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Time: 07-10-2010 23:53 User: mstollhaus PubDate: 07-11-2010 Zone: MT Edition: 1 Page Name: A 1 Color: CyanMagentaYellowBlack

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Conway hasn’t always earned ‘liberal’ label

A N
A
N

MT

SUN

He leans left, but not on all issues

By Joseph Ger th

jger th@courier-journal.com Th e Courier-Journal

Within two weeks of winning Kentucky’s Republican nomina- tion for the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul sent out at least four e-mails de-

scribing Democratic opponent Jack Conway as too far left,” link- ing him to his liberal Washington, D.C., buddies.” But a Courier-Journal review of Conway’s public statements over the last decade found that while he does have liberal views on some is- sues, such as abortion rights and health care reform, his outlook is conservative or moderate on others, including the death penalty and gay marriage.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Re ad more of U. S. S e nate candidate Jack Conway’s views on the issues. A17

PAUL CHIDES OPPONENT

Rand Pa ul says C onway should run” from the president’s policies. B1

Even so, political observers — on both sides of the spectrum — who reviewed Conway’s state- ments say Paul shouldn’t have

much trouble labeling Conway as a liberal among Kentucky’s general- ly conservative electorate. Taking this entire range of is- sues into account, I would charac- terize Jack Conway as a moderate,” said Laurie Rhodebeck, a political scientist at the University of Louis- ville. There are, however, a few is- sues that conservatives could ef- fectively use to portray Conway as

S e e CONWAY, A16, col. 1

use to portray Conway as S e e CONWAY , A16, col. 1 Observers say Jack

Observers say Jack Conway is easier to label a liberal among Kentucky’s generally conservative vo te rs.

Drugs,Drugs, chemicalschemicals crcreateatee scary scary cocktail cocktail B e rman review delaye d; board to
Drugs,Drugs, chemicalschemicals crcreateatee
scary scary cocktail cocktail
B e rman review
delaye d; board
to meet secretly
fo fo r r Ohio Ohio River River
New law allows closed sessions
By Antoinette Ko nz
akonz@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal
Despite conducting Superintendent Sheldon
Berman’s annual evaluation in June the past two
years, the Jefferson County Board of Education has
decided to wait until mid-July this year, allowing it
to take advantage of a new state law that keeps por-
tions of the process secret.
Board chairwoman Debbie Wesslund said that
the board had initially planned to evaluate Berman,
who is now in the f inal year of his four-year con-
tract, in June, but “the timing became problematic.”
“We spent most of May and June dealing with
the leadership audits (at six of the district’s strug-
gling schools) that required us to do some major
restructuring that required a lot of time and work,”
she said. “We also had a board member out of the
country for two weeks in June.”
But Jon Fleischaker, an attorney for The Couri-
er-Journal, said that the board is shutting out the
public from an evaluation that “should be done in
public.”
“It appears clear that at least one of the reasons
why the Jefferson County school board waited to
S ee BERMAN, A6, col. 1
Photos by Pa t McD onogh, above, and Michael Hayman, below, Th e Courier-Journal
OIL SPILL | DAY 83
Th e Ohio River yields catfish last we ek to Mark Holt at the Falls of the Ohio in Clarksville, Ind. A sampling of wa ter at 22
spots along the river found medications and other chemicals. It’s unknown if the leve ls fo und pose any health threats.
Low leve ls of co ntaminants in wate r supply
By James Bruggers
jbruggers@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal
Ro bot ‘surgeons’
be gin delicate
repa ir operation
Dozens of chemicals and pharmaceuticals — antidepressants, veterinary
hormones, even cocaine — have been detected in the Ohio River upstream and
downstream from Louisville.
Researchers who conducted the study downplayed the potential effects for
By Tom Breen
Associated Press
the 5 million people along the 981-mile river who use it for drinking water. The
contaminants, they said, are in extremely low concentrations.
But outside scientists who reviewed the data noted that some of the pollu-
tants have been tied to feminization of male f ish, effects that
WILDLIFE
RESCUE
A
p rint exclu-
SUNDAY
PRINT
EXCLUSIVE
Available only
in your print
should serve as a warning to people.
“When we see something this basic being altered in f ish,
we should be concerned about what it’s doing to our own
health,” said biologist Peter DeFur, a research associate pro-
fessor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes
in chemical contaminants in the environment and was not
involved in the study.
The drugs and chemicals were found in a survey by the
sive full page
on how yo u
can help. A8
Winnie Hepler of St. Matthews is a
wate r safety advocate but also needs
medications to ease her daily life.
GULF AREA
NOT ALONE
INSIDE
edition to day.
How to properly dispose of medi-
cations. A4
Ke ntucky and fe deral lawmakers
strive fo r to ugher rules on chemical
pollution of wa te rways. A5
NEW ORLEANS — Robotic
submarines working a mile under-
water removed a leaking cap from
the gushing oil well Saturday, start-
ing a painful trade-off: Millions
more gallons of crude will flow
freely into the Gulf of Mexico for at
least two days until a new seal can
be mounted to capture all of it.
There’s no guarantee for such a
delicate operation almost a mile
below the water’s surface, off icials
said, and a permanent f ix of plug-
ging the well from the bottom re-
mains slated for mid-August.
“It’s not just going to be, you put
the cap on, it’s done. It’s not like
putting a cap on a tube of tooth-
Th
e We st
eight-state Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission
even though sewage treatment efforts screen out a signif icant
percentage of the contaminants.
The sampling at 22 locations from Pittsburgh to Paducah is the f irst to deter-
mine such a widespread presence in the Ohio of what are called “contaminants
of emerging concern” and are a new focus of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Af
rican nation
of
Nigeria has
suffe re d o il
spills fo r
decades. A13
S ee OHIO , A4, col. 1

