Friday, October 15, 2010

Clap if You Support Synthetic Chemicals in Water

Here on the Outer Cape, we are surrounded by water: ocean, bay, ponds. We get drinking water from a sole-source aquifer, under our feet. Water is something we take for granted. Turn on the tap and bingo, H2O. We pour a glass, drink, quench our thirst. Well, if you have watched Josh Fox’s Gasland, you know everyone is not so lucky. Sometimes synthetic chemicals get into tap water, bad stuff like benzene, stuff that no one should be drinking. It seems like a no-brainer to say injecting toxins into the ground pollutes groundwater, but natural gas company execs are powerful dudes. They’ve got profit on their minds and could not care less about citizens in New York and Pennsylvania who are protesting hydro-fracking.

Here in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, we do not want synthetic chemicals in our drinking water either. On the Outer Cape, most people drink water from private wells. Petitions have been circulated. Selectmen have agreed. Legislators have signed on. Even our Congressman, William Delahunt, corresponded with EPA administrator Lisa Jackson on the matter. Despite all this noise, the utility company maintains its plan to spray five herbicides under the power lines to remove vegetation and will start 1/1/11.

Over the past year, I have been giving myself a crash course on toxic chemicals. Here is a brief summary of what I learned, 1.) synthetic chemicals need regulation; 2.) trace amounts can affect us; 3.) one chemical might not have an effect, but mix them together in the environment and watch out; 4.) most testing is done by the industry involved, not by disinterested third parties; 5.) these corporate folks test for one chemical at a time, not several together; 6.) not only do endocrine disruptors contribute to the current breast cancer epidemic but seem to have a negative effect on future generations.

Of the approximately 85,000 synthetic chemicals registered for use in the United States, more than 90 percent have never been tested for their effects on human health. Please take a moment to sign this National Resources Defense Council petition urging Lisa Jackson to stand up to the chemical industry and insist on the regulation of synthetic chemicals.

Bloggers all over the world are writing about water today. Unpolluted drinking water should be a human right. Unfortunately, here in the USA, money talks louder than scientists. Yesterday came news that the regulation effort has been defeated for now. When something like this happens, it's wise to remember how long it took to stop the tobacco industry. Change will come. Please join the movement today.

Do you worry about what's in your water? Have you ever had your water tested? What do you think of yesterday's news about the defeat of this important bill?

More Blog Action Day Posts:

Alison Rose Levy at Health: When the Best Water Filter Is Not Enough for Health

Fake Plastic Fish: Win an Ethical Ocean Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Film Gecko: Oceans and the Crimson Wing

Music Road: Music and Water