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  • Sharon Tenuta

Reproductive Health and Environmental/Toxic exposures in Southeastern WI

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

In the Racine, WI area or Southeast WI area, there are several important businesses that contribute to the environmental toxins and health of people. Also, there is the great body of water called Lake Michigan. Each are beneficial to the region, but with their benefits, there are also some concerns. When desiring reproductive health, the following information may be helpful.


S.C. Johnson and Son – makes cleaning and chemical products. The women’s voices group is very concerned with the toxins used in many products. These toxins are Galaxolide and Tonalide. They have been found in breastfeeding milk, in newborns and in blood. The chemical is a hormone disruptor and can have a lifelong effect on reproductive health. There is also a concern about the use of phthalates which cause harm to the male reproductive system.

J.I. Case company has been building tractors.

Twin Disc, In SinkErator and Modine companies and S.C. Johnson and Son are proud to announce their commitment to the environment. However, there are no stats available as to how they may affect the environment through their disposal practices.

Dremel corporation and Reliance Controls create tools for electrical use and some use batteries. Again, there is no environmental report on their environmental impact on the area.

AW Oakes and Son manage the Landfill and Waste Disposal site in Racine. They have trained personnel for any area of hazardous clean up. Research has been done on individual landfill sites and their effects on people’s lives. There has not been a large scale research conclusion, but there are small studies with detrimental reports.

Self-reported health outcomes and symptoms such as headaches, sleepiness, respiratory symptoms, psychological conditions, and gastrointestinal problems has been found consistently in health surveys around sites where local concerns were evident. A number of studies have suggested a relationship between residential proximity to landfill sites and adverse pregnancy outcomes. An increase in infants with low birth weights has been the most consistent finding in single-site studies. These were generally well-designed studies and low birth weight is thought to be a sensitive marker of effects of chemical exposures. Small increases in the risk of birth defects and certain specific birth defects (cardiac defects, central nervous system defects, musculoskdental defects} have been reported, mainly in multisite studies. Abnormalities in liver function and in renal disease have also been reported in relation to hazardous waste exposure. More research is needed.

picture of blue and silver colors
imagine this as water

Water Supply

Water used for Racine drinking water comes from Lake Michigan. The water delivered by the RWU must be safe from microbes and chemical toxicity, and also safe from exposure to trace levels of chemicals over a lifetime of 80 years. A list of water elements are listed at this site:

Lake Michigan water concerns are mercury, PCB’s and endocrine disruptors. Though the following report is not taken from the area, a water sample was taken in New Orleans with the following result, and I would think there would be a similar concern in the urban area in our area. “Analyzed for a range of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), Concentrations of 7 PPCPs and EDCs were measured by a method that identified the following compounds: clofibric acid, naproxen, ibuprofen, fluoxetine, clorophene, triclosan, bisphenol A.”

possible toxins being released from smoke stack
smoke stack



Racine and Kenosha are right between Milwaukee and Chicago, on Lake Michigan. Winds can come from Canada or from the south, drawn up over the Lake bringing pollutants from the southern industries. The main problem here, has to do with ground ozone levels at different times of the year. Motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of oxide of Nitrogen and volatile organic compounds. These are ozone precursors. “High concentrations of ground level ozone can cause coughing and throat irritation, reduce lung function, and inflame and damage the cells lining the lungs. Other health conditions are also aggravated by ozone, including asthma, heart disease and chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. In addition, ozone can damage livestock, trees, plants, and crops, and it can degrade rubber, fabrics, and other materials”.

To the North and to the South are power plants. Coal plants are the leading sources of smog, acid rain, air pollution, sulfer dioxide emissions, nitrogen oxide emissions, and mercury emissions.


Robert LaCava, M.D. founded The LaCava Center for Integrative Medicine, has been treating people from mold. He reports that symptoms of mold allergies show up as

Brain Fog

Depression or Mood Swings

Chronic Fatigue

Skin Sensitivity and Rashes

Unexplained allergic sensitivities and immune hypersensitivity


Breathing Problems

Memory Loss, short term

Chronic Sinusitis, Ear Infections or Bronchitis

Nausea and/or Vomiting

“Mold Sickness and related illnesses from Mold Exposure are real. Mold has been linked to Lung Damage, Brain Damage, Cancer and even Death. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC),

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Journals of American Medicine, all agree that Mold Fine Particulate are dangerous to human health.”


Children exposed to pesticides either in utero or during other critical periods may have lower IQs, birth defects and developmental delays, and face higher risk of autism, ADHD and cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics points to pesticide residues on food as the most critical route of childhood exposure. Other areas of concern are in the womb, at daycare, at home, in school buildings, and on playgrounds. Certain chemicals used to control pests can cause irreversible damage to neurons in the brain. The book, A Generation in Jeopardy, contains many recent studies that link pesticide exposure to the most common childhood cancers, including leukemia, brain tumors and neuroblastoma.

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