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Posts Tagged ‘Toxics’

round upThe Texas Political Alliance hopes that everyone reading this today has ensured they are registered to vote in the November election, as the deadline for doing so is Monday, October 5.

The Texas Cloverleaf reviews proposed changes to the city of Denton’s charter that will be on the November ballot.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notices Rick Perry has had a busy week what with Channeling Glenn Beck and messing up a wrongful execution investigation.

TXsharon had a hard time keeping up with all the fracking, moving, shaking and gasping for toxic air in the Barnett Shale this week so there is a BS recap that includes a recently released URGENT alert for all current and former residents of DISH–formerly Clark–Texas to complete and submit a health survey.

Bay Area Houston wonders what $640 a frickin hour buys you in Houston Mayor’s race.

If a Republican holds an on-line event, will they properly provision for the people who want to join it? McBlogger’s pretty sure they won’t and isn’t terribly surprised that they blamed it on the nefarious actions of others.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Gov. Perry’s latest outrage. It’s another example of why Texas needs accountability in our state’s government, Perry’s pride and the Willingham case.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy writes about why he gets up early on Saturday mornings to escort patients at Planned Parenthood; guest blogger Litia writes about the frustrations they fell while trying to get students to participate in class at Texas A&M. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines.

XicanoPwr is encouraging people to vote for Prop 4, the “national research university” proposition, on Nov 3. Texas currently has three flagship universities – The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Rice University – compared to states such as California, with nine, and New York, with seven. If passed, it would allow seven “emerging universities” – Texas Tech, University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at San Antonio – tap into a $500 million education fund to help them be part of the elite three and “achieve national prominence” as a major research university.

WhosPlayin’ has video from Denton County’s “Donkeyfest” where candidates John Sharp for U.S. Senate and Neil Durrance for U.S. Congress spoke.

Off the Kuff has a simple suggestion for how Governor Perry and Williamson County DA John Bradley can counter the perception that Perry’s elevation to Chair of the Texas Forensic Sciences Commission was a blatantly political move designed to bury the findings of the Cameron Todd Willingham case: Reschedule the meeting that the Commission was going to hold before Perry’s maneuver.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered a post this week about the famous Dogs Playing Poker paintings. These paintings have been around for more than 100 years now. How many of our blog posts will last in any meaningful respect beyond next week?

The Doctorate of Shadetree Psychology is hereby awarded to PDiddie of Brains and Eggs, for his compelling dissertation that Rick Perry is a sociopath.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw gives Senators Hutchison and Cornyn a chance to put up or shut up . If government health care is so horrible, so “socialist”, give up your govenment coverage. Read the rest here: Senators Hutchison and Cornyn: Get Us What You Have or Give Up Yours.

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Am I “Crazy” for wondrin’ if lead in artificial turf is a bad thing, or have I just been listening to too much Willie Nelson lately?

grassThe Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports:

Some of the most hallowed ground in Texas — the artificial turf on its high school football fields — may also be toxic.

Fields in two of the state’s best-known high school stadiums, including the one made famous by the book and movie “Friday Night Lights,” have lead levels far exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for soil, according to independent tests done within the last month.

The results, obtained by The Associated Press, are the first public indication that Texas’ prized high school stadiums have become part of the national controversy over whether artificial turf contains unsafe levels of lead.

Testing commissioned by the Ector County school district on the turf at Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium found lead at roughly 14 times the EPA standard. Similar testing by the Birdville school district in the Fort Worth suburb of North Richland Hills discovered a lead level nearly 10 times the EPA standard at that district’s stadium, the Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.

While tests indicated that the top part of the turf that players have the most contact with was not terribly toxic, the lower portions of the faux grass had high lead levels.  Water runoff from the Birdville field had lead levels twice the EPA’s drinking water standards, indicating that the lead was leaching into the environment — and perhaps, down the line, into groundwater.

In other states, schools that found lead levels much lower than what has been found in Texas were moved to actually shut down their facilities.  In New Jersey, two fields with lead levels 8 to 10 times the EPA’s soil standard were closed this April.  In California, a playground with levels just twice the EPA standard was closed down until the turf could be removed as hazardous waste.  But here in Texas, despite even higher lead levels, school district officials seem unconcerned.

What is it with Texas?  In a post last week on air toxics near schools, we learned that several Texas schools are surrounded by air pollution even worse than what has caused school closures in other states.  Now we’re finding lead on school premises in concentrations much higher than what has caused other states to take real action, and school district officials aren’t even concerned.  Do we just not believe in the health risks of toxic exposure? Do we not care about our kids?  Or are football and industry just higher priorities than a few children with brain damage and cancer?

Bah, humbug.

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Do you like clean air?

Do you like clean air for KIDS?

Seems like the rest of the state does, too.  According to TCEQ, a program to retrofit school buses around the state has been able to retrofit 2300 buses statewide. Even more amazing was the demand for the program exceeding its allotment by 40%, meaning for every 3 school buses we wanted to fix, we could only fix 2.   However, that means that for tens of thousands of kids, they are now riding in much better buses, and those school districts who gut put on the waiting list just have to wait for more money from the Legislature to get their buses clean, too.

A demonstration of how much pollution is prevented on a school bus

Local ISDs, schools, parents, and kids love this program because of how much it reduces toxic air pollution from our buses, and does so without taking money out of the classroom.  Local businesses and residents should love it because it is making their communities cleaner.  This is a win for air quality, a win for school districts, and most importantly, a win for children’s health.

More video, a press release, and gory details after the break: (more…)

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Today’s Dallas Morning News editorializes about banning phthalates, (pronounced THAL-ates), a chemical made from petroleum that makes plastics bendable and has already been banned in Europe, California, Washington, and even Mexico. Among the top products that use phthalates in their plastics? Children’s toys. As a father of two children under the age of 3 whose toys invariably end up in their mouths, whether these post a health risk is of obvious concern to me.

Both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees product safety and consumer protection, but the Senate’s version included a phtalate ban- the House’s version did not. Now, while in the conference committee designed to reconcile the two versions of the bill, special interests are attempting to keep the phthalate ban out of the final bill.

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