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By Joan Goldstein

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Extra resources for Demanding Clean Food and Water: The Fight for a Basic Human Right

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Moreover, these eight pestieides are just a fraction of the 66 pestieides that the EPA has identified as potentially careinogenic that might be found in a child's diet. ) But the greatest source of cancer risk identified by NRDC comes from apples, apple products, and other foods, such as peanut butter and processed cherries, that may be contaminated with daminozide (trade name: Alar) and its metabolite, UDMH, which is what daminozide breaks down into during processing. In fact, the report goes on to say, average exposure to UDMH may cause one cancer case for every 4,200 children exposed by the age of six alone-which is 240 times the cancer risk that the EPA considers acceptable following a fulllifetime of exposure.

They found themselves fighting to change large-scale practices and laws that had been considered incontrovertible only a few years earlier. Some significant victories spurred them on. A 1969 ruling in Wisconsin proclaimed that DDT and its metabolites (the products of the chemical breakdown of DDT) were environmental pollutants within the definition of Wisconsin laws, since they contaminated the air, land, and waters of the state and presented injury to public health and wildlife. This legal action on a state-by-state basis might have continued for decades if the EDF had not finally decided to attack the federal government for its lack of initiative in protecting the environment from the hazards of DDT.

This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals are the sinis- 24 CHAPTERTWO ter and little recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world-the very nature of its life. 6 Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring barely 20 years after the introduction of over 200 chemicals created for the purpose of killing insects, weeds, and rodents.

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