Charles Gelman

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Charles Gelman (also known as Chuck Gelman) was born on December 15, 1931. [1] He grew up in the Bronx and after he earned his degree in chemistry from Syracuse University (NY), he started working in 1953 at the age of 21 for the U.S. Army's Chemical Warfare Center in Edgewood, MD. [2] Later he moved to US Public Health Service in Louisville (KY) where he worked on a study of air pollution. During that time Charles Gelman invented an automatic sequential air sampler which formed the basis for the 'Gelman Instrument Company' he founded in 1958 in Chelsea, MI. [3] [4] Five year later, the company moved to Ann Arbor, MI, where Gelman and his wife Rita are still living.

Documented environmental problems assoicated with Gelman's factory

In the mid-1980s high levels of 1,4-dioxane were found in wells near the factory in Ann Arbor. This chemical, a known carcinogen in animals and classified as a "probable human carcinogen" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was used for more than 20 years as a solvent to make filters.

"With no sewer access, the company obtained a permit from the state to discharge its dioxane-tainted wastewater into unlined lagoons on its property. Eventually, lagoons reached capacity and the company got a permit for spray irrigation. They disposed of the wastewater by spraying it on fields on its property." [5]

Michigan 'Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) sued the company and a long battle started with DNR and organizations like 'The Ecology Center' [6] In 1992, there was a settlement with DNR: Gelman's company had to pay the state more than $1 million in damages and begin a cleanup estimated to cost $4 million.

Controversial PR tactics

That was not the end of the battle as there were more lawsuits:

"... company owner Charles Gelman began a major public relations campaign. During the course of it, he gained a reputation as being combative and somewhat eccentric. He took out full-page newspaper ads, explaining what the company was doing to clean groundwater. He came to a company meeting dressed as a king, scepter and all. He even named some of the test wells for public officials he saw as his adversaries ..." [7]

"After advocating for added protections in the cleanup plan, local environmentalists found themselves subjected to smear tactics and abuse from the company's founder and former CEO, Charles Gelman. The company's dirty tricks campaigns assumed a variety of forms, including phony citizens' front groups, private investigators, anonymous tipsters, and outright slander." [8]

After Gelman Sciences

Charles Gelman retired in 1996 and the company merged with Pall Filtration. After several years 'Pall Gelman Sciences' changed its name into 'Pall Life Sciences'.

Mr. Gelman then became the CEO & president of 'Clock Tower Press' formerly known as 'Sleeping Bear Press'. [9] [10] He also became a member of the board of the Board of Directors of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). As of 2011, it is not clear that Mr. Gelman remains on the SEPP. Unlike other board members of SEPP, he did not sign the Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change. He did sign the Oregon Petition. [11]

Gelman Educational Foundation

"The Charles and Rita Gelman Educational Foundation was formed to help with the education of the Jewish community and its children. ... A secondary area of focus for the Foundation is education in the field of scientific issues as related to public risk, and public policy." [12]

The Gelman Educational Foundation has become a major donor supporting the University of Michigan. It has donated approximatly $7,000,000 to the School of Public Health and other U of M institutions. It has also donated $2,500,000 to the YMCA, $1,000,000 to Jewish Charities, and $100,000 to "science activist groups."

The 'Gelman Educational Foundation' in Ann Arbor (MI) has [13] two main officers: Rita Gelman (President) and Charles Gelman (Secretary). In addition to the donations noted above, it has funded a number of groups that fight efforts to address climate change, including some supported by the controversial Koch brothers of Koch Industriesl It has described its donations to the following groups as made under the category 'environmental':

Honorary doctorate

Gelman's prior bios have indicated that he earned a Master Degree in science and that he received an honorary doctorate, allowing him to be called by the honorific, "Dr.": [Charles Gelman] proudly notes that [his wife] Rita went back to school at 50 and earned a master's in social work. "She's a licensed social worker," he says. "Our foundation puts her background to use." He also quietly points out that it's Dr. Charles Gelman now. "I did it the easy way," he says. "I got an honorary doctorate degree from Cleary College." [14][15]

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