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Former chemical industry worker speaks out

Posted on September 18, 2012

Cancer and chemical contamination in Kentucky 

100_0047By Harold McDaniel

My name is Harold McDaniel, and I’m a former employee of the chemical industry. I’ve called western Kentucky my home for over thirty years, and like many people who live in middle America, I’m a self-identified conservative.

This belief is one of the reasons I strongly support chemical reform. During my years of employment as a planner and scheduler in the chemical industry, I also served on the emergency squad for my plant, putting my life and health on the line for others as any person who has ever served in a similar position knows all too well.

While working at my plant, I observed and reported numerous violations that had an egregious environmental impact. That’s why I’m calling on Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell to allow the Safe Chemicals Act a full and fair hearing before the U.S. Senate. This legislation is what limited government was designed to do—to protect both workers and citizens from the effects of toxic chemicals. 

In recent years, I have found myself frustrated by the alarming rates of cancers in my hometown of Paducah, as well as learning and developmental disabilities, birth defects, and other chronic illnesses that so many Americans face. Numerous scientific studies have linked these diseases to toxic chemical exposures, and I often wonder if the high rates in my area could be related to the sixteen plus chemical plants surrounding Paducah and nearby Calvert City.

Last week, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation delivered a petition to Sen. McConnell bearing hundreds of signatures from his constituents calling for the passage of the Safe Chemicals Act. I’m proud to include my voice in that number, and I hope you will do the same.

Follow us on Twitter: @SaferChemicals, @Lindsay_SCHF


Yes Harold you are brave person. The way you raise your voice against the wrong action i like because most of the people are just taking ok with it.

Posted by: Chemical Exporters | Nov 23, 2012 1:43:07 AM

Harold - thank you for sharing! I hope your work to advocate for increased awareness leading to downstream change is effective!

Posted by: Meg | Sep 20, 2012 9:49:36 AM

Thank you for standing up, keep spreading the word, one day the idea that we lived with so many chemicals will be astonishing to the chemical free World of tomorrow.

Posted by: Crystal Marie Kennedy | Sep 19, 2012 8:11:47 AM

Thanks for your courage in speaking out, Harold -- let's hope that Senator McConnell really listens!

Posted by: Cindy | Sep 18, 2012 6:34:33 PM

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