Straddling the brawny sweep of the St. Lawrence River, where New York, Quebec and Ontario meet, the territory called Akwesasne has long provided fish that feed the 12,000 members of the Mohawk Nation there. But the junction of their ancestral legacy with their region’s industrial legacy has exposed the Mohawk to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. Now research suggests that the human health risk and gender-bending potential of these widespread and long-lasting pollutants are greater than previously recognized, and the Mohawk aren’t the only ones who should worry. Mounting evidence has shown that PCBs mimic estrogen, a female sex hormone, and can cause male bodies to develop feminine characteristics.
By Jeff Gillies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Lakes Echo
May 28, 2008
Great Lakes advocates hope that this week’s push by the federal government to clean up of one of the nation’s worst sites of dioxin contamination is a sign that the new administration will make good on its promise to jump start restoration of the region. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson on Tuesday pledged a strong agency presence in the effort to clean up the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw Bay watershed in Michigan’s Thumb area. A century of chemical production at Dow Chemical Co. in Midland left sediment in the river system contaminated with dioxin, a likely carcinogen that has been linked to liver damage. Plans for cleaning the area have sparked longtime controversy involving state, local and federal agencies, environmental groups and area residents.