Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Letter to the Editor Published by Cape Cod Times

It's pouring rain here in Wellfleet this morning. At noon, I will go to hear the latest conclusions of the Silent Spring Institute, to be announced in Barnstable, an event publicized by the Breast Cancer Coalition and GreenCape. Researchers have been analyzing pond water for several years, trying to figure out why Barnstable County has such a high breast cancer rate, a rate similar to Marin County in California. GreenCape is trying to prevent the utility company from spraying herbicides under the power lines, but a handful of individuals on the Outer Cape, like myself, are also working hard on their own. Emerging science shows allowing herbicides to contaminate our sole-source aquifer would be extremely short-sighted. Here's my latest letter to the editor, published yesterday by the Cape Cod Times, and once again, I have abbreviated the name of the utility to simply N:

"The Nov. 8 letter from two professors of environmental health at Boston University's School of Public Health frightened me.

The professors expressed concern about our sole-source aquifer and the fact that we have no other water source if herbicides are allowed to contaminate our water. Whoa! This is serious.

Cape Codders, are you listening? Our well water will contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals. The latest research indicates trace amounts can disrupt the hormone system. Need a quick crash course on Hormones 101 and why endocrine disruptors are so bad? OK: Synthetic chemicals can mimic natural hormones, upsetting normal reproduction and developmental processes. Male sperm counts have dropped. Breast cancer is up. Endometriosis has become more widespread. Synthetic chemicals are affecting the environment in a negative way and will make Earth a dramatically different place for our grandchildren.

At least we can have an effect on choices made locally. Rise up. Protect our drinking water and precious Cape Cod. Nontoxic means of vegetation control do exist. The federal government does not require herbicidal spraying. Take heed, as Professor Clapp and Madeleine Scammell suggest. Precaution is indeed the best approach. Don't let N contaminate our drinking water!"