Toxic Tide: No Place to Hide


The International Joint Commission (IJC) was created by treaty between the U.S. and Canada in 1909, to resolve problems in the Great Lakes. The IJC assists Canada and the US in implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the improvement of transboundary air quality. Its Ninth Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality issued this year (1998) is entitled There is much work to be done... Following are some excerpts from this and earlier IJC reports.

"In its Sixth Biennial Report [1992], the Commission concluded 'that persistent toxic substances are too dangerous to the biosphere and to humans to permit their release in ANY quantity.... [Z]ero discharge means just that: halting all inputs from all human sources and pathways and to prevent any opportunity for persistent toxic substances to enter the environment as a result of human activity.'" Cited in: Ninth Biennial Report, p.12

"... if a chemical or group of chemicals is persistent, toxic and bioaccumulative, we should immediately begin a process to eliminate it. Since it seems impossible to eliminate discharges of these chemicals through other means, a policy of banning or sunsetting their manufacture, distribution, storage, use and disposal appears to be the only alternative." Sixth Biennial Report. Cited in: Rachel's #661

"Despite years of effort to stop inputs, clean up contamination and eliminate the use of chemicals that have long been known to cause injury, all remain widespread in the ecosystem and many continue to be used.." Ninth Biennial Report, p.7

"Public opinion polls continually show that people support a clean environment, but governments appear to be less receptive and responsive to advice and to the wishes of their citizens regarding the environment. Opposition to further environmental measures --indeed to retaining successes to date--is mounting." Ninth Biennial Report, p.13

"If you pollute when you DO NOT KNOW if there is any safe dose, you are performing improper experimentation on people without their in-formed consent.... If you pollute when you DO KNOW that there is no safe dose with respect to causing extra cases of deadly cancers, then you are committing premeditated random murder."

- Dr. John Gofman

"Never doubt that a small number of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead

Toxic Tide Homepage

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Conclusion - Further Study - Further Action