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Tag Archives: Toxins

The Radium Girls

Curie_and_radium_by_Castaigne

Marie and Pierre Curie experimenting with radium, a drawing by: André Castaigne
This drawing is said to be considered: Public Domain

 

A good friend on Facebook alerted me to this vital information this morning and because it has been an important part of my past, I felt compelled to share it here.

This ugly story is about yet another way that Humans have caused mortal harm often, with little concern, to their fellow Humans.

Years ago, we had Native Friends in the East who had developed severe physical afflictions from growing up in Arizona during the time when Uranium mining  was being  done with little regard to the effect it would have on Humans, primarily the Native people who lived near the mining areas there.

This was not the only instance of US mining processes harming Native people, there were many others, all just as deadly.

From the information gleaned from my searches this morning, it seems that we have a lengthy history in this country of deliberate neglect, and willful intent to harm others on a regular basis and shamefully for profit.

This is the story of the women, most of who worked in the Eastern United States, New Jersey to be exact, in factories making products often for the US Government, that would in a very short time and after great suffering on their part, end their lives.

They, without their consent or knowledge, were being poisoned by radiation from Radium.

At this time in our early US history, many people freely used, or worked with and handled, this what is now known to be deadly substance.

Even Marie Curie the renowned Polish Scientist, who won two Nobel Prizes, one in Chemistry and one in Physics, was not exempt from their lethal effects.

She was not only the first woman to win one, but she was also the only woman to win two!

After a lifetime of one brilliant accomplishment after another, sadly, her work with this very dangerous substance, Radium, would eventually cause her death.

Her development of  aplastic anemia was said to be linked to  her bad  habit of carrying toxic, radioactive isotope test tubes in her lab coat pockets.

Tragically, Madame Curie, like the other Radium Girls, would in the end, succumb to the very evil that she had helped to discover.

 

Places to learn more:

‘Radium Girls’ Remembered for Role in Shaping US Labor Law

Marie Curie

Uranium mining in Arizona

Mae Keane, One Of The Last ‘Radium Girls,’ Dies At 107

Medicine: Radium Women

The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls and the Generation that brushed its Teeth with Radioactive Toothpaste

U tube video – Radium City

Radium Girls

 

 

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A New Blog!

Greetings Dear Readers and Followers~

 

It is here for your consideration:

Flawless Pandemonium

 

While we were away  this week,  a new Blog was busy percolating in my head.

It is now up and it is my fondest wish that some of you may come to see it.

This new Blog concerns the Corporate Bullies worldwide who hold all of us hostage daily,  in some way.

It may be the pet store where we buy our dog food, or the place where we buy our gas, or our groceries.

These are the Big Boys and they take no prisoners.

And as you soon will learn, neither will this new Blog.

Monsanto is number one on my list and the others have just been laid out on the newest post, called the List!

Please do  come, I am counting,  as always,  on your support~

thank you~

 

 

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The True Cost of Your Food!

migrantchildren

The year  is 1941 and these are the children of Migrant Farm Workers in California.
Picture credit: Library of Congress, Robert Hemmig.

 

As you sit to eat each day, do you ever think about where the food on your table comes from?

Perhaps not, but maybe you should.

The United States has millions of Migrant Farm Workers whose sole means of survival, is to put that very food on your table.

And how do we thank them for this life-giving nourishment?

The truth is not very pleasant, nor often even humane.

The work that they do is back-breaking, with very low pay or sometimes,  even no pay.

They have no health insurance and few rights and even fewer who care what happens to them at all.

Yet, without these Migrant Farm Workers who suffer in silence, we would have nothing, or very little, on our dinner tables in America.

I know of no one who would do the work that they do,  no one!

Would you?

If they are lucky, they and their children will hopefully survive it all.

As most of you who follow my two Blogs know, I lived in Southern California  for over 30 years.

My education was in Anthropology, and my opportunity to learn about Migrant Workers came easily because of these two facts.

My last semester at CSUN was a rewarding one, the hard part was all done and the classes that remained were ones that gave me the chance to study what really meant the most to me, people.

Over the years, I had met and become friends with many Hispanics in California, some were legal residents, many were not, but they were all the same to me, kind, warm and family loving people,  that I enjoyed being with and knowing.

The first  “free study”  Class that I did was about the Migrant Farm Workers who lived and worked in Southern California.

I spent countless weekends for six months,  all over LA talking to and learning about, the way these people lived and worked.

They were so forthcoming in offering me the chance to understand the hard lives that they and their families lived.

In these interviews, the people who talked to me were always men,  their wives and children were still in Mexico and they sent them as much as they could each week.

This was the saddest part of the lesson learned, many times the men would get onto trucks and work for an entire day in a field somewhere, only to be dropped off and told that they would be paid the next day.

But, that never happened they said,  because the next day the nasty people who did this,  always chose another street and another group of unsuspecting victims.

Usually, these men lived as many as 8-10 to a room, sharing what they had,  just trying to survive and send money home.

They were victimized by “legal” Americans who cared nothing for them of their families, but only used them.

The workers of course,  could not complain, as so many of them were not here legally and those who cheated them, were quite well aware of this fact.

This was in the mid 1990’s.

What I did not know about at the time of these interviews,  was all that had been done to those who came before them.

