[GRRN] greenyes-d Digest V99 #144

Mary Appelhof (mappelho@madison.tdsnet.com)
Fri, 14 May 1999 08:53:15 -0500

greenyes-d Digest Volume 99 : Issue 144

Today's Topics:
[GRRN] Plastic Beer Bottles [
"RecycleWorlds" <anderson@msn.fullfeed.com> ]
[GRRN] Miller Plastic Beer Bottle [
"RecycleWorlds" <anderson@msn.fullfeed.com> ]
[GRRN] Healthy Communities in the Global Economy: A Stakeholders' [
"Okuzumi, Margaret" <okuzumi@cepheid.com> ]
[GRRN] PVC Plastic # 5 Health Risk? [
"Recycle :LPH Recycle" <Recycle@lhs.org> ]

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Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 14:00:40 -0500
From: "RecycleWorlds" <anderson@msn.fullfeed.com>
To: "GreenYes" <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
Subject: [GRRN] Plastic Beer Bottles
Message-ID: <01be9d72$e4cb16a0$0eb7b8c7@compaq>
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

According to press sources, Miller is about to announce that it will
rollout its plastic beer bottle in June.
Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011


Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 15:01:17 -0500
From: "RecycleWorlds" <anderson@msn.fullfeed.com>
To: "GreenYes" <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
Subject: [GRRN] Miller Plastic Beer Bottle
Message-ID: <01be9d7b$5cc67200$0eb7b8c7@compaq>
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This is to follow up on the prior note indicating that Miller had
announced it was rolling out its plastic beer bottle.

That announcement was made, apparently, in a full page ad in the trade
magazine Supermarket News.

Calls to Miller that just got returned indicate that the ad was placed
by the old management which was replaced earlier this month by the
corporate parent Phillip Morris. The apparent position of the new
management is that long term project's like this one involving plastic beer
bottles is on hold.

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011


Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 13:43:33 -0700
From: "Okuzumi, Margaret" <okuzumi@cepheid.com>
To: "'baaction@igc.apc.org'" <baaction@igc.apc.org>,
"'greenyes@earthsystems.org'" <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
Cc: Jeanne Hsu <Jeanne.Hsu@Eng.Sun.COM>, karen@magma-da.com,
LUS.RCS.SJK@lpch.stanford.edu, moritafam@earthlink.net,
jhsu@Eng.Sun.COM, betsey_carr@amat.com, the-whitneys@worldnet.att.net,
silva_stearn@hp.com, kscoll@pacbell.net, tia_hatch@hp.com,
nkoski@leland.stanford.edu, jon_low@yahoo.com, smamuyac@aol.com,
dwight@synopsys.com, m_norris@att.net, parker@intrabiotics.com,
lsamara@aol.com, kyle_thomas@hp.com, anneka@netuser.com,
whitneyksw@aol.com, whitney@alumni.stanford.org,
kwells@pmc.philips.com, tfrazee@hotmail.com, deejmc1@aol.com,
arcriss@mindspring.com, nowicki@batnet.com, bill.henry@lmco.com,
jleo@powerint.com, marshal7@concentric.net, bwatson@cisco.com,
"'hahne@digisle.net'" <hahne@digisle.net>
Subject: [GRRN] Healthy Communities in the Global Economy: A Stakeholders'
ng, Santa Clara, CA
Message-ID: <F1B3F9C6F3F4D111AA6C006097C55C5B238E79@server.hq.cepheid.com>
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

You are invited to participate in "Healthy Communities in the Global
Economy: A Stakeholders' Meeting," an event sponsored at Santa Clara
University, Santa Clara, CA on Tuesday, May 18 from 7pm to 9pm, in the
Television Studio of the Communications, Public Policy and Applied =
building. Sponsors include the Santa Clara University Department of
Communication and the Santa Clara County Council of Churches.

Representatives have been invited/are expected from:

IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Cisco Systems, American Electronics
Association, Working Partnerships USA (Amy Dean), Silicon Valley Toxics
Coalition, Silicon Valley Environmental Partnerships, Santa Clara =
Center for
Occupational Safety and Health, International Forum on Globalization. =20

We will be engaging in dialogue to foster more cooperative =
relationships to
improve environmental and working conditions in the global economy,
including the impacts of corporation practices on:

Environmental Pollution and Electronics Waste (groundwater pollution,
Workplace Health and Safety
Labor Conditions
International Standards


It is often said that we live in an age of "shareholder capitalism," in
which global markets are increasingly ruled by the short-term logic of
investors. Investment managers and corporate executives are measured =
on the
basis of quarterly, even daily, movements in stock prices and =
All operate at greater distances from the cities and towns where the
consequences of corporate policy are felt. Dizzyingly rapid product =
and the volatility of technology stock prices leave little time to =
companies' performance as employers, stewards of natural resources, and
community members.=20

How, then, do we engage technology companies in a dialogue with those =
have a longer-term interest in their impact on communities than =
internet day

An alternative to shareholder capitalism is stakeholder capitalism, =
considers shareholders as only one of many stakeholders in corporate
practice. Other stakeholders include customers, employees, and =
members. As a group, they are more attuned to corporations' social,
environmental, and economic impacts than most shareholders are. Yet =
traditional, place-based institutions * unions, churches, consumer and
environmental groups, etc. * are only beginning to discover the means =
addressing global corporate practices from a local context. =
could do much to help bring such groups together with technology =
on neutral ground to assess the industry's impact here and abroad.

