7/17/12

Nirav Shah, MD, Commissioner
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY USA
Transmitted by electronic mail

Dear Commissioner Shah,

On 7/16/12, Cancer Action NY participated in a meeting on the subject
of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure minimization
education focusing on POPs exposure minimization educational outreach
for the residents of St. Lawrence County.  Dr. Susan Hathaway,
Director of the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, Sallie
Brothers, Chair of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Scott
Sutherland, member of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Jason
Pfotenhauer, Deputy Director of the St. Lawrence County Planning
Office and John Tenbusch, staff of the Planning Office, as well as
Lewis M. Shepard, a founding member of Cancer Action NY were
participants in this meeting.

The specific purpose of the meeting was to decide upon a mutually
satisfactory first step in providing POPs exposure minimization
educational outreach in St. Lawrence County.  I began our meeting with
a brief presentation on the subject of the 2010 World Health
Organization (WHO) report titled, “Persistent Organic Pollutants:
Impact on Child Health”.  Upon finishing the presentation, I requested
that Dr. Susan Hathaway make known her position on the validity of
this WHO report.  Dr. Hathaway stated that the report was not valid
due to the fact that there were no epidemiological research findings
supporting the conclusion that POPs exposure imposes disease risk.  I
was shocked to hear this said by the Director of the Public Health
Department considering the fact that a great volume of peer reviewed
scientific literature has been published on the subject of POPs
exposure disease risk.  Many of the research articles are
epidemiological studies in which a statistically significant
correlation was reported between POPs exposure and disease outcome.

I request that the New York State Department of Health provide our
organization with a statement setting forth its position on the
validity of the WHO report named above.  New Yorkers have received
exposures to POPs and developed diseases as a result of these
exposures.  The taxes paid by New York State residents have funded
scientific studies that describe statistically significant
correlations between POPs exposure and disease outcome.  The New York
State Department of Health employs scientists with expertise in the
subjects of POPs exposure disease outcome and risk assessment.  The
New York State Department of Health is responsible for protecting the
health of New York State residents.  I request that you personally, as
Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health make sure that
the statement on the validity of the WHO report in question is
provided by no later than September 1, 2012.

Thank you for your attention to this correspondence.

joyous in Nature,

Donald L. Hassig


Donald L. Hassig, Director
Cancer Action NY
Cancer Action News Network
P O Box 340
Colton, NY USA 13625
315.262.2456
www.canceractionny.org

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