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Milton Caine

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This Weeks Featured Article

Some thoughts on this week in politics…

Toxic Pollution of PFAS in Australia and the World

Toxic Pollution of PFAS in Australia and the World

PFAS Toxic Pollution Causes Cancer

If it was new information that the PFAS toxic pollution causes cancer we could well understand why the Australian Government chose to purchase this product contained in the firefighting foam to be used at every RAAF Base in Australia as well as to be used for other applications including mining rescues where fires are involved. This information was known before it was first purchased in 1988 and while at that point of time it was only suspected as being connected to cancer cells in many places in the USA. This product was banned for use in the USA because of its link to potential cancer risks, yet knowing that our government chose to purchase this product. Here we are 30 years latter and the government while knowing of the pollution that has been caused by the product is still trying to downplay the serious situation that is before each and every living in the polluted areas.

Cancer stats at Tartan High

Toxic secrets – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_16_2018

How many people need to die; how many need to suffer cancer before our government will be moved to resolve the matter? We do know the cost of compensation will be very high! We do know that the cost to attempt to clean up the mess will be very high! We do know that the clean up will be very difficult! We also know that we must commence to compensate, clean up, admit fault, and stop using the products NOW!

The major parties from opposition will make claims to fix the problem and will blame those in government for the problem and for not doing anything about – IT HAS BEEN 30 YEARS OF A DEVELOPING PROBLEM SO WHO CARES ABOUT THE BLAME GAME JUST FIX THE PROBLEM NOW! The state governments are also there as well as the mine rescue business is a state government responsibility; as well the Environmental Protection Authority is a State Government department and has been well aware of the problem for at least 20 years with almost no action! People living in the areas with the toxic pollution spread through their soil need to be able to make decisions for their future. The only reason the banks have not foreclosed on their properties is because the property that was formally valued at $500,000 is currently worthless as it could not be sold to recover very much of the outstanding debt. The people have virtually no capacity to move away because they cannot raise enough money to move as they cannot obtain loans as they are now a bad risk to any financial institution. Many not affected say that these people should just get on with it and stop complaining, but I know the knowledge that your neighbours have got a cancer and the same PFAS linked to their cancer is in your ground water and you are wondering, all the time, if and when you will be told, by your doctor, that you have a cancer developing as you visit your neighbours in hospital or attend their funerals – this is a huge burden to carry as you try to carry on a normal life. It is living with a deadly death sentence!

Toxic secrets_ kids, chemicals and cancer – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_16_2018

The potential for remediation is not easy as previously mentioned and this is possibly why the government is unwilling to concede a relationship between the toxic foam and the health and other pollution issues. A significant report in my view is found at:

file:///D:/Seow_WA-DEC_PFCs_Firefighting_Foam_final_version_7June2013.pdf

A important paragraph from the report cut from the report and pasted below for quick information of all.

Just because it is difficult and expensive to fix and a potentially huge health comlication and eventual early death for many people should not mean that we should fail to resolve to:

  1. Admit that there is a problem.
  2. Admit the extent of the problem.
  3. Admit the origin on the problem.
  4. Admit liability for the problem.
  5. Stop using the products.
  6. Isolate the problem as much as possible from human and animal contact.
  7. Begin processes to clean up what can be cleaned up.
  8. Contain and isolate all contaminated soil and water that is unable to be cleaned up.
  9. Begin the process of compensation to affected persons.
  10. Ban the product from Australia.

What is the extent of the toxic pollution in Australia:

known Contamination sites in Australia

 

Dozens of contaminated sites investigated around the nation – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_18_2018

Every state is affected with a huge number of sites in both NSW and Victoria. The sites are related to airports particularly where the RAAF is involved in some way. Other sites including training sites for both mine rescue and firefighting operations. This is where the relevant state governments can take the lead in commencing to firstly stop using the products and secondly resolving the process to clean up the contaminated sites. The need for any compensation would also be a subject of paramount importance for the NSW parliament to be addressed urgently and with considerable care.   

Time to ban toxic chemicals – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_18_2018

The government current attitude is one very similar to the one that was used against claims relating to asbestos and must change to become a more compassionate approach, after all the role of government is to serve the community that they govern and never to Lord it over them! 

When two chemicals bond – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_16_2018

The bonding of two chemicals – being Fluorine and carbon in 1940 seemed to be a huge break through for many new processes, however the health risks were found some time latter. The products have been banned in 171 countries though it is not banned in Australia.

IT IS TIME TO BAN IT IN AUSTRALIA!

The hot spots across NSW – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_18_2018

Some may feel the problem is isolated – but is it?? 

            

In all the examinations I have had on this product and its affect on the communities I am convinced that it is clear that it must be banned as soon as possible and that action to manage the polluted areas as well as the damaged health of all affected persons. Then fast track the commencement of compensation to all the families that have had to endure the toxic pollution and its devastating affects on them. I will pursue this in the strongest way I can for an early commencement of all required actions. 

Contaminating chemicals_ it’s worse than we thought – Sydney Morning Herald, 6_22_2018

Assistant Environment Minister, Melissa Price, said,”The Australian Government is actively examining options for banning or severely restricting PFOS use and has been consulting on these options for several months”. 

I say that the Environment Minister, the Assistant Environment Minister, the Defence Minister, and the Prime Minister should today ban these toxic products immediately and instruct all product in this country be held in safe storage until it is arranged to be effectively destroyed. As well the government is committed to those affected that an immediate process to compensation and as required all contaminated properties will be acquired by the government at generous pre-contaminated  valuations. Such compensations must include the reasonable relocation costs for all affected families and businesses. Finally an inquiry into the best way to proceed to clean up all the contamination at all the sites in Australia.

THIS IS JUST THE REASONABLE AND EXPEDIENT PROCESS THAT A RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT IT CAN DO IT! 

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