Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 30, 2019 and Island Ad-Vantages, May 30, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, May 30, 2019
Shaw Institute announces 2019 speaker series
Shaw Institute has announced in a news release their environmental speaker series, Planet In Crisis: Agents of Change, as one of their most “innovative and exciting ever.”
According to the release, “exceptional leaders will engage the audience in topics ranging from harmful chemical exposure in our everyday lives to the real cause of the dinosaur extinction and the toxic consequences of climate change.”
All lectures are on Wednesdays, starting at 6 p.m. with a 5:30 p.m. reception honoring the speaker. They are free and open to the public at Shaw Institute, Blue Hill Research Center, 55 Main Street, Blue Hill.
The series opens June 5 with a screening of The Devil We Know: The Chemistry of a Cover Up, a Sundance Film Festival Favorite. This award-winning investigative documentary exposes DuPont’s decades-long chemistry of public deception about toxic waterproof, non-stick (Teflon) chemicals.
The Devil We Know tells the story of residents of Parkersburg, W. Va., who courageously rose up against DuPont Corporation. For years, they had noticed rampant health issues among their neighbors and witnessed the sudden death of livestock on their farms. Against all odds, they put the pieces of an environmental mystery together and discovered the toxic chemical PFA polluting the drinking water of 70,000 people—knowingly dumped there for decades by the DuPont plant.
“Since 1946 Teflon chemicals have been widely used to repel water and grease in countless industrial and consumer products including non-stick coatings, stain-repellent carpeting, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, and even dental floss. According to the CDC, PFA is now found in the blood of 99 percent of Americans.
“By now, in the U.S. over 110 million may be drinking water tainted with PFAS, called the ‘forever chemicals’ because they are practically indestructible once they reach the environment. These chemicals are linked to serious health hazards including reduced immune response, increased cholesterol levels, low birth weight, child development issues and increased risk of cancer,” the release stated.