Purpose of the Meeting

This event will bring together representatives of high tech companies =
stakeholder representatives from environmental, workplace health and =
labor, and faith-based organizations. Together, we will begin to =
these questions:

=B7 How might stakeholders and high technology companies
foster more cooperative relationships to improve environmental and =
conditions in the global economy?

=B7 How can we work together to mitigate the pressures
on companies that may discourage them from considering their long-term
impact on environment and working conditions (e.g., keeping pace with =
product cycles, cutting labor costs through outsourcing, and meeting
short-term shareholder expectations)?

=B7 Finally, what can the university do to help further
this dialogue, so that participants can arrive at just and effective

Dialogue vs. Debate

Our goal is to engage in a dialogue rather than a debate. In a =
participants commit not only to educating others about their =
but to listening to others to understand their point of view better. =
emphasis is not on proving that others are wrong, but on trying to =
develop a
shared understanding of problems. The goal is to discover potential =
ground and solutions that improve conditions for all. We do not need =
to be
idealists nor angels to engage in dialogue. We do not need to forget =
own interests. We need only realize that our interests are =
linked to others', and try to find ways to advance them both.


In the first hour, stakeholders will be asked to offer five-minute
introductory responses to the questions posed above. The second hour =
be reserved for a moderated dialogue among the participants, and =
and proposals from the audience. This format is intended to keep all
stakeholders participating.

Directions to the campus follow. =20

Directions to Santa Clara University

If you are coming from U.S. Highway 101:

Take the De La Cruz Boulevard/Santa Clara exit.=20
Follow De La Cruz Boulevard towards El Camino Real (stay in the =
When De La Cruz Boulevard splits, follow the right split over the
Turn right onto Lafayette Street staying in the right turn lane.=20
Turn right at El Camino Real.=20
The main entrance to Santa Clara University will be on the =
side of the road.
Ask where to park at the Guard Shack. Entrance to TV studio is to =
of Guard Shack.

If you are coming from Interstate 880:

Take The Alameda exit.=20
Travel north on The Alameda.=20
The Alameda will become El Camino Real.=20
The main entrance to Santa Clara University will be on the =
side of the road.=20
Ask where to park at the Guard Shack. Entrance to TV studio is to =
of Guard Shack.

If you are coming from Interstate 280:

Take Interstate 880 north toward Oakland.=20
Take The Alameda exit.=20
Travel north on The Alameda.=20
The Alameda will become El Camino Real.=20
The main entrance to Santa Clara University will be on the =
side of the road.
Ask where to park at the Guard Shack. Entrance to TV studio is to =
of Guard Shack.


Chad Raphael
Assistant Professor, Communication Department
Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0277
Phone: 408-554-4516 / Fax: 408-554-4913 / Email: =


Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 14:44:00 -0700
From: "Recycle :LPH Recycle" <Recycle@lhs.org>
To: Greenyes <greenyes@earthsystems.org>
Subject: [GRRN] PVC Plastic # 5 Health Risk?
Message-Id: <199905132147.RAA25861@gaea.earthsystems.org>
Content-Type: text/plain;

Hi!!! Mark Kidd here from Legacy Hospitals in Portland, OR. I am
forwarding for all the plastic guru's out there! Although Healthcare
specific, I think there are some points of interest for the big picture on

P.S. A section of the original posting was chopped when I received it...
American Medical News, April 26, 1999

"What's in the Vinyl Bag?"

Take the sniff test. Pour solution from a polyvinyl chloride IV bag into
a cup and solution from a non-PVC bag into another cup. See if you can
smell the difference.

Although not scientific evidence of a problem, the striking odor given
off by the solution from the vinyl bag dramatizes a growing concern of
many physicians, hospitals and health care workers. They are asking
whether phthalates in PVC, which leach into IV solutions and blood
products, pose a health risk.

Health care runs through half a billion IV bags a year, and 80% of them
are made of PVC. The phthalates used to soften the PVC bind loosely with
the hard plastic and therefore leach out, in varying degrees, depending
on the liquid, storage and other factors.

Di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is the softener used to make most vinyl
IV bags, tubes and catheters. The evidence is far from conclusive, but
an increasing number of studies show that this toxic chemical can damage
the heart, liver, kidneys and reproductive system of lab animals, and
cause cancer and endocrine disruption. Based on such studies, the
Envronmental Protection Agency has classified DEHP as a "probable human

Furthermore, incinerating PVC creates dioxin, making health care a
significant dioxin polluter and leading Oakland, Calif., and San
Francisco to pass anti-PVC resolutions in February. Some 25% of plastic
medical products are made with PVC, and the growing use of disposable
products is increasing health care's reliance on vinyl.

For years, vinyl manufacturers have defended PVC, saying it has a long,
safe track record.

