where thousands of

where thousands of families were exposed to lead in their water and where officials ignored the problem for more than a year But I know from personal experience that Flint is just the latest chapter in a history of water contamination in the US We need better regulations to protect my children and all Americans from toxic exposures I grew up in a small town in Ohio near the banks of the Ohio River where I spent my childhood and early adulthood drinking water that had been contaminated for several generations with C8 a chemical made by DuPont chemical company C8 was used in the production of Teflon until 2014 when DuPont stopped producing it as part of an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the Ohio River for their drinking water; C8 also known as PFOA is found in those waters as well as in food packaging cookware and other consumer products And its found in me My health records and those of others in my community helped establish the links between C8 exposure and kidney cancer testicular cancer thyroid disease pre-eclampsia certain birth defects and other diseases Thats why I was relieved to learn that in late December the Senate voted to pass the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act a long overdue update of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act The Lautenberg Act gives the EPA new powers to study and regulate C8 and other harmful chemicals such as asbestos which kills about 10000 Americans every year Under the new act the EPA would be required to regulate chemicals on the basis of health impacts instead of on the costs to industry The act would replace the Toxic Substances Control Act a regulation so weak that the EPA has been powerless to restrict everyday chemicals linked to cancer infertility diabetes thyroid disease high blood pressure and many other illnesses I know something about how powerless the old act is Even after my community was studied for 10 yearseven after our health records linked C8 to several cancers other serious diseases and birth defectsthe EPAs hands were tied The agency was not able to do anything more than recommend that DuPont voluntarily phase out C8 When I was pregnant with my twin daughters I had preeclampsia Was it related to my exposure to C8 I will never know I do know that C8 can cross the placenta and that my daughters therefore may have been exposed to the toxic chemical in utero C8 very likely was just one of dozens of industrial chemicals they were exposed to American babies are born with an average of more than 200 chemicals in their bodies according to one study Most of these chemicals have never been tested for toxicity in adults As the bipartisan Senate bill gets conferenced with a similar but less comprehensive bill in the House I have a message to my lawmakers: We are counting on you to give us a law that protects our families from toxic exposures Strengthening this dangerously outdated and inadequate law will save lives Contact us at [email protected] IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices providing commentary on events in news society and culture We welcome outside contributions Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editorsOn 23 September early in the morning a large number of policemencordoned off the house of Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar a close aide of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani Gulzar chairman Jammu and Kashmir Insaf Party cut short his prayers to see who was banging on his door atGanbugh Hyderpora He was whisked to Shergadi Police Station where he remained lodged for several days before being shifted to the Kotbalwal prison in Jammu Gulzar was detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) by Srinagar’s deputy commissioner: a recourse taken rarely as PSA is an administrative order that is meant to deny people bail File image of Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn The PSA against the separatist leader came nearly a month after Governor Satya Pal Malik assumed office and replaced NN Vohra That too at a time whenauthorities were gearing up for the four-phase municipal polls The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) opened the civic polls for nominations The first phase of polling were held on 8 October and the results were announced on 20 October Though the polls remained largely peaceful the turnout was an abysmal 3 to 4 percent a record low in the state history Gulzar’s arrest was a display of Malik’s hardline approach a stark contrast to the policy of PDP presidentMehbooba Mufti who during her tenure as chief minister was accused by political parties including her own coalition partner BJP and Congress for “being soft on separatists”The BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba for "being unable to tackle the Kashmir unrest" In September Mehbooba said separatists and businessmen who have faced raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for “supporting the freedom” to Kashmir are “feeling harassed” Malik has not only detained the separatists under the PSA but has got them frequently lodged at police stations The Hurriyat Conference perceives this as an “aggressive” policy of BJP towards Kashmiris? Patty Murray released Tuesday, referring to the substance’s name it shares with the comic book hero’s ultimate weakness. Instead.

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