Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Beware PFOS! A big, loud, extraverted, blonde publicity hound comes to Australia to warn us about it
Have you ever had your carpet or your uphostered chairs Scotchguarded? If so, you are probably pleased with the results. The stuff tended to make dirt and stains just slide off. What you did not know is that you probably were a user of the deadly PFOS!
And Erin Brockovich is here to alarm you about it. The big scare by which she first made her name eventually proved to be without foundation so we must be suspicious of her latest pronouncements. She cost the company she targeted $600 million or so but that's fine because companies are evil
That the chemical underlying Scotchguard gets into people and animals one way or another has been known for decades. But the concentrations are extremely minute -- measured in a few parts per billion. -- and, as always, the toxicity is in the dose. So how toxic is it? It certainly seems to be seriously toxic to a range of animals but evidence of toxicity to people is slight. And don't forget that this has been under investigation for a long time.
Additionally, it has been estimated that there is by now some PFOS in every American, so bad effects should be pretty evident by now. But they are not.
But the scare has been sufficient for American manufacturers to stop production of the stuff and the levels in people have gone into steady decline. So if it is a problem, it has been dealt with. But publicity-seeker Brockovich is telling you none of that. She has done very well out of her scares, so why would she?
You can still get Scotchguard but they have taken the zing out of it
ENVIRONMENTAL activist Erin Brockovich has described Oakey’s groundwater contamination crisis as worse than what she witnessed in the United States, as she called on the community to speak up for change.
Ms Brockovich, 56, flew into Brisbane this week to speak with Oakey locals about the spread of toxic PFOS and PFOA from firefighting foam used by the Defence Force for decades.
The activist consults on environmental pollution cases in the US and Australia, and has most recently worked as an advocate for communities, such as Oakey, poisoned by PFOS and PFOA.
Speaking exclusively to The Courier-Mail, Ms Brockovich said the same contamination crisis was unfolding in several US states but that Oakey’s critical plight had not received the urgent government attention it deserved.
“These are toxic compounds that can wreak havoc with your health, and once they’re in you, they won’t leave,” she said.
“People (in Oakey) are sick, they have been harmed, and their property values have been degraded.”
According to Ms Brockovich — who is also an ambassador for Shine Lawyers, who is working with locals — the people of Oakey deserve to be heard by authorities.
“People need to get blood tests and arm themselves with information to make choices for their families,” she said.
“The Government’s job is to listen to these people and to let them know they’re not going to be ignored.
“This is going to blow up pretty quickly, but before we see a potential health crisis, we need to wrap our arms around this.”
Ms Brockovich visited Oakey last year to hear locals’ concerns and said today’s public meeting would educate them about the problem and the best way forward.
“There are innocent children in Oakey who are four years old with blood levels 10 times higher than the national median average … what will their futures look like?” she said.
“Australia has higher blood levels than I’ve seen in the US.”
Teenager loses testicle after government health bureaucracy sent him to another hospital, delaying surgery by two hours
The bureaucracy was very "rational". It just assumed that everybody was the same -- which they are not
A TEENAGER has lost a testicle after his surgery at Modbury Hospital was delayed and transferred to Lyell McEwin Hospital under SA’s new Transforming Health protocols.
The delay of about two hours was a factor in the devastating outcome, multiple sources have told The Advertiser.
An investigation into the incident has now begun. It is understood the young teenager, who is disabled, presented to Modbury Hospital about six weeks ago with a twisted testicular problem.
Prior to Transforming Health changes he would have undergone the emergency surgery at Modbury Hospital.
However, under the controversial changes Modbury Hospital is being wound down to a same-day elective surgery hospital
Any urgent cases or cases likely to result in being hospitalised for more than 24 hours are transferred to Lyell McEwin or the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The Advertiser has learnt the teenager was being prepared for surgery at Modbury, that a theatre was available and the surgeon was ready to perform the surgery.
However, because it was both emergency surgery and likely to result in lengthy hospitalisation with follow-up work, the surgery was cancelled and the boy moved to Lyell McEwin Hospital at Elizabeth Vale.
Medical sources have told The Advertiser the case was complex and there was no guarantee the teen’s testicle would have been saved even if the surgery had been carried out at Modbury Hospital.
They noted any delay can have an impact on the outcome of emergency surgery.
It is understood SA Health staff met with the teenager’s family this week.
The case first surfaced last week when a prominent critic of the Transforming Health reforms, Flinders University Emeritus Professor Warren Jones, said a surgeon and anaesthetist were prepared to operate on the patient when he arrived at Modbury’s emergency department six weeks ago but were not allowed to under reforms.
Prof Jones said by the time the patient had been transferred to Lyell McEwin Hospital — and surgeons there were ready to operate two hours later — his condition had deteriorated and required more radical surgery that left him with a permanent disability.
The Advertiser subsequently reported a patient had been left with a permanent disability after he was denied emergency surgery at Modbury Hospital, citing two doctors who asked not to be named.
Health Minister Jack Snelling denied the allegations when questioned in State Parliament on Thursday, saying they were “incorrect”.
The reforms at Modbury Hospital came into effect in March this year despite written warnings from 30 Modbury Hospital doctors, who said the changes would “deliver poorer patient and health system outcomes”.
SA Health is preparing a statement for The Advertiser on the incident
Sonia Kruger has questioned a school scholarship aimed at LGBTI students
SONIA Kruger has unleashed controversy on morning television yet again, this time laying into a scholarship program for LGBTI high school students.
The television host slammed the scholarship as “reverse discrimination” on the Today Extra show this morning, two weeks after her call for a ban on Muslim immigration sparked a widespread backlash.
