Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:05:49 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**med.cornell.edu>
From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)
Well, once when I was the Senior Clinical Toxicology Fellow at theRocky Mountain Poison and Drug center in Denver, there was an issue about Boy Scouts and dioxin in the soil down to Camp AP Hill in Virginia. (I wrote a song parody about it to the old Girl Scout songof "Frog went a-courtin.")
So we made up a prepared press release because some of the Boy Scouts were from Colorado.
I was the designed go-to guy, and then the AMA News and and the Washington Post both call and interviewed me over the phone. They both had the same press release read to them and asked questions based on the press release.
Now, the Washington Post turned everything I had to say (which was correct; as we said: "Test the kids, not the dirt.") about 180 degrees around, but spelled my name right and got my job title right. The AMA News actually printed everything I had to sayexcatly as it should have been, and attibuted it to a Dr. Allen from Albuquerque, NM.
So I had a notice on my little message board in my office which was the former dirty utility room for the pediatric ward at Denver General Hospital that said: "You can trust the press to get your name right when they quote you wrong."
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 07:58:37 -0500
Subject:Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (13 articles)
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDUJournalism schools don't require science courses. Expect this lack of understanding in any article involving chemicals. Look at the garbage written by those highly respected reporters at the NewYork Times after 9/11 who told us to believe politicians like EPA's Whitman and our heartless and economically driven Mayor that the air was safe, we should get a broom, put a handkerchief over our noses, and get that damn dust cleaned up! The mayor actually appeared in an NYTimes front page photo at the Pile without a respirator, and all of the workers behind him either had no respirators or they were hanging around their necks.
It wasn't until science-educated reporter Juan Gonzalez at the second-rate Daily News wrote his columns that anything approaching the truth was in print (except for Press Releases from activists and idiots like me that were ignored). Juan spent hours on the phone with me and other IH's, occupational doctors, toxicologists, a whistleblower at EPA, etc. He made sure he understood all the tests, the data, and used the terminology correctly. He correctly presented the predictions of illnesses and deaths that the experts made--predictions that arecoming agonizingly true for us here every day.
This is rare. Instead, most of what you read should just be looked at for three basic facts: an accident occurred, when, and where. The how and why are conjecture unless you can do some sleuthing on your own.
And having done a bit of fact checking, I can tell you some of the worst lies come from High School officials themselves who, like all politicians, want to spin it.
This is why the Chemical Safety Board's recent report is SO important. It provides the data to back up what so many of us already know deep in our kishkis (guts).
From: "Baker, Charles" <science**At_Symbol_Here**qlsd.wednet.edu>
As a HS science teacher, I was most interested in drawing attention to high school/public school lab accidents and safety from two recent Minnesota summaries.
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