Migrant Farm Workers coming to pick food in California began shortly after the two World Wars,  first in the early 1900’s and then later, in the 1950’s, with the Bracero Program.

California advertised everywhere to bring people there to pick the exploding orange and fruit harvests for the owners who were desperate for pickers.

Those who came, were promised many things and in the beginning they were treated fairly well.

Although unbelievably,  I just learned today, they were sprayed with DDT at the Borders.

But then later after the worker shortage slowed down around the mid 1960’s, things began to change and conditions for the pickers became most unbearable.

Just about this time,  Cesar Chavez began his lifetime of dedication to improving  Farm Worker’s Rights.

He would fight this good fight,  until his death and made such a tremendous difference in their lives.

But silently waiting in the dark shadows all during this time was a sinister evil that few suspected, until it was out of control.

Pesticide poisoning was now rampant among the farm workers, their families and the places where they lived.

There is a small town in the San Joaquin Valley, called  McFarland, where not so long ago, the rate of leukemia among the children there under six, was nearly 80% and many blamed this on the over use of pesticides throughout this entire farming region.

This town is right smack in the middle of the Big Valley, which we Californians jokingly called the “salad bowl of America” because just about everything in a salad came from there.

What no one talked about back then,  however, was the amount of pesticides and the harm they caused, used everywhere in this  Great Valley,  that  all of this wonderful food required to be delivered to America’s dinner tables.

The people who bring you your food and their families,  have paid a great price for this, many paid the ultimate price.

So, now that you know the true cost of your food, perhaps the next time you and your family sit down to dinner, you may say a silent thank you to the Migrant Farm Workers who brought it to you.

 

Places to learn more:

How To Better Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides

Protect Farmworkers From Pesticide Poisonings

California goes mobile to educate farm workers on pesticide safety

Pesticides and Childhood Cancer

Heavy Lift

Florida Farm Workers Allege Pesticide Exposure Is Giving Them Cancer

A Poisoned Culture: the case of the Indigenous Huicholes Farm Workers

Farm Workers Demand Protections From Pesticide Poisoning

Long-awaited EPA pesticide protections a ‘mixed bag’

Farmworkers plagued by pesticides

Farmworkers

 

 

 

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Partners Against the Pipeline!

Reject-and-Protect

Gary Dorr – Nez Perce and Nebraska rancher Ben Gotschall.
Photo credit: Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska

 

This posting today may seem a bit off topic, but wait, it really is not.

It will also be posted to both of my Blogs,  as it concerns both people and animals!

When was the last time that Cowboys and Indians found an Issue that they could agree upon in this Country?

Hmmm.

Can’t seem to recall, can you?

Well an Issue that is critical to both sides right now,  saving their land and water,  has these unlikely partners  joining forces for a very important Weeklong Event called the:    Reject and Protect Campaign.

This page says it all:   Call to Action

The group is called the Cowboy and Indian Alliance from Nebraska and they have organized what will be a week of events from April 22-27, that will culminate in Washington, D.C.

And if you are now asking what the connection is to this Blog about Wildlife,  oh, it is only life, simply put, ALL LIFE, in these affected areas,  is depending on what happens with the dreaded Keystone Pipeline.

If this continually failing, leaking, rupturing, disastrous mess called the Keystone Pipeline is allowed to run through this country unimpeded,  it will, when it fails, as is has repeatedly done throughout its history, kill every living thing in its path, Human, plant and animal alike, they will all succumb to the deadly toxins that this pipeline will carry across our country.

This is a monumental, devastating decision that is about to be made and the wrong one spells death for millions.

We must never forget what lies directly under this pipeline on its journey,  the Ogallala Aquifer  and the life-giving water it brings to millions of those in the affected states.

Once water is contaminated, it’s all over.

How long can you politicians, masquerading as Humans, making these life altering decisions, drink sand?

Oh, I forgot, the people in Washington, D.C.  making these critical decisions, will never have to worry about having  clean water, to drink, they can always buy it in bottles, as they are quite well compensated for their few days annually of so-called work!

But for the millions of Indigenous People and other just average Americans, who are now living in the states where this pipeline will run, this may,  or may not be an option.

Many of them, especially on Reservations, are already living at or below the poverty level and will not have the extra money to run to the store and buy bottled water, when theirs becomes poisoned with  dirty tar sands crude oil.

Can we now talk about the Wildlife that will be affected by all of this?

The beautiful Sandhills of Central Nebraska,   a place I have been to many times,  are  home to my beloved Sandhill Cranes  by the millions,  as well as countless other threatened Wild animals.

The numbers that will die if this pipeline is put in, will be in the millions, think BP and the Gulf!

Now these Wild animals and the many poor Native people and others, who will be devastated by their decision,  are not at the top of any politicians list in Washington, I can  promise you.

Why you ask?

Because, Wildlife do not vote, or write big campaign checks, so whether they live or die is not a high priority to Politicians.

And Native Americans will never support any candidate or politician, who poisons the very  lifeblood of their people,  the Ogallala Aquifer.

If you are able, perhaps you might join them in April in their desperate efforts to stop this Environmental train-wreck,  known as the Keystone Pipeline.

 

Here are a few places to learn more:

Keystone XL pipeline may threaten Aquifer

3 Nebraska Senators sign letter urging rejection of Keystone

Keystone XL opponents express concerns

 

 

 

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