In constantly trying to figure out how to expand educational outreach on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure minimization, I came upon the idea of establishing an educational outreach at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse, New York.  This possibility was attractive due to the fact that a considerable fraction of veterans have experienced excess POPs exposure by way of Agent Orange exposures in Vietnam.  Additionally, VA hospitals are public places, which makes conducting educational outreach in these facilities a matter of free speech.

I have persevered through a lengthy effort to obtain the permission of the Syracuse VA hospital to conduct an information tabling event focused upon POPs exposure minimization in that facility.  I began by contacting staff in the hospital’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program.  The answer I received from these health educators was that POPs exposure minimization did not fit into their outreach.  I then commenced a dialogue with Gordon Sclar, a lower tier hospital administrator in the Syracuse VA.  Mr. Sclar took the position that POPs exposure minimization was a political subject that was not appropriate for educational outreach to veterans.  I asked Mr. Sclar if the hospital utilized American Cancer Society (ACS) educational materials.  He stated that ACS literature was available at the hospital.  The ACS promotes a corporate friendly message that involves focusing only on lifestyle factors when addressing cancer causation.  Chemical exposure is left conspicuously out of ACS cancer causation information.  I responded that using ACS educational material and rejecting an offer of educational outreach from an environmental health organization was unfair.  He persisted in referring to POPs exposure minimization as a political issue.  Mr. Sclar was well versed in words  suitable to fending off my efforts to penetrate the wall that federal government has constructed in an effort to limit public awareness of the connections between chemical exposure and disease.

I encounter so much resistance to the message that chemical exposure causes cancer and a wide spectrum of other diseases and disorders.  I am inclined to make a written request to conduct POPs exposure minimization educational outreach at the Syracuse VA facility and respond to a denial with a lawsuit alleging discrimination and violation of free speech.  This has turned into a real struggle for justice in matters of educational freedom.  The federal government is completely immersed in the culture of avoidance of acceptance of the facts of chemical exposure disease outcome.  Clearly, the controlling influence of corporations is the source of this baseless mindset.  I see battling over the opportunity to conduct POPs exposure minimization educational outreach at government health care venues as a perfect strategy for attacking the corporate-government beast.


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