It Must Be Something In The Water

Pittsburghers used to say that as a joke, when someone did something weird or out of character.
But this situation with water is far beyond a joke, and something still adversely affecting people to this day.
Image below: Average Blood Level of Some PFAS after Installing a Water Filtration System
Yesterday, this story by Don Hopey in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette refreshed my memory…

‘Dark Waters’ attorney: New ‘forever’ chemicals pose threat to environment, human health
Rob Bilott says It took decades for the public, regulators and courts to recognize and begin to fix the environmental and public health problems caused by PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals found on nonstick cookware, waterproof jackets, and, increasingly, in air, water, soils and the blood of newborns nationwide.
Mr. Bilott, a former corporate attorney whose battle with DuPont about pervasive PFAS contamination in Parkersburg, W.Va., inspired the recent movie “Dark Waters,” believes efforts to control the next generation of “forever chemicals” will go faster and be more successful.
PFAS, short for per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, were invented by the 3M Co. and used by DuPont in 1951 to produce the nonstick Teflon frying pan. In subsequent decades, PFAS in various related forms were used to make water-, grease- and stain-repellent coatings for a wide array of consumer and industrial products.

Don Hopey – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – November 23, 2020
We saw the movie DARK WATERS last year, featuring Mark Ruffalo, and I would