UHN’s Favourite/Only Greening Quiz Show
Ahhh, Jeopardy…the television quiz show where the answers are provided and contestants have to guess the question. If only university had been like that. Well, since everyone loves a good game…it’s my pleasure to present…
(apologies to A. Trebek)
Question: What’s the average number of industrial chemicals and pollutants that the Environmental Working Group found in umbilical cord blood taken from ten babies born in the U.S. during August and September 2004?
Question: Umbilical cord blood…doesn’t that mean these babies were the freshest of fresh?
Answer: From their moms eating, drinking, breathing and touching stuff…you know, living.
Question: But if these babies are the freshest of the fresh, how did this stuff get into them?
Answer: Mercury, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, polybrominated dibenzodioxins and furans, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (yup…that’s PCBs alright) and some other stuff with long names.
Question: But what are industrial chemicals and pollutants?
Answer: Harmed brain development, cancer, liver & kidney damage, hormone disruption…
Question: What are some of the health effects that these industrial chemicals and pollutants have been linked to?
Question: How will I feel if I think about this too much?
Answer: Motivated to action.
Question: How should I feel?
Answer: Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: What should I do if I have chemicals for disposal and am not sure how to handle them appropriately?
Answer: If it’s something you wouldn’t normally eat or drink…get in touch. And if it’s something you would normally eat or drink…and it’s yummy…and you have some extra…get in touch.
Question: But what’s a chemical? How do I know if something needs special disposal?
Answer: Yeah, we let you get away with it this time.
Question: Hey…wasn’t that two questions?
Answer: For sure – look for less toxic alternatives for every day products such as cleaning supplies and personal care products.
Question: But I don’t have any chemicals to throw out…is there something else that I can be doing?
Answer: I wish…the key is to choose products displaying the label of a recognized eco-certification body.
Question: Are all those products that claim to be green good for the environment?
Question: Not that I want to be depressed, but where can I find more information on this study?
Who’s Greening At UHN
Think back…way back to the Talkin’ Trash sent out last month where we issued a contest, a call to creativity for an artistic way to remind people that, at UHN, paper and “cans & bottles” have to be collected in separate containers for recycling. Well we had a great response, with poems, stories, pictures and even a deep thought or two…so we’ve decided that everyone who submitted an entry will receive their choice of a UHN travel mug or water bottle. Congratulations to all who entered…and enjoy your drink!
Links To The Inside (only works on UHN network computers)
- Separate green products from greenwashing (products that what us to think they’re green, but really aren’t) with UHN’s handy dandy Green Procurement @ UHN guideline, available on the Energy & Environment intranet page at http://documents.uhn.ca/sites/uhn/Environmental_Management/Procedures/flyer%20-%20green%20procurement%20at%20UHN.pdf.
Links To The Outside
- The Environmental Working Group has piles and piles of environment and health information on their web page at www.ewg.org.
- Canada has chemicals too…and we also have Environmental Defence (http://toxicnation.ca/) helping educate and raise awareness.
- Women’s College Environmental Health Clinic (www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs/program76.html) is just up the street from us…and they just happen to be hosting an environmental health conference next week (www.dfcm.utoronto.ca/Assets/DFCM+Digital+Assets/About+Us/EHC+WCH+201.pdf)