Diane Benson, 52, is a lifelong Alaska resident. She is engaged in film/video production, and research and public outreach activities, addressing issues concerning violence and recovery, race-relations, and veterans and families. Ms. Benson won the Alaska Democratic Party Primary for the U.S. House in 2006 and is currently campaigning for U.S. Congress. She is active with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Military Appreciation Committee, Healing Racism Steering Committee, Alaska Native Sisterhood, and National Organization of Women. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and is working on her Masters in Public Policy. We found four of the five phthalates and nine of the twelve PBDEs in Diane’s body. She also had bisphenol A in both her blood and urine. She is one of the few participants to have BDE 197 and 207 in her body.
“The troubling factor is that we and all other life forms now have these chemicals in us. No matter how miniscule the amount, the fact is that they are present. What other contaminants might be in our systems that we don't know about? We have a right to be informed."
Ethan Berkowitz, 45, , is a small business owner and past Democratic House Leader for the Alaska legislature. He is currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives. He owns Alaskan Alternative Energy, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Alaska. He is engaged in the Anchorage Youth Court and Institute of the North. Mr. Berkowitz is fond of fishing, traveling, hockey, and has a great interest in polar policies and programs. He also enjoys reading to his two children. We found four phthalates and ten PBDEs in Ethan’s body. Bisphenol A was detected in both his blood and urine. Ethan had some of the higher levels of PBDEs that indicate exposure to penta-BDE.
“This reminds us that these chemicals are everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are on the food chain—whether you are a saint or a politician, they touch everybody. What this highlights is how hard it is to be safe from invisible toxic chemicals.”
Timothy June, 54, is a boat builder and commercial fisherman who has lived in Haines, Alaska with his high school sweetheart for 31 years. Tim's teenage experience with cancer in southern California destined him to a life of environmental, social and political activism to advocate for cancer prevention. He co-founded Alaska Clean Water Alliance, has served on numerous statewide advisory and environmental boards, and was policy advisor to the Governor on oceans, watersheds and subsistence foods. He is presently chairman of the Alaskans for Clean Elections seeking campaign reform. We found four phthalates and eight PBDEs in Tom’s body. Bisphenol A was detected in his urine. He was one of five participants that had quantifiable levels of deca-BDE in their blood.
"Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" failed to protect my generation from the ravages of carcinogens. It is now the responsibility of my generation to protect future generations from the ravages of hormone and endocrine disruptors. Our success or failure will be our legacy."
Cathy Tagnak Rexford, 29, , is Inupiaq/English/French/German of Kaktovik, Alaska and is currently the Alaska Director of Native Movement. She has worked extensively in Native education and language efforts, contemporary Indigenous theatre and film projects. She has focused her writing and work on translating the worldview of the Indigenous peoples of Northern Alaska into creative mediums. She holds a BA from the Evergreen State College in Native American Studies and a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Creative Writing. We found four phthalates and ten PBDEs in Cathy’s body, and detected bisphenol A in both her blood and urine. She was one of five participants to have BDE-183.
“No individual, corporation or organization has the right to knowingly violate my ability to live in a healthy way. Maybe what these test results show won't shock you, but they are real, undeniable and they are a reflection of what we are doing to our planet, and to ourselves. "
Lori Townsend, 48, has worked in journalism for more than 15 years. She is a reporter and host of Alaska News Nightly on Alaska Public Radio Network. She helped co-found the Alaska non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News and many other documentaries and productions. Ms. Townsend has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally. She is an avid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her interests. We found four phthalates and eight PBDEs in her body, and detected bisphenol A in both her blood and urine.
At her request, this participant was not quoted in the report, because she is preparing a story concerning the project for public radio.