[EAS]Chemical Industry Archives

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sun Apr 1 22:36:10 EDT 2001

Subject:   Chemical Industry Archives

(from The Scout Report -- March 30, 2001)

Two on the Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry Archives -- EWG [.pdf]

Trade Secrets [.pdf, RealPlayer]

This week, PBS aired a disturbing two-hour special hosted by Bill
Moyers that explores the history of the chemical revolution of the
past 50 years and how companies have long sought to withhold
information from the public and their employees about the safety of
many substances. The program draws on a large collection of
previously secret industry documents unearthed during a ten-year
lawsuit by the family of a man who died from a rare brain cancer
after working at a vinyl-chloride plant. The family's lawyer
eventually charged all vinyl-chloride-producing companies with
conspiracy, and the discovery process brought to light hundreds of
thousands of pages of documents which reveal a closely planned and
well-executed campaign to limit regulation of toxic chemicals and
the liability of manufacturers and to withhold important health
information from all parties. A large selection of these internal
documents, over 37,000 pages, is now available for the first time
at the Chemical Industry Archives, created by the Environmental
Working Group. The site offers several essays on the archive and
the industry, including a selection of some egregious examples of
companies hiding or denying known health risks of their products.
The archive itself may be searched by keyword with several
modifiers. The documents are presented in .pdf format. This site is
sure to become an extremely important resource for health
activists, journalists, and the concerned public. The companion
site to the PBS program offers an overview of the film, interview
transcripts, selected documents in HTML and .pdf formats, chemical
worker profiles and videos, and a section on the 84 chemicals
detected in Bill Moyers's blood and urine. Visitors will also find
features on industry secrecy, regulation, money, and politics, as
well as right-to-know efforts and what people can do to help
protect themselves. These are enhanced by interactive features,
documents, and links to related resources. If you only have time to
visit two sites this week, they must be the Chemical Industry
Archives and Trade Secrets.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2001. http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/ 

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