Dubbing the program “odd”, Kruger said she did not understand why a $7000 scholarship was being reserved for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex student.
“I don’t think it should have anything to do with the awarding of a scholarship,” Kruger said. “I thinks scholarships should be given on merit.”
Her comments followed today’s front-page story in The Australian, which revealed that the Australian Business and Community Network Scholarship Foundation had reserved a place in its Year 10 scholarship program for an LGBTI student.
Family Voice Australia criticised the scholarship as “another example of ideological activism making its way into schools”.
The lobby group’s national policy officer Damian Wyld argued it was inappropriate for children to “be asked to declare their sexuality or gender identity”.
“Why should children, especially in a school setting, be asked to declare their sexuality or gender identity? Many 15-year-olds are still working through issues around sexuality,” Mr Wyld told The Australian. “Offering a financial incentive to identify as ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex’ is completely inappropriate.”
The scholarship application form, which must be filled out by the school principal, includes a question about sexual orientation. Applicants have the option of choosing “prefer not to say”.
Kruger’s co-host David Campbell disagreed with her position, arguing that the ABCN’s decision to allocate a single scholarship for a LGBTI student was “hardly a big deal”.
“There are tonnes of other scholarships that are set aside for kids who are supremely talented,” Campbell said, rattling off a number of sport-based programs.
Chris Pycroft from the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby applauded the ABCN and its corporate backers, saying that the socio-economic disadvantage suffered by LGBTI students often went unrecognised.
“The research shows that the significant majority of these high school students do experience abuse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Mr Pycroft told news.com.au.
“The impacts of homophobia, discrimination, harassment is often not considered and the implications are not often realised.”
According to Beyond Blue, LGBTI young people have dramatically higher rates of depression and anxiety than their heterosexual peers, with same-sex attracted Australians up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
Mr Pycroft said school bullying remained a major stress for young people grappling with their sexuality, and that while there was “more of a general acceptance of gay people within society”, this had not filtered down to the schoolyard.
He dismissed criticisms of the scholarship program as being part of an LGBTI push to expose school students to “politically motivated ideologies”, and argued that it was wholly appropriate for Year 10 students to discuss their sexual identities if they chose to.
“There’s a difference between a politically motivated ideology and people simply being who they are,” Mr Pycroft said.
ABCN offers mentoring and financial assistance to students across Australia, with financial backing from companies including Optus, Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Scholarship Foundation has awarded 41 scholarships since its inception in 2013.
Students asked about their sexuality for scholarships
A leading education scholarship provider backed by some of Australia’s biggest businesses has begun quizzing high school students on their sexuality as part of its application process, sparking fresh concerns about the creeping influence of LGBTI rights activism on schools.
The Australian Business and Community Network Scholarship Foundation is inviting applications for its 2016 grants program and, for the first time, is offering a grant targeted at Year 10 students who “identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex”.
As a result, the application form inquires as to whether the candidate is male, female or transgender and whether they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. In past years, candidates were simply asked whether they were male or female.
The move means the program, chaired by prominent businessman Michael Hawker and financially backed by corporate heavyweights Microsoft, Optus and PricewaterhouseCoopers, strays from its original purpose of helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds with education-related costs.
The scholarships, each valued at $7000 over three years, are open to Year 10 students, who are typically 15 or 16.
The shift comes as the LGBTI lobby has become increasingly influential, including within schools, where programs such as the government-funded Safe Schools Coalition has sparked fears about young people being exposed to politically motivated ideologies around gender and sexuality.
Many of the ABCN’s board and council members head up organisations that have publicly backed the marriage equality push, such as Paul O’Sullivan of Optus, Microsoft boss Pip Marlow and Luke Sayers, who runs PwC in Australia.
PwC, which proudly declares itself as “one of the first private sector organisations to sign a letter of support for marriage equality in Australia”, courted controversy earlier this year when it released a report claiming that the cost of the planned plebiscite on same-sex marriage would exceed $500 million.
Damian Wyld, national policy officer for Family Voice Australia, criticised the awarding of education scholarships based on sexuality as another example of ideological activism making its way into schools.
“Why should children, especially in a school setting, be asked to declare their sexuality or gender identity?” Mr Wyld said yesterday.
“Many 15-year-olds are still working through issues around sexuality. Offering a financial incentive to identify as ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex’ is completely inappropriate.”
According to the latest National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health, released in 2014 and billed as the most comprehensive insight into the sexual behaviour and attitudes of young people, 23 per cent of Year 10 students reported engaging in sexual intercourse. “Surely merit or financial disadvantage are more appropriate criteria for scholarships,” Mr Wyld said.
According to the ABCN’s latest annual report, 15 scholarships were awarded last year, with $52,000 paid out to students. The foundation received more than $300,000 in donations last year, and more than $330,000 in 2014.
Launched in 2013, scholarships have traditionally been targeted at high-potential students from disadvantaged schools who were experiencing “significant economic, family or social challenges” that could impact on their education, particularly their ability to complete secondary school and graduate on to tertiary education. Grants must be spent on items that assist the student complete Years 11 and 12, such as books, stationary, computer equipment, tuition costs, uniform and transport.
For the first time, this year all applications are required to be submitted by school principals on behalf of applicants.
The scholarship foundation’s application guide says the group is offering a “targeted scholarship” for a student identifying as LGBTI “in addition” to its regular scholarships. It stresses that the grant recipient would not be identified without their consent.
The foundation, Microsoft, Optus and PwC did not respond to requests for comment.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here