S e e OIL , A15, col. 1

WEATHER | B2 INDEX 98 PAGES BREAKING NEWS ON YO UR CELL PHONE Ar ts
WEATHER | B2
INDEX
98 PAGES
BREAKING NEWS
ON YO UR CELL PHONE
Ar ts
I-1
36 -HOUR FORECAST
Lo tte ry
Metro
Movies
Racing
Spor ts
TV
A2
Business
D1
B1
Lo uisville area: Most-
ly sunny to day with
chance of storms
to night. Chance of
showers to morrow.
Class. F1, G1, J1
I- 4
Text CJNEWS to 44636 (4INFO)
for the local news aler ts
D e aths
Fe atures
Fo rum
B7
C13
TODAY
TO MORROW
E1
C1
91 73
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H1
TVWeek
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Time: 07-10-2010 20:42 User: lhack PubDate: 07-11-2010 Zone: KY Edition: 1 Page Name: A 4 Color: CyanMagentaYellowBlack

A4 | SUNDAY, J ULY 11, 2010 | THE COURIER-JOURNAL

KY-

CONTAMINANTS IN THE CURRENTS

OHIO | Rive r sampling f inds drugs, chemicals; threat to health unknown

Continued from A1

Agency. The sanitation commission, which was established by Congress and Ohio River states in 1948, and its partner in the study, the EPA, say there’s little information available regarding human health risks of what they found. Outside scientists said there are legitimate concerns that the con- taminants, including medications that pass through people and into the sewage system, may pose health risks to people. Several drugs were detected at trace levels in Louisville Water Co. tap water in 2004 as part of a sepa- rate national survey. Experts said it’s likely that at least some drugs and chemicals in the river are still routinely passing through treat- ment systems into drinking water. I don’t like the idea of taking somebody else’s medication through my water supply,” said Leonard Buckner, a Louisville Wa- ter Co. customer. It seems like we need to understand this better.” Some home f ilter systems claim to remove many of the pharmaceu- ticals. But those claims have not yet been verif ied, said Tom Bruurse- ma, who manages a water treat- ment certif ication program for NSF International, a nonprof it public health and safety agency that tests and sets standards for water treatment systems.

‘The big unknown’

Just because you f ind it doesn’t mean it’s a problem,” said Erich Emery, a biologist and research manager working on the study for the commission, commonly known as ORSANCO. We have the ability to detect (almost) any- thing we want now.” ORSANCO’s 279-page screen- ing survey is almost entirely made up of raw data. ORSANCO staff and the EPA are working on a f inal report to be completed early next year. The Cincinnati-based commis- sion this spring gave the data to its member states. It also provided a copy to The Courier-Journal, which reviewed it with several out- side environmental health experts, including Theo Colborn, who said some of the detected chemicals are considered endocrine disrupters. They can mimic or interfere with hormones in the body, possibly af- fecting tissues and organs. The 1996 book Colborn co-au- thored, Our Stolen Future,” brought international attention to the issue, and she said research has suggested potential links between endocrine disrupters and such medical conditions as attention def icit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, early puberty and infertil-

hyperactivity disorder, obesity, early puberty and infertil- By Michael Hayman, The Courier-Journal A worker monitors par

By Michael Hayman, The Courier-Journal

A worker monitors par t of the filtration process last month at the Morris Fo rman wa stewa ter treatment plant on the Ohio River at Louisville.

