Center for the Environment presents study at Catawba

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Staff report
An unsettling study about industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in humans will be the focus of a talk at the Center for the Environment at Catawba College in February.
Ken Cook, president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group in Washington, will talk about the research and its implications Thursday, Feb. 19, in a presentation called “Ten Americans.” The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Center for the Environment building on the Catawba campus. The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Individuals may contact Amanda Lanier at or 704.637.4727.
Both Cook and EWG have been the subject of profiles in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Chicago Tribune, Des Moines Register and the National Journal. He has made frequent appearances on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CBS’s “60 Minutes,” National Public Radio and evening newscasts of ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, among other programs.
Dr. John Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment, says the presentation is “something every parent will want to see.”
Cook reveals data gathered from research at two major laboratories that found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the subjects tested.
Of the 287 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. One legislator called the research and Cook’s presentation “a real wake-up call.”
The Environmental Working Group not only spearheaded the study, the first of its kind, it also offers information people can use to protect their families and communities.
Cook co-founded EWG with Richard Wiles in 1993. Before founding EWG, Cook served as vice president for policy at the Center for Resource Economics. He also directed press and governmental relations at the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation Foundation. He holds BA, BS and MS degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia.