workers, people in Mossville and all the surrounding communities. It is only the people of Mossville who are organized to hold the industrial zone of Calcasieu Parish accountable.

Our economic system has not held industry responsible for the affect they have on the environment and our health.  Most every manufactured thing we purchase and use includes one or more of the chemicals identified by Wilma Subra as present in the pollution that plagues the people of Mossville.

We all wish to be free from suffering.  The people of Mossville have borne and  continue to bear the afflictions that result from the way we manufacture products both necessary and superfluous.  What is interesting is that similar facilities in Europe are held to a much tougher environmental standard.  As Mrs. Margie Richard told us at our kick off dinner on Sunday, "You don't smell those plants in the Netherlands.  There's no dioxin in the soil in Norway."  So it can be done.  Industry can be held accountable.  Fenceline communities don't have to be sacrificed to industrial production.  Communities of color all over the world are seeking this exact kind of accountability from their governments and the refineries poisoning their lives.  We all need to join in these efforts. These refineries are all of our neighbors, polluting all of our lives, causing suffering to all of our kin whether they live in the Gulf region or not.

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