WATER CO NTAMINANTS LO UISVILLE’S CHEMICAL RUNOFF Water s ampling has identified doze ns of
WATER CO NTAMINANTS
LO UISVILLE’S CHEMICAL RUNOFF
Water s ampling has identified doze ns of essentially unregulate d
chemicals and co mpounds in the Ohio Ri ver, a drinking wate r source
fo r 5 million. Th ese include co ntaminants that mimic hormones and
prescription drugs and are a new fo cus
of EPA scrutiny.
Th e percentage increase of selected chemicals in
the Ohio River after passing through Lo uisville:
Pa .
PFPeA breakdown product of stain- and
grease -proof coatings on fo od packaging, couches,
carpets
58.2 percent
Checking on
the Ohio River
Pittsburgh
O H I O
Cincinnati
I N D I A N A
I L L I N O I S
Evansville
PFOA used in chemical manufacturing, and to
make products re sist fire and re pel oil, stains,
grease, and wa te r, and provide non-stick surfaces
on cookware
3 percent
W E S T
V I R G I N I A
Louisville
Benzoy lecgonine breakdown product of
cocaine
Paducah
117 percent
K E N T U C K Y
V I R G I N I A
Cairo
Caffeine stimulant in coffe e and other beve r-
ages
Twenty- two locations we re ta rg eted
upstream and downstrea m of metro area s.
S ome s a mples we re taken from tributaries,
including one south of Columbus, Ohio.
59 percent
42
HarHar Harrods rrodsods
CCrreekeek Creek
Carbamazepine anticonvulsive and mood
stabilizer
31 percent
Silver
CLARKSV ILLE
Goose
NEW ALBANY
Creek
Gemfibrozil re duces cholesterol and triglyce-
rides in the blood
62 JEFFERJEFFERJEFFERSSSONVIONVIONVILLLLELELE
Creek
71
64
34 percent
Zo Ave. rn
S a mple taken at
Ohio Ri ver mile
612.2, which is at
Morris Forman
wa stewater
treatm ent plant
outfall.
Atenolol reduces blood pressure and angina
25 percent
264 S ample ta ken at Ohio
65
Ri ver mile 600.5 (two -
B eargrass
Sulfamethoxazo le antibacterial
Creek
tenths of a mile
downriver from the
Louisville Water Co.’s
Zorn pumping station
51 percent
DEET insect re pellent 81 percent
111 L O U I S V I L L E
and intake) .
Metformin anti- diabetic 23 percent
B y J o a n n e M e s h e w, T h e C -J
down toilets. Of those two sources,
repellent, was 81 percent higher.
FROM THE TA P
In a sampling of Louisville drink-
ing water done in 2004, research-
ers, in cooperation with the
Lo uisville Water Co., identified
nine drugs in tap water at trace
leve ls:
says human excretion produces
more drug contaminants.
tor in effluent plumes of Cincinnati
and Pittsburgh was even bigger —
Other sources of drugs in the in the 200 percent range.
environment include runoff from
farms and water that passes
through landf ills.
Wastewater treatment plants
are not designed to remove all con-
taminants, said Collins, the Carne-
The drugs found in the Ohio gie Mellon chemist.
spikes and you can trace them to a
treatment plant is a promising
thing,” he said. “We can do better.

Caffeine, stimulant. Sulfamethoxazo le, anti ba cteri- al. Meprobamate, anti-anxiety medication Dilantin, anticonvulsive Carbamazepine, anticonvulsive and mood stabilizer DEET, insect re pellant. Iopromide, ra diographic con- trast agent Ibuprofen, anti inflammatory Gemfibrozil, reduces choles- te ro l and triglycerides in the blood

River include three prescriptions in the medicine cabinet of St. Mat- thews resident and longtime water quality advocate Winnie Hepler. The 82-year-old is battling chronic

Control and Prevention, which has found as many as 12 PFCs in a na- tional survey of human blood se- rum, says people are likely exposed by consuming them in food or wa- ter or by using products that con-

