MOTHERS DAY 2022 ~ It’s Time to Face Health Realities at Home & Work

by admin on May 7, 2022

The public health is also under threat by these and many others

Capitalism and cancer seem to have much in common

>>> Article by Randi Pokladnik, PhD Environmental Scientist, Tappan Lake, OH, May 7, 2022

Twenty years ago, I lost my mother to cancer. She died two months before her 70th birthday. Her cancer had already progressed to stage 3 by the time of her diagnosis so the outlook for a long-term survival was not good.

At first it was hard to believe that she was sick. She looked perfectly healthy but her oncologist informed us that cancer cells had been slowly growing inside her body for many years. Unlike other cells in our body which have specific functions, cancer cells are undifferentiated, meaning they have no function other than to grow.

Our family wanted to know what caused my mom’s cancer. Her lifestyle wasn’t one that might have led to the development of cancer. Her oncologist told us that “unfortunately these tumors do not come with labels,” however, he pointed out that my mom, like many of his other patients, was born and raised in the heavily industrialized Ohio River Valley.There were few regulations in place in the 1930s and 1940s to protect human health and the environment.

The National Institute of Health Sciences reports that more than two-thirds of cancer is from environmental exposures to substances including pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, benzene, dioxins, and vinyl chlorides.

My folks moved from Steubenville, Ohio (a city once noted as having the dirtiest air in the nation) to Toronto, Ohio in 1962. In 1970, Weirton Steel began construction of their coke ovens on Brown’s Island just outside Toronto’s city limits. Coke ovens heat coal to high temperatures to remove sticky coal tars. These tarry substances are collected and used to make various aromatic solvents like benzene, which are carcinogenic. The remaining light weight coke is used during the steel-making process.

The coke plant drew national attention in late 1972 when 21 workers were killed in an explosion at the construction site. Our home, which was located less than a mile away, was rocked by the explosion. For nearly a decade we lived in the shadow of the dangerous aromatic hydrocarbon emissions spewed from the ovens. By 1982, locally produced coke became too expensive and the plant was shut down. However, the pollution in the form of coal tars and benzene containing compounds remained in the local soils and ground water.

Like many people who are diagnosed with terminal cancer, my mom was willing to try anything to gain a few more months of life. But once the cancer spread to her major organs, she had to admit she wasn’t going to beat the cancer. She would not see her grandkids grow up or see another birthday, she wouldn’t grow old, she wouldn’t celebrate another Mother’s Day with us. Cancer had essentially canceled my mom’s life. She lost her hair, her life savings, her dignity and eventually her life.

We will never know for sure if living in the Ohio Valley had contributed to my mom’s cancer but our next-door neighbor died at the age of 14 from leukemia and another friend died at the age of 11 from stomach cancer.

For years the petrochemical industry has discounted the connection of environmental toxins to cancer and they continue to deny the major role they play in the climate crisis. Many consumers are unaware of the risks associated with these toxic products, which include many personal care products, cleaning products, and lawn and garden chemicals. Industry and government agencies do minimal testing for health effects and provide little information to the public.

Countess studies now show that forever chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl substances, “PFAS”, are now basically found everywhere on the planet: in food packaging and fast-food wrappers, in water, in fish, and in municipal waste biosolids. These compounds have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and numerous other diseases.

Environmental Lawyer, Rob Bilott (of “Dark Waters” fame), said in a recent interview, “one of the things we found in the internal files of the main manufacturer of the chemical PFOS was that this company was well aware by the 1970s that PFOS was being found in the general US population’s blood and was being found at fairly significant levels.” Yet the manufacturers failed to share this information with citizens.

“In July 2021, a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility presented evidence that oil and gas companies have been using PFAS, or substances that can degrade into PFAS, in hydraulic fracturing, a technique used to extract natural gas or oil.” Ignoring the toxicityassociated with fracking fluids and claiming a need for “energy independence”, local, state and federal politicians are calling for more fracking.

Corporate CEOs and cancer cells have this characteristic in common; their main goal is growth. The collateral damage of that growth is of no concern to them so long as their stock values climb. Scientists frantically warn us we are devastating fragile ecosystems and warming the planet to dangerous temperatures. Still CEOs, media, and politicians ignore the warnings.

Many people, including scientists, have become as desperate as cancer patients; searching for an answer, a cure, some way to stop the death of our planet. It was devastating to watch my mother slip away bit by bit until she was barely recognizable. It’s also devastating to watch the only habitable planet in our solar system, the one that harbors so many marvelous creatures and ecosystems, being killed by corporate greed and a dysfunctional economic system that requires the consumption of Mother Earth to make a buck.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Wildfire May 7, 2022 at 8:19 am

Update from Roane County, WV

When my sister died of cancer last year I decided to study up on cancer. One book had some interesting info — that cancer has the ability sometimes to evolve resistance to substances that had previously caused the cancer to shrink, ……
and that it can direct veins to itself to get nourishment for further growth.

But even from the point of view of a cancer, the end game of an extensive cancer is that it kills the host — and thus dies itself.

It struck me that all these things are also true of our cancerous civilization based on capitalism — the corporations can lobby and bribe Congress and State houses to direct subsidies and favorable regulations to themselves.

they can evolve resistance to regulations intended to constrain their destructiveness, and in the end their wildly successful growth will kill the host –humanity– and will thus itself die.

This thing is just as mindless as the cancer cells in a human body, and just as terminal. Unless humanity gets the will to develop a weapon sufficiently powerful to rein it in… but the secret weapon of the corporate state is control of the media, so that most people are not even thinking about any of this.

Mary Wildfire


BERTRAND RUSSELL May 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

Bertrand Russell as posted in Facebook

“In America money is the accepted measure of brains. It is thought a man who makes a lot of money must be a clever fellow; a man who does not, is not.”

“For my part, the thing that I would wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security. But what the typical modern man desires to get with it is more money, with a view to ostentation, splendour, and the outshining of those who have hitherto been his equals.

The social scale in America is indefinite and continually fluctuating. Consequently all the snobbish emotions become more restless than they are where the social order is fixed, and although money in itself may not suffice to make people grand, it is difficult to be grand without money.

In America money is the accepted measure of brains. It is thought a man who makes a lot of money must be a clever fellow; a man who does not, is not. Nobody likes to be thought an idiot. Therefore, when the market is in ticklish condition, I have observed Americans behave the way young people do during an examination.”

Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness (1930), Ch.III: Competition, p. 49

Born in 1872 into the British aristocracy and educated at Cambridge University, Russell gave away much of his inherited wealth. However, in 1931 he inherited and kept his families earldom (Russell once joked that his title was primarily used for the purpose of securing New York City hotel rooms). His multifaceted career centered on work as a philosophy professor, writer, and public lecturer, even so Russell was not stable financially until the publication of A History of Western Philosophy (1945). This work became a best-seller, and provided Russell with a steady income for the remainder of his life. Along with his friend Albert Einstein, Russell had by the late 1940′s reached world wide celebrity status as a public intellectual. In 1949, Russell was awarded the Order of Merit, and the following year he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.


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