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Safe water for personal and domestic use is essential for health and life. New science shows how trace amounts of chemicals and heavy metals in water cause life-threatening diseases and disrupt normal cognitive, neurological and reproductive development from cradle to grave. This accumulating “body burden” of toxics creates a “precondition” for disease at any time in life, even many years after exposure. Alarmingly, research shows how a mother’s “body burden” affects fetal development and the content of milk for the nursing child. Industry, agriculture and the military, the worst offenders, lobby government to lower regulations and fight in court against fines.
This workshop will lead participants in a discussion of how to reframe this issue from one of regulation that actually permits degrees of harm to that of asserting our rights. U.S. corporations, given the rights of persons in the 19th century, have no right to harm the bodies of natural persons. We, the People, must assert our fundamental, inalienable right to be free of involuntary invasion of our bodies by disease-causing toxics. Steps for communities to take to assert this democratic right will be presented such as: adopting a Precautionary Principle Ordinance for a city to act with “precaution” to prevent harms to the environment and protect public health even when full scientific evidence about cause and effect is lacking; and passing a “Chemical Trespass Ordinance” to prohibit corporate chemical bodily trespass, establish strict liability and burden of proof standards for chemical trespass, and subordinate corporations to the people.
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