Some PFCs have been linked to liver toxicity in f ish and liver can- cer in rodents, Collins said. The drugs that were detected in the river water include some of the most commonly prescribed medi- cations, said Dr. George Bosse, medical director of the Kentucky

HOW TO DUMP YOUR DRUGS

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they’ll accept unwa nted med- icines. Generally, gove rnment agencies say don’t flush drugs down the sink or toilet. But the Fo od and Drug Administration ke eps a list of 27 medications, such as morphine, OxyContin, Perc ocet, D e merol and methadone, that they recommend people flush down the drain as a safety precaution. Th e Office of National Drug Control Po licy recommends the fo llowing for other drugs:

Ta ke drugs out of original con- tainers and mix them with an undesirable substance, like cat litte r or used coffe e grounds. Put the mixture in a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine container or sealable ba g. Re move or black out the pre- scription drug labels and place the drug containers in with the mix- ture. S e al and put in the trash. Jeffe rs on and Oldham County drug drop- offs fo r the fa ll haven’t been scheduled ye t. Fl oyd County, Ind., residents can drop off un- wa nted medications at Fl oyd Memorial Hospital, 1850 State St., New Albany, from 2 to 3 p.m. the second Th ursday of each month.

Water company off icials say

the Food and Drug Administration The increase in the cocaine indica- what comes out the taps of its

customers meets all current wa- ter quality standards, and off i- cials at MSD say they are meet- ing current discharge standards. Representatives from both said the contaminants could be reduced further as they upgrade

The fact that you are seeing their plants to meet new stan-

dards for unrelated pollutants. For example, the Louisville Water Co.’s new, $50 million ri-

We can lower those concentra- verbank-f iltration system that is

obstructive pulmonary disease tions.” and high blood pressure.

The medications, she said, al- low her to go on daily walks and at- tend public events. I think I’d be conf ined to craw- ling around in my apartment other- wise,” she said. But she also said she hopes the research leads to efforts to reduce the contaminants in the water. We really need to know what we are doing,” she said. We don’t want to do harm.”

Plant discharges

Many of the samples were taken above and below the wastewater treatment plants of cities along the river. In most cases, including Lou-

Future filtering

cials say they are not sure that the levels of what they found in the riv- er need to come down. It would be nice if we had a bet- ter sense of which chemicals to worry about,” said Peter Tennant, deputy director of the commission. The regulatory system is not set up to deal with such a large inven- tory of potential threats, Tennant said, adding that the EPA typically issues just three or four new water quality standards per year. That kind of pace just isn’t go- ing to cut it for the thousands of chemicals that are of emerging

isville, the concentrations were concern,” Tennant said.

higher in the effluent. For example, concentrations of the anti-convulsive and mood sta- bilizer carbamazepine, sold under brand names including Tegretol, increased 31 percent just below

EPA off icials declined to be in- terviewed. But in a statement from

they said they are studying a list of 104 contaminants — including, for the f irst time, pharmaceuticals —

ity. The big unknown is the mix- ture of these things being taken to- gether,” said DeFur, the Virginia Commonwealth biologist. We have no idea how to even think about what that means.” DeFur said the sampling results are a conf irmation of what has pre- viously been found in states such as Delaware, Minnesota and Cali- fornia, and nationally by the U.S. Geological Survey. He and others spoke of the need for a precautionary approach. When you are faced with an unknown and you believe there is potential for harm, you err on the side of human health,” said Dr. Da- vid Tollerud, chairman of the de- partment of environmental and oc- cupational health sciences at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health.

Nearly indestructible

The $85,000 study was designed to look for 158 contaminants, in- cluding 118 pharmaceuticals, hor- mones and personal care products. It also looked for perfluorinated compounds, which have been widely used in nonstick coatings for pots and pans and in stain- and

grease-proof coatings for food tain them.

packaging and fabric. All are essentially unregulated in the nation’s waterways and drinking water supplies and are among thousands of chemicals made by humans that are of poten- tial concern. Terry Collins, who leads Carne-

gie Mellon University’s Institute Regional Poison Center in Louis- Louisville’s Morris Forman treat- for potential drinking water limits. Alex Novak said he will see

ments such as nitrogen and phosphorus. MSD Operations Director

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones, fluent limits for chemical ele-

other chemical compounds, said Rengao Song, manager of water quality and research for the city- owned company. Payne supplies about 30 percent of the city’s wa- ter. He said the company is study- ing additional treatment options at its main Crescent Hill plant. It has budgeted up $200 million to- ward that work, which would be done over the next decade, said Vince Guenthner, a company spokesman. And MSD just started to look into potential designs and cost of a third layer of treatment at Mor- ris Forman, its largest plant, that would meet potential new ef-

