Are You in a “Kill Zone”?

March 29th, 2006 - by admin

Rick Hind, Legislative Director / Greenpeace – 2006-03-29 08:41:01

(March 28, 2006) — Across the country, there are more than 100 chemical plants that could kill or injure more than a million people in the event of a terrorist attack or accident. Do you or your loved ones live or work in a kill zone?

Since 9/11, little has been done to protect us from this lethal threat. What’s worse, there are safer chemicals available to replace deadly and volatile chemicals like chlorine.

But the Bush administration and the chemical industry have practically ignored the problem, and even tried to block attempts to improve safety. In fact, Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff just endorsed the chemical industry’s legislative agenda – or lack of one — on chemical security.

Just a few months ago, I wrote about the dangers of transporting these same chemicals between manufacturing plants by train – through your cities and towns. More than 20,000 of you responded to the threat by writing a letter to Congress, and now, thanks to your efforts, Congress has finally recognized the threat posed by chemical plants that make and use these deadly chemicals.

Take Action: >> Tell Congress to act now, because tomorrow could be too late.

Please spread the word — this is a threat to all of us, and Congress should hear from you, your family, your friends and coworkers. It takes just a second to forward this message to your loved ones, and it could save thousands of lives.

The Toxic Threat
Toxic chemicals carried on trains present a massive threat in just an instant, but some toxics are just as lethal over time.

From cell phones to laptops, and i-pods, we have a love affair with high-tech gadgets. But it doesn’t take long for last year’s model to end up in the trash. Electronic waste is filled with toxic chemicals and heavy metals, and every year, hundreds of thousands of discarded products are shipped to Asia to be disassembled by young children who are exposed to lead and mercury.

Many companies like Sony, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have agreed to remove hazardous chemicals from their products, but a few companies have refused to make their products safe. In December, we took our case directly to the employees of Hewlett Packard with a huge blimp over their headquarters and a radio station dial-in to explain our position.

After two years of our campaign against Hewlett Packard, the company has made a giant step forward and agreed to eliminate several toxic chemicals from its products. Now we’re turning our attention to other toxic technology companies including Apple, Dell, IBM, Panasonic and Toshiba. Stay tuned for our next big announcement — we’ll be asking for your help again soon.

The Truth Behind our IRS Audit
As the Wall Street Journal reported on March 21, Public Interest Watch (PIW), a group funded by ExxonMobil, pushed the IRS to audit Greenpeace USA. Last fall, after a three month-long audit, the IRS disproved PIW’s claims by reaffirming our tax-exempt status.
Read the full story.

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