While a great deal of attention recently has been given to environmental problems associated with chemicals, it seems likely that certain industrial, agricultural, and recreational practices, products, and by-products will continue to produce adverse, sometimes unforseen effects on human health and our environment. In some cases the delays in recognizing and controlling these effects are costly.
In Hawaiʻi there are chemically related environmental problems that need to be resolved by federal or state agencies. Recent belated disclosures of pesticides in milk, and the discovery of harmful chemicals in water supplies demonstrate the need for the Sierra Club, Hawaiʻi Chapter to promote and support stronger safeguards.
As a start toward addressing this problem, the Sierra Club, Hawaiʻi Chapter has formulated this policy as a basis for logical and reasoned approaches to the chronic and growing chemical “pollution problem. Other related policies will address waste disposal, storage, harmful radiation, and other concerns.
It shall be the policy of Sierra Club, Hawaiʻi Chapter, to support the monitoring, identification ,and control of chemicals which are harmful to human health, to sustainable agricultural systems, and to environmental quality.
1. Acknowledge a special obligation to minimize contamination of the environment with chemicals that adversely affect the unique and vulnerable ecosystem of Hawaiʻi.
2. Support proper and prudent measures to evaluate and ensure the safety of chemicals before their approval and release for use. This applies especially to agricultural applications over large areas under variable environmental conditions.
3. Support monitoring, prompt identification, and control of chemicals and practices thought to be safe, but which subsequently prove to be a threat to human health or desirable biota in Hawaiʻi.
4. Support actions which improve coordination at the state level of monitoring, identification, and control of harmful chemicals.
5. Support the right of concerned citizens to obtain information from publicly funded investigative studies relating to environmental and health effects of chemicals. Available information should include methods of investigation, raw data, and conclusions.
This policy on Harmful Chemicals was approved by the Sierra Club Hawaiʻi Chapter Executive Committee at its quarterly meeting held on January 22, 1984.