For their part, ORSANCO off i- move 90 percent of drugs and

scheduled to come fully online at its Payne Treatment Plant near Prospect should be able to re-

for Green Science in Pittsburgh and reviewed the ORSANCO data for the newspaper, called it a very good study” that sheds light on a large number of compounds.” … Some of them are coming

back in our drinking water,” he caine and nicotine from tobacco

ville. The study found medications

used to f ight depression, anxiety,

high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and infection. Also frequently detected was caffeine, as well as evidence of co-

In August, the EPA said it will launch a survey looking for some 200 drugs and other chemicals in the source and tap waters of about

blood pressure drug, was 25 per- 50 drinking water utilities across

cent higher. The study also found the con- centration of benzoylecgonine, the

the United States, with the results anticipated by late 2011. At both the Louisville Water Co.

ment plant on the Ohio River. The concentration of the PFC known as PFPeA was 58 percent higher; and the concentration of atenolol, a

whether any of the designs might also be effective with drugs and other unregulated chemicals. If there’s a solution that can also in- corporate these endocrine dis- rupters, then that’s the way to go,” Novak said. The anticipation is that we

said. He said the perfluorinated com- pounds, or PFCs, are nearly inde- structible, and they build up in hu- mans and animals. The federal Centers for Disease

products.

Our bodies don’t use all the urinary breakdown product of co- and the Metropolitan Sewer Dis- will (eventually) have to do

while caffeine was 59 percent high- er, and the level of DEET, the insect

trict, off icials said their current something,” he said.

contaminants identif ied by OR- SANCO.

Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at (502) 582-4645.

caine, was 117 percent higher in the

excreted in human waste. Drugs Morris Forman effluent plume, treatment already removes some

also enter the environment when people flush unwanted medication

medication we take, and some gets

Time: 07-10-2010 20:37 User: lhack PubDate: 07-11-2010 Zone: KY Edition: 1 Page Name: A 5 Color: CyanMagentaYellowBlack

KY-

THE COURIER-JOURNAL | SUNDAY, J ULY 11, 2010 | A5

CONTAMINANTS IN THE CURRENTS

Tougher chemical dischar ge rules sought

State and federal bills offe re d

By James Bruggers

jbruggers@courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal

ities from flushing drugs into macists Association, said Substances Control Act of quires the EPA to prove a the toxic chemicals law, said

1976 up to date. That law offers very little control over the 83,000 chemicals used in industry and consumer goods, many of which are also making it into our bodies, according to the General Accountability

tools to act on dangerous because chemistry perme-

ates the nation’s economy. Lautenberg’s bill would shift the burden to the chem-

quire pharmaceutical com- system that allows patients of Congress.

tomers are assured their ical manufacturers by re-

quiring them to demonstrate to the EPA why they believe a chemical is safe.

panies to take back unused drugs. It’s time for us to at least be aware of what we are putting in the water and the

In the 34 years since Con- gress passed the toxic sub- stances law, the U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agen- cy has only been able to use

Sarah Brozena, senior direc- tor of regulatory and techni- cal affairs for the American Chemistry Council, a lobby- ing group. But she said it will be important to get it right,

toilets. It died in committee. But she said she will be back next year with a different ap- proach to keeping drugs out of the environment. I am looking at an un- wanted-drug collection pro- gram,” she said, adding that

hospitals aren’t flushing drugs down toilets. He said most work with reverse dis- tributors” that either return the drugs to the manufactur- er for disposal or have them incinerated. He said his group wants

chemical is unsafe. But that could change un- der legislation introduced this year by Sen. Frank Lau- tenberg, D-N.J. EPA does not have the

chemicals and the chemical

Legislation in Washing- legislation might also re- to work with Jenkins on a Off ice, the investigative arm industry has asked for stron-

Brad Hall, executive di-

to safely get rid of their un- wanted medicines — and to develop an incinerator in Kentucky to encourage proper disposal.

