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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE April 30, 2007

Environmentalists Confront Covance at Air Quality Hearing

Public Health Advocates and Environmental Groups Express Pollution Concerns, Demand Information on Animal-Testing Facility’s Plans to Dispose of Carca

CHANDLER, Ariz.—Public health advocates and environmentalists will speak out against Covance Laboratories’ application for an air quality permit at a hearing tonight before the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) will join representatives of six Arizona environmental, public health, and animal welfare organizations to express pollution concerns and demand information about the air-quality impact of Covance’s plans to build a huge new animal-testing facility in Chandler. Among the speakers will be children from Children for a Safe Environment. Covance representatives are also expected to attend.

“As a physician, I am deeply concerned that Covance’s animal-testing facility will further pollute Arizona’s air and harm people with immune disorders and breathing problems,” said Dr. Akhtar. “Covance must come clean about how it plans to dispose of the thousands of toxic animal carcasses that will be produced every year from its product tests. There is reason to suspect these dead animals may be incinerated, either at the company’s facility or at another Maricopa County location.”

What: Public health advocates and environmental organizations comment at a public hearing before the Maricopa County Air Quality Department on Covance Laboratories’ application for an air quality permit.

Where: Chandler Air Service Hangar, 1675 East Ryan Road, Chandler.

When: The hearing begins at 6 p.m.; PCRM representatives will be available for interviews before and after.

Who: PCRM public health expert Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., and representatives of Green Action, Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment, Gila River Environmental Youth, Children for a Safe Environment, Citizens Against Covance, and Animal Defense League of Arizona.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Patrick Sullivan

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H.
Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H.

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