APRIL 28, 1998 - CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF SOUTH PHOENIX RALLY AT CAPITOL, DEMAND MEETING WITH HULL
The Concerned Residents of South Phoenix rallied at the state capitol to demand a decontamination of their homes and a medical clinic where survivors can get treatment for their chemical injuries. Starting in fall 1997, they have attempted to contact Governor Hull to discuss resolution of this lingering toxic contamination problem. Hull has not returned their calls, yet her schedulers have acknowledged for months that her staff are "reviewing" the community's concerns. In response to the rally, Hull's staff acknowledged that they "had dropped the ball," but still have not scheduled a meeting.
Forty Concerned Residents showed up to the rally, from children to the elderly. Another 60-80 who might have attended have died; many hundreds more have lingering ailments from rashes to irregular heart beats, kidney and liver troubles, and respiratory distress. They need a clinic with specialized doctors to help them. IS THIS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR ARIZONA NEIGHBORHOOD IF THERE IS A CHEMICAL FIRE OR SPILL?
Recent EPA studies of the affected area and control homes outside of the affected area have concluded that a grocery list of chemical residues are still found at "statistically significant" higher levels in the soil, homes, and air ducts in the area affected by the 1992 toxic fire in South Phoenix than in control homes. These chemical residues include Copper, Boron, Fluorides, Tin, PAHs (Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons), Lead, Nickel, Nitrate, and Chloride.
Elder For'e White spoke twice at the microphone during the rally. He said, "When I cried out, and my community, to get help from those people that are in the government, those people that are in a position to do something about the situation in South Phoenix, they turned a deaf ear." He added, "The reason I know that people are still sick is I am standing here with chemical pains in my body. And there's a lot of the people standing here with me who are having the same pains in their body."
Rose Flowers also spoke twice at the microphone during the rally. She addressed her remarks to the absent Governor Hull, "Why do we have to stand around and plot and scheme on how to get you out of office before you will move on something you know is detrimental to somebody's health? When it takes your hair, your life, your skin, your energy, and exhausts you to the point that you have nothing but BITTERNESS every time you see one of these plants go up!" Rose added, "But when you talk about killing me on a daily basis, slowly, I cannot be your friend."
Geneva Farthing's blood tests showed such dangerously high levels of the metals in her blood that the state was prompted to sample her home for chemicals from the fire. The results: her home is contaminated just like everyone else's in the affected area. Yet, years later, no medical person has helped her get these toxins out of her body. Perhaps she is not the right color for Arizona to help...