Nevertheless, the controversy is mounting, and physicians are
increasingly being drawn into the fray as their patients ask about vinyl
health care products, cities consider PVC bans, medical associations
debate resolutions that call for studying alternative materials and
hospitals initiate non-PVC purchasing policies. A remarkable exmaple of
the growing pressure surrounding this sensitive issue was Baxter
International's April 6 agreement to establish a "timetable to replace
its current containers for IV solutions with an IV container that does
not contain PVC". Baxter and Abbott split the huge, lucrative market for
vinyl IV bags and solutions.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility representing
institutional shareholders pushed Baxter into this position. The
coalition threatened to include in Baxter's 1999 proxy statement a
resolution calling on the company to phase out production of medical
products containing PVC. Health Care Without Harm
(http://www.noharm.org), an organization working against vinyl IV bags
that incudes the American Public Health Association, and more than 40
hospitals- many of whom are moving away from PVC- also brought pressure.

In exchange for dropping the resolution, Baxter agreed to phase out PVC
worldwide. Yet the day after this change, Baxter spokeswoman Deborah
Spak said the statement represents "no change" and that the company
"still stands behind PVC"-- even though it now plans to "ultimately
stopnusing PVC for IV bags". Such spin may be designed to avoid
potential liabilities and alarming the public or analysts. Last year,
Baxter generated more than $2 billion in sales of IV products.

Meanwhile, Abbott shareholders included an anti-PVC resolution in its
1999 proxy statement, assuring the question a hearing at the annual
shareholders meeting in April.

Providers face similar challenges. Resolutions against purchasing PVC
products will be addresses this spring at shareholders meeting of the
nationa's largest health care systems, Columbia/HCA and Universal Health

Risks and alternatives.
Although the potential health risks of DEHP are heatedly debated, the
fact that DEHP leaches significantly is not. The Food and Drug
Administration does not allow many drugs, including anti-cancer agents
Taxol and Taxotere, to be packages in PVC bags because of leaching.
Ironically, red blood cells stored in PVC bags have a longer shelf life
due to the interaction with DEHP.

The question, rather, is how much DEHP leaches into various solutions
and whether that presents a long-term health risk. Clearly, patients are
not in immediate danger and health care should not abandon vinyl
products overnight. But long term, collective effects in humans have not
been adequately studied.

There are plenty of alternatives to DEHP-laden PVC. Nonvinyl IV bags are
common in Europe, where some countries have restricted the medical use
of PVC and DEHP. Recently, Baxter acquired a European manufacturer if
non-PVC bags.

In this country, McGaw launched a nonvinyl bag about 10 years ago. The
fact that the company has captured "only" about 20% of the U.S. market
for IV bags is "proof of superiority of PVC", says the Chlorine
Chemistry Council. But McGaw, which insists that its bag is
competititvely priced, says it has been unable to win more business
because competitors can offer better deals based on volume discounts and
broad product lines. Indeed Baxter and Abbott lock up huge amounts of
business with multi-year, multiproduct, single-source contracts.

Is health care's dependence on vinyl based on a certainty that PVC holds
no health risks, or is it based on the market clout of giant
manufacturers who don't want to face a multimillion-dollar retooling

This question and the safety of PVC should be thoroughly examined. The
first to take a swing at it will be the American Council on Science and
Health (http://www.acsh.org), which recruited C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD,
to head up a panel to review the literature. ACSH's report is due in
June, but don't expect the group to rule against vinyl. Instead, look
for phthalates to constitute the newest chapter in ACSH's treatise,
Facts Versus Fears: A Review of the Greatest Unfounded Health Scares of
Recent Times, which includes chapters on DDT and Love Canal.

Meanwhile, the FDA is revisiting the issue, with a report due this
summer. But don't expect a call for change from the agency that has
contributed much to the barriers to entry that happen to benefit Baxter
and Abbott.

Another study is being conducted under the auspices of the Chemical
Manufacturers Assn (http://www.cmahq.com), which has committed $1.2
billion over the next six years to research the health and safety of
chemicals. This includes testing the toxicity of 8,000 commonly used
chemicals and whether they pose a threat to human endocrine systems. CMA
says the research will be independent and peer-reviewed.

Meanwhile, in August the EPA will begin a multibillion-dollar screening
and testing of thousands of chemicals for potential hormone disruption.

These latter two projects are the most pertinent to overall public
health issues because they will look beyond healthcare and examine the
potential risks of cumulative, lifelong exposure to vinyl. Significant
amounts of plasticizers, for example, leach into food from PVC wrap used
and sold ny supermarkets, according to a recent Consumer's Union study.
And last Christmas a dozen manufacturers were pressured into pulling
from the market infant teethers, rattlers and toys- even pacifiers and
baby bottle nipples- that were made from vinyl softened with phthalates.

Given the increasing levels of cradle-to-grave exposure to PVC and other
plastics in and out of health care, it's time to find out which ones are
safest for medical use and the public health.

End of greenyes-d Digest V99 Issue #144

Mary Appelhof
Author of Worms Eat My Garbage
Co-author:Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment
Publisher: The Worm Cafe: Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes by Binet Payne.

Visit me at my WEB site:

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Kalamazoo, MI 49024
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