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Tags: water | pollution | testing | environment

Esther Fink: What Happened to Our Water?

Esther Fink: What Happened to Our Water?


By    |   Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:16 PM EDT

"It’s a worldwide problem and for something that falls from the sky, pure and free, how it got that way is still a big mystery to me." —David Peifer, Executive Director, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)

There’s an underreported little secret that keeps rearing its head in the news, desperately seeking attention.

Florida. California. Baltimore. Detroit. One by one they’re plastering the news with reports of their drinking water being tainted. Then it’s quiet for a while. Until those in Flint, wearing matching T-shirts with "Flint Lives Matter" printed across the front, wave their hands in an attempt to flag the nation down, saying:

“What about us, our water is still toxic.” Their T-shirts do not lie.

Who can we blame? As we scan the latest news story about yet another school shutting off their water due to toxicity, including lead, copper etc., we hope that whatever or whomever is to blame is isolated in that area and it’s being fixed. We go back to minding our own business.

Someone’s in charge… right? You imagine they’re doing a good job at keeping your drinking water clean, yet if you have your water tested you may be shocked at the results. Most likely you haven’t checked, as toxicity can be colorless and odorless.

“The hardest part was to get the regulatory agencies to do their job even though they had the law and regulation on their side — whether corruption or human laziness, they didn’t want to act.” —David Peifer

Here’s the underreported secret:

By the power of their silence, the municipal water companies, boards of health, environmental organizations, and state agencies are hiding how serious this is. Governments generally want to give you positive information, and if it’s bad, they want to provide the solution. Their silence may only mean they do not have a solution.

Maybe your house is the problem. The water from the source, the water company, could be safe, but your residence could be acting like a giant “flavor straw.” The pipes inside your home could be leaching toxic chemicals into your drinking water, similar to what’s happening in Flint, New York City, etc. The same for the local restaurants you frequent.

Did you know: When taking a shower or bath, the toxins in the water atomize and you're breathing them in. Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) evaporate easily from water into air at normal air temperatures. These may be harmful to the central nervous system, the kidneys or the liver, and may also cause irritation when they contact the skin, or may irritate mucous membranes if they are inhaled. Some VOCs are known or suspected carcinogens.

Where is the media? They have a responsibility to the public to report on the water crisis. The media and the government are fostering the same narrative of picking inconsequential issues instead of catalyzing action nationally and placing the water crisis on the national public agenda. This is a public health and safety issue and affects everyone’s lives, and should be covered with the same relentlessness as the political and celebrity gossip stories.

The administrations of Obama, Bush, and Clinton ignored this issue and kicked the water jug down the road. We all suffer today from their inaction.

Without the press consistently reporting on the water crisis, it’s being overlooked.

They serve as a key link in the risk communication process, and they need to step up and use their power to mobilize society with accurate information so we can protect ourselves. With the audience being nationwide and of different social determinants, cultures, and languages, they need to be prepared to present this information properly.

“A diverse and active industrial past and all kinds of chemical contaminants in our soil have left 84 thousand chemicals in use today. These were created after the clean water act was enacted. We have standards for only a handful of those, in most cases we don't test for them at all.” —David Peifer

Testing can be tricky.

Most of you aren’t scientists. Who is testing the water in your area, how often, and what are the testing standards? It’s time to find out the results. Even if you have your own well, you may not be able to easily find out what’s in your well water.

There are not that many water quality labs around the country to test the water properly, and while your local pharmacy tests for a few things — they don’t test for everything. We may not even know what to test for, as it varies by area. Depending on the manufacturing plants nearby your water may be exposed to different toxins than another town or state.

There’s no magic bullet or single solution. One thing is certain, it’s on us now.

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” —Josiah Stamp, British Businessman

We all have the power to make a change. Once you realize the level of personal responsibility incumbent upon everyone, you must act. Reach out to your respective cities and states water departments to see what tests are being conducted and what tests are required, and contact your elected officials and ask them.

The responsibilities of our health agencies have not yet caught up to the reality of the problem. There are many states that still don’t test for basic heavy metal carcinogens such as lead. They remove some elements, yet there’s no safe level for lead.

On Aug. 20, 2018, via email correspondence: “The Maryland Department of Health does not collect data on lead in drinking water.” —Clifford S. Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH Maryland Department of Health

This after lead was found in schools in Maryland.

The whole international inertia is making people responsible for their own health and knowing the quality of your own drinking and bathing water.

After a rain, what goes down the drain directly to the stream somewhere is oil and grease, rub off of tires, brake pads, deteriorating asphalt, plastics straws, bags, cups, and direct runoff from lawns. We’re all guilty of creating this.

It may be time to simply not care about the water quality but to go looking for a different water source. The only way to get clean water may be in the atmosphere.

Yehuda Kaploun, President of Watergen USA, a firm that uses atmospheric water technology says, “Children have the right to be provided with clean, safe drinking water.” He states that Watergen is a solution to this grave problem. Our technology is the future of clean water.

It just may be that the last safe source of drinking water might be in the air we breathe, if there was only an efficient way to extract the water from air in a safe, secure, environmentally safe way. Water from the ground has been contaminated, and water from the air is almost pure.

Watergen is one of the few companies that utilizes an extraordinary atmospheric water-generation technology device that produces clean drinking water from ambient air that is devoid of impurities. Each home, office, and business can generate its own water. Their seemingly miraculous system is field tested and is already transforming the lives of those where clean drinking water is a precious commodity.

Efforts must continue by the government, including monitoring, testing, scientific research, and application of the best technologies to remove the contaminants, whether the economy is doing well or not. People would respond to government leadership that would hold itself out as caring about the water.

You can support political candidates and decision makers who express a willingness and understanding of the problem so they develop the proper programs at the scale where it makes a difference. Question politicians and make sure the environment is high on the priority list.

Finding a clean water source immediately such as atmospheric water generation while this problem is worked out is a basic necessity. And let’s understand how natural systems work. This can get us further faster and a lot cheaper.

“Most of the water in North America was completely drinkable 200 years ago when the forest filtered the water streams not loaded with things that don't belong in the streams.” —David Peifer

According to National Geographic, “While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet's water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.”

Will you be one of the lucky 0.007 percent of clean water drinkers? Is this a lottery system where some win and some lose? It doesn’t have to be. Take the guesswork out of your water safety.

We can all win.

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Florida. California. Baltimore. Detroit. One by one they’re plastering the news with reports of their drinking water being tainted.
water, pollution, testing, environment
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:16 PM
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