Lone Tree Council and TRW

Dioxin Update

December 1st , 2004 # 29


Book Release

Toxic Trespass

Dow Chemical & The toxic century

The Dow Chemical Company has been trespassing on private property for decades and getting away with it. The trespass in this case is harmful and it is toxic. For the transgressors at issue are man-made synthetic chemicals, more than 100,000 of which have been "invented" and let loose in the world since the 1930s. Yet many of these chemicals are toxic to life and have been doing harm for years, insinuating themselves into blood, body tissue, sperm and egg. "Body burdens" of toxic chemicals are now being measured in humans and wildlife all over the globe. The result is not a pretty picture: cancers, birth defects, poisoned workers, and polluted communities. The guilty parties in these transgressions, however, have not been brought to account, and they have not been stopped. To this day, "toxic trespass" continues, and it is poisoning all of us.

Trespass Against Us is a story of how one company’s chemical products and byproducts have damaged, and continue to damage, public health and the environment. Known in the 1960s for producing the lethal Vietnam War defoliant, Agent Orange, and more recently for acquiring Union Carbide’s still-unresolved Bhopal legacy, Dow Chemical today is a company at the manufacturing headwaters of many of the world’s most problematic chemicals, including pesticides, plastics, and solvents. Dow's organochlorines have unleashed dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, among the most lethal substances on the planet. Dow pollutants and known carcinogens also continue to spew from its factories, waste dumps, and incinerators worldwide.

Trespass Against Us is a story of "invent-first-and-ask-questions-later" chemistry; of toxic and hazardous materials pushed into commerce before being fully tested; and of future generations burdened with toxic chemicals that will persist in the environment for decades. Dow's story is also about corporate power: of a company accustomed to getting its way and not above manipulating science, pushing aside safety, or spending millions in the courts and Congress to achieve its ends. Yet Trespass Against Us is also a hopeful story; an account of everyday moms and dads, Vietnam veterans and villagers, chemical workers and communities fighting back; of people standing up to power and seeking a better way. What they are saying is clear and unequivocal: no trespassing – no more invasive toxic chemicals.

Just Published !

Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine http://www.commoncouragepress.com/


About the Author

Jack Doyle is director of J.D. Associates, a Washington, DC investigative research firm specializing in business and environmental issues. He has been writing about technology, business, and the environment for more than 20 years. Publisher’s Weekly called his June 2000 book on the U.S. auto industry -- Taken for a Ride: Detroit’s Big Three & the Politics of Pollution -- "a valuable source for...partisans on all sides of the debate." At Friends of the Earth in the 1990s, Doyle wrote Crude Awakening, a book on the U.S. oil industry, and Hold The Applause!, a 1991 critique of DuPont’s "corporate environmentalism." A1985 book on agricul-tural biotechnology, Altered Harvest (Viking-Penguin), is regarded as a pioneering work on the subject. In the 1970s, working as a lobbyist and policy analyst at the Environmental Policy Institute, Doyle wrote reports on the coal mining industry that helped move strip mining legislation in Congress. Lines Across The Land, a 1979 exposé of the U.S. rural electric cooperative system, was used by liberals and conservatives in Congress to push reforms at the Rural Electrification Administration. Doyle’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Des Moines Register, San Francisco Chronicle, TomPaine.com, the National Academy of Sciences' Issues In Science & Technology, EPA Journal, and other publications. He has consulted with various public agencies and private clients, including the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the AFL-CIO, environmental organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. An earlier corporate history by Doyle on the Shell Oil Co., Riding The Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire, was published under contract to the Environmental Health Fund of Boston in October 2002. He has also appeared as an expert witness before U.S. Congressional committees, and occasionally on T.V. and radio shows. He has also served on the board of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies in Boston. He holds degrees from Millersville University and the Pennsylvania State University.

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The book is available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I've read the book and highly recommend it. Yes, it validates much of what we've known about Dow for years but it puts a human face on the people and communities affected by Dow's decisions, inactions and manipulations. Embraced by civic leaders for their philanthropy and coddled by politicians Dow's power and deception make a mockery of democracy and citizen's efforts to protect public health, their backyards and their bodies. Look around you this watershed!


Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council