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National conversation on chemicals coming to a city near you; plus CNN's Toxic America

This seems pretty huge: two government agencies that deal with disease and toxic substances are launching a two-year plan to gather info from the public about chemical exposure concerns. Chemicals in household products, our water systems, the air we breathe, pharmaceuticals, hazardous waste, industry -- how are these affecting our quality of life? The Centers for Disease Control and the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry are conducting 'conversations' on chemical exposure in communities throughout the country. They want citizen input. They want to hear about concerns and issues that are impacting YOUR life. This is a chance to voice your concerns and push for an overhaul of chemical regulation.

Here in Oregon, the Oregon Environmental Council is hosting five conversations in June:

Salem: Wednesday, June 2, 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm
Straub Environmental Learning Center, 1320 A Street NE
Contact: reneep@oeconline.org for more information

Eugene: Monday, June 7, 6:15 pm-7:45 pm
Eugene Public Library Tykeson Room
Contact larkin@oregontoxics.org for more information
Hood River: Thursday, June 10, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Hood River County Museum,300 E Port Marina Drive
Contact maye@oregonpsr.org for more information

Gresham: Sunday, June 13, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm
Gresham Library, 385 Northwest Miller Avenue
Contact reneep@oeconline.org for more information

Astoria: Sunday, June 20th, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Blue Scorcher Bakery Café, 1493 Duane Street
Contact maye@oregonpsr.org for more information

There doesn't seem to be a 'master calendar' that lists community conversations in other states, which isn't helpful to our many out-of-state readers. But you could email the CDC at nationalconversation@cdc.gov and see if they can help you find one. Or if you're really motivated, you can download their conversation toolkit and organize a forum in your own community.

In what seems to be a timely coincidence, CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is hosting a program called Toxic America on June 2 and 3 at 8pm. He'll be focusing on the health and environmental effect of toxins found in plastics. The June 2nd show focuses on a town in Louisiana that has been experiencing problems related to toxic chemical plants for decades. The June 3rd show will be focused on childhood, particularly expectant mothers and their babies, and will feature a woman who's lived plastic-free for over two years. I don't have cable, so I'm hoping this will end up online!

Have a fun, safe, long weekend, and we'll see you back here on Tuesday!


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