In Washington, there’s a it to control just f ive. One

ger laws so that their cus-

products are safe,” Lauten- berg said in April, when he introduced the Safe Chemi- cals Act of 2010. The chemical industry is

ton, D.C., and Frankfort, Ky., seeks to reduce pollution by pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. Kentucky state Rep. Joni

Jenkins, D-Louisville, intro- implications.”

duced a bill earlier this year

to prohibit health care facil- rector of the Kentucky Phar- push to bring federal Toxic reason is that the law re- ready for a modernization of

Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at (502) 582-4645.

Off icials fear public ignoring ra sh of recalls

582-4645. Off icials fear public ignoring ra sh of recalls Associated Press photos McDonald’s has asked

Associated Press photos

McDonald’s has asked customers to re turn 12 million Shrek glasses after cadmium was fo und in the paint.

million Shrek glasses after cadmium was fo und in the paint. Hasbro re called its Easy

Hasbro re called its Easy B a ke O ven in 2007 because kids’ fingers wo uld get stuck in it.

By Ly ndsey Layton

Th e Washington Po st

McDonald’s asked cus- tomers to return 12 million glasses emblazoned with the character Shrek. Kellogg’s warned con- sumers to stop eating 28 mil- lion boxes of Froot Loops and other cereals. Chef Boyardee asked the public to return 15 million pounds of Spaghetti-Os, and seven companies recalled 2 million cribs. Those were just a frac- tion of the products recalled in the United States in the last few weeks. Government regulators, retailers, manufacturers and consumer experts are con- cerned that recall notices have become so frequent across a range of goods — foods, consumer products and cars — that the public is suffering from recall fa- tigue.” In many cases, people simply ignore urgent calls to destroy or return defective goods. One recent study found that 12 percent of Americans who knew they had recalled food at home ate it anyway. Hasbro recalled the iconic Easy Bake Oven in 2007 be- cause the f ingers of two doz- en children had gotten stuck in the door, and the toymak- er received 249 more reports of injuries over the following six months. One 5-year-old girl was so seriously burned that doc-

tors had to remove part of which 12 percent of respon-

her f inger. It’s a real issue,” said Jeff Farrar, associate commis- sioner for food protection at the Food and Drug Adminis- tration, who said even his

wife has complained about do.”

the diff iculty of keeping

Any recall has two tar-

pace with recalls. That gets: retailers and consum-

number is steadily going up, and it’s diff icult for us to get the word out without over- saturating consumers.” The problem is twofold:

Some people never learn that a product they own has been recalled, and others

know they have a recalled ting dangerous products off

product but don’t think any- thing bad will happen. The national recall sys- tem that’s in place now just

doesn’t work,” said Craig Inez Tenenbaum, chairman

Wilson, assistant vice presi-

dent for quality assurance Safety Commission, which

and food safety at Costco. oversaw 465 product recalls

in 2009, involving tens of millions of items ranging from circular saws to Jesus Fish Beads. If a product is relatively

come immune to the mes- expensive, consumers are

We call it the Chicken Little syndrome. If you keep shouting at the wind — ‘The sky is falling! The sky is fall- ing!’ — people literally be-

store shelves, but we do be- lieve the greatest challenge is getting dangerous prod- ucts out of the homes,” said

ers. Government regulators say most stores can quickly pull defective products from shelves and block their sale at the cash register. The tougher battle is getting the consumer to act. We do a good job of get-

dents said they knowingly had eaten a recalled food. Human beings are com- plex creatures,” he said. Some do exactly the oppo- site of what they’re told to

you’d go nuts,” said Hallman, who has studied consumer attitudes toward food recalls with a grant partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He conducted a national survey last year in

of the Consumer Product

more likely to return it for a replacement or a repair. Car owners are among the most responsive, return- ing 73 percent of recalled au-

consumers can subscribe for tos and 45 percent of re-

called child car seats in 2009, according to the National

But it amounts to over- Highway Transportation

Safety Administration. Of the 7.7 million vehicles Toyota recalled in the past year, 3.7 million, or just less than half, have been brought in and repaired, said Brian Lyons, a company spokes- man.

e-mail alerts about specif ic products.

sage.” The government main- tains a website, www.recalls- .gov, offering information about all kinds of recalls, and

load, said William Hallman, professor of human ecology at Rutgers, the State Univer- sity of New Jersey. There is so much infor- mation out there, if you paid attention to every recall no- tice that came out every day,

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