Tens of millions of Americans drink water contaminated with chromium (VI), a compound the Environmental Protection Agency was poised in 2011 to conclude likely causes cancer. That finding would set the stage for setting stricter drinking-water standards.
The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, published a major rodent study in 2008 that concluded there was “clear evidence” chromium (VI) in water was a carcinogen.
The EPA’s assessment of chromium was delayed to wait for new studies paid for by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade group and lobbyist.
Some of the same industry-paid scientists involved in past efforts to stall government action on chromium worked on the studies delaying the EPA.
After delays of nearly a decade, the California Environmental Protection Agency declined to wait for the industry studies and issued its own finding in 2011 that chromium was a carcinogen in drinking water.
The EPA initially planned to complete its chromium (VI) assessment in 2015. After the Center for Public Integrity and PBS NewsHour started asking questions about the delay, EPA posted a revised timetable for completing the assessment this year.
OK everyone, drop what you are doing and get a copy of Boom, Bust, Boom to read. Bill Carter’s astonishing tale begins when he poisons himself by eating vegetables grown in his yard in Bisbee, Arizona. An attempt at healthy living and sustainability instead caused illness from arsenic, lead and other toxics associated with copper mining and smelting.
Carter grew fascinated with copper and in researching discovered lurid union-busting atrocities in Bisbee’s past, ridiculous mining laws that leave communities impoverished and contaminated, limited choices for residents in a company town, ongoing injustices in copper mines around the world, and impending doom for the Alaskan salmon fishing industry posed by the disastrous Pebble Mine.
On the other hand, Carter discovered that copper is everywhere in modern life, an essential metal we all use daily in our electrical devices, cars and airplanes, plumbing–things he himself has no intention of giving up. And he had to answer for himself the heartbreaking question familiar to all you Cluster Advocates: “Is is safe to raise my family where I live?”
Carter is most well-known for his work during the war in Bosnia, during which he was an aid working living in Sarajevo during the 15-month long siege. Carter convinced Bono to help by broadcasting live interviews with Sarajevans during U2′s Zooropa tour concerts. This remarkable tale is told in Carter’s first book, Fools Rush In and in his the documentary film, MISS SARAJEVO, produced by Bono, who also wrote the theme song for the film. You can get a taste of the story here:
Tucsonans will also love Bill Carter because of his longtime support of local musicians. He has filmed a documentary on the Tucson-based band Calexico, and there is a treasure-trove of Giant Sand videos on his YouTube account. When local music legend Rainer Ptacek passed away from brain cancer, Bill Carter helped organize a fundraiser to support Rainer’s wife Patty and three children. And Tucsonans who bitterly miss Rainer’s music and spirit were delighted with a new CD of music recorded while Rainer was in remission–recorded at Bill Carter’s house in Barrio Viejo. Buy a copy today to enjoy, and help support Rainer’s family.
In the last 15 years Bill Carter has traveled to more than 45 countries. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mens Journal, Gear and Spin magazine on topics such as drug trafficking in Mexico, where he investigated the brutal deaths of Tarahumara Indians by narco-traffickers, to the streets of Algiers, once listed as the most dangerous city in the world. He also wrote a story of his 300-mile journey in 30 days across the Utah desert with no more than a cup, a knife, a compass and an extra pair of socks.
He has also worked as an assistant director, a bartender, adobe mason, firefighter and commercial fisherman. It is his work as a commercial fisherman in Alaska that is the inspiration for his book, Red Summer. Recently 12 prints of Carter’s black and white photography were purchased by the Center of Creative Photography in Tucson, the largest collection of American photographers in the world.
Kristen Iversen’s tell-all memoir reveals family secrets and government secrets and the fact that we are not safe from industrial pollution. She is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats.
Iversen grew up in Arvada, Colorado near the Rocky Flats nuclear weaponry facility and near Denver. Her community was a beautiful haven of rural America, seemingly an idyllic place to raise a family. However, her father’s alcoholism endangered the Iversen family, while everyone in her family took steps to present a normal appearance to the outside world. Similarly, the nearby plant exposed the community members to plutonium and other radionuclides in the air, water and soil. Accidental fires caused dramatic exposure events, especially harming the firefighters, most of whom have suffered early deaths. But outward appearances were normal, and people chose to ask few questions, even believing that the plant, which was owned by Dow Chemical, was manufacturing nothing more than Scrubbing Bubbles and dish-washing detergent.
The best thing about this book is that it is a page-turner. Thank you Kristen Iversen for telling such an important story, in such an accessible way.
She is also the author of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, winner of the Colorado Book Award for Biography and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction. Several documentaries have been based on this book. Iversen is also the author of a textbook, Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction. Kristen Iversen earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Reader’s Digest, Fourth Genre, and many other journals and publications. Iversen has appeared on C-Span and NPR’s Fresh Air, and she has worked extensively with A&E Biography, The History Channel, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is an associate professor at the University of Memphis, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing. During the summers she serves on the faculty of the MFA Low-Residency Program at the University of New Orleans, held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Edinburgh, Scotland. Kristen Iversen has two sons and currently lives in Memphis.
AWARDS, GRANTS, & HONORS
-Louise Eisenhardt Award for creative and academic achievement, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, April 2011.
-Creative Arts Fellowship, Colorado Art Ranch, 2009, 2010.
-Finalist, The Iowa Review Award for Nonfiction, 2006.
-Early Career Research Award and Faculty Research Grant for Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, The University of Memphis, 2005, 2006.
-Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Prize for Chatelaine (essay), 2004.
-Creative Arts Fellowship, San Jose Arts Council, San Jose, California, 2003.
-Colorado Book Award for Biography, the Fifth Biennial Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction, and finalist for the WILLA Award in Nonfiction for Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth.
-Finalist, The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, 1993, The Shape of a Secret (short stories), University of Georgia Press.
-Arts Fellowship, Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, Denver, Colorado, 1992.