January 2014’s chemical spill in West Virginia is a WAKE UP CALL for all Americans.
Not just because it is a reminder to be prepared for emergencies;
Or because it clearly illuminates the many flaws and inadequacies of our oversight and regulatory agencies;
Not even because this chemical, MCHM is one of the 62,000 chemicals that were already in use when the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was passed in 1976. It is one of the chemicals that was grandfathered in, which means that they were simply presumed to be safe, and EPA was given no mandate to determine whether they are actually safe. Even to require testing of these chemicals under TSCA, EPA must first provide evidence that the chemical may pose a risk.
The TRUE WAKE UP CALL here is this:
The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), and the American Red Cross published a document titled “Food and Water in an Emergency“; it recommends only three ways to purify water during an emergency – boiling, chemical disinfection and distillation.
On February 5, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published its Emergency Preparedness and Response bulletin, regarding the chemical spill of January 2014; it clearly states, “There should be no MCHM in drinking water.”
Yet in the same paragraph, it goes on to say “Scientists have recommended a screening level of 1 ppm (parts per million) for drinking water. A level of 1ppm or below is not likely to be associated with any adverse health effects.” However, “Due to limited availability of data, and out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women may wish to consider an alternative drinking water source until the chemical is at non-detectable levels.”
“Alternative drinking water source”?
What about the FEMA and Red Cross recommendations?
West Virginia’s Metro News reported, “KanawhaCounty schools have been using bottled water since schools reopened following the water emergency”.
By January 31, West Virginia American Water Company’s total bottled water contribution was up to 33 trucks, at a cost of $132,000.
On February 12, the 14 schools affected, embargoed the IceMountain water made by Nestle. Dr. Gupta said, health department inspectors have tasted the water themselves and say there is definitely something off.
Environmental Defense Fund senior scientist Dr. Richard Denison writes: “What is particularly maddening and outrageous is that no one – not local or state officials, not the company that owns the storage tank, not the federal government – can say anything even close to definitive about what risk the chemical poses to people, even in the short-term, let alone over time.”
ABC News reported “West Virginia Sen. Rockefeller Won’t OK Charleston Water a Month After Spill“. “No, I don’t, and even if some expert group told me it was safe I don’t think I’d believe it”…”They can say it’s not hazardous or this or that, but it doesn’t mean anything.”… “It just gets into the degree of control that corporations have over people,” he said. “They dominate in West Virginia’s life. Governors get elected — and I was a governor once — and they appoint people to regulatory jobs who helped them in campaigns. What does that tell you?”
And there is the WAKE UP CALL!!!!
– the CORPORATIONS HAVE CONTROL OVER THE PEOPLE… and apparently the CDC.
The bottled water made sense at the outset of this tragedy, but is that the only alternative?
The CDC published a document titled “Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use“, and found distillation systems to be one of the most effective methods of drinking water treatment.
Somehow, the CDC neglected to mention the FEMA and Red Cross recommendations or even the findings in its own report.
Distillation offers the BEST protection from water contamination by consistently producing high-purity water. Duplicating Mother Nature’s Hydrologic cycle, it is the most superior method of water purification and there are many technological advantages; it is also very friendly to the environment and cost effective.
However, by omission, the CDC is stimulating the sales of bottled water. Clearly, there is something to Senator Rockefeller’s insights.
Follow the money and the realities of this tragedy will surely be illuminated.
But we aren’t helpless. West Virginians aren’t helpless either.
We can take back the control from the corporations.
Let’s take back the control over our water supply NOW !!!
We can work together and empower every school affected by this tragedy.
Let’s crowd-fund Pure & Secure Water Solutions to facilitate their water independence, one school at a time.