As CBS News first reported, FEMA has been under heavy fire for failing to acknowledge then adequately address health problems like respiratory illness associated with the toxic chemical formaldehyde found in travel trailers that became home for hundreds of thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina. More than 143,000 families have lived in the toxic trailers, and more than 40,000 still do.
Now, CBS News has learned, the public health fiasco reaches beyond FEMA – into the one of the nation’s most respected agencies.
CBS News has learned that the Centers for Disease Control, the nation’s top public health agency, suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims – health risks like cancer and birth defects, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.
A string of internal documents obtained exclusively by CBS News reveal that Dr. Christopher De Rosa, director of the CDC’s Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine, told his superiors “there is no safe level of exposure” to formaldehyde in trailers. That warning never made its way into any public report about the trailers.
A US EPA “Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study” (CHEERS) was approved to assess children’s exposure to pesticides in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. The two-year study monitored developmental changes in babies, from birth to age 3, who were exposed to pesticides in their homes.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D) California tried to stop it, but the study went through. The pesticide study deliberately exposed Florida children to pesticides in their homes. Barbara equated this study with experiments in the Nazi death camps. In the video you will see Senator Barbara Boxer arguing trying to put an end to it.
A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency payed parents to test their children’s reaction to pesticides.
The CHEERS program asked 60 area families with infants or children from nine to 12 months old to volunteer for the study. All participating families received up to $970 and were required to have their children exposed to pesticides through routine spraying in their homes.
Included in the pesticides and chemicals to be monitored were:
Fluorinated pesticides: Bifenthrin, Fipronil, Lambda-cyhalothrin, and Cyfluthrin I, II, III, IV, total;
Fluorinated chemicals: 4-fluoro-3-phenoxybenzoic acid and the perfluorinated PFOS and PFOA.
During the hearing, Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, criticized the Bush administration and Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) and called on Johnson to end it. Boxer and Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, blocked Johnson’s nomination until they were assured that controversial pesticide study was ended.
U.S. EPA Acting Administrator Stephen Johnson told senators at the hearing that he would not cancel the study of children’s exposure to pesticides, but he backed down later and said the study would not be conducted with EPA funding.
While CHEERS will not go forward with EPA funding, the exact same study can proceed with private sponsors, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). “In fact, the American Chemistry Council, which represents 135 companies including pesticide manufacturers, had already pledged $2 million toward the study’s $9 million overall cost,” said the organization, which represents government employees in the natural resources fields.
Johnson claimed that the Centers for Disease Control had approved CHEERS. In the Federal Register, the EPA said that experiments that intentionally dose human subjects with pesticides and other chemicals will be evaluated and approved by the agency in a “wide open case-by-case” manner.
Be Patriotic, Dissent, Organize Activists, Protest the Bush administrations sick policies. No more needless deaths. Don’t Let Them Poison Our Children. Fly the flag upside down.
Barbara equated this study with Hitler and experiments in the Nazi death camps, and the Nuremberg Tribunals. She was right. We have domestic terrorists creating Nazi experiments right in our own backyard poisoning our children.