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Joplin Citizens and Health Organizations Call on Missouri Gov. Nixon for Study, Action on High Incidence of Birth Defects and Chronic Diseases in Community
Date:3/31/2009

her rate of death, hospitalization and emergency room visits compared to residents in the rest of Missouri.

"We need immediate government action on this problem for the sake of all the people who live and work in Joplin," said, Christopher Gavigan, executive director of Healthy Child Healthy World.

The health report notes the long history of lead mining and smelting and other industrial activity in the area, and its legacy of soil and water pollution. Lead causes a wide range of birth defects, as do other contaminants from lead smelting.

"We feel that the citizens of Joplin deserve a comprehensive study to identify the causes of these serious health problems and once determined, an explanation of how they will be corrected," said Teresa Buckmaster, USW Local 812 president. "What's at stake here is the most precious thing we have, the future of our families."

Buckmaster said members of her local union are concerned about community health problems and fighting efforts by management at EaglePicher to cut back family health care benefits for employees at this producer of batteries and energetic devises for the defense, space and commercial industries. She said, "This report shows why union members and all Joplin residents should be very concerned about public health and access to health care."

The full public health report for Joplin can be accessed through the following link: http://usw.org/joplinstudy

For more information contact:

Diane Heminway, USW, 585-703-6375

Teresa Buckmaster, USW Local 812 President, 417-499-8220

Howard Scott, USW, 412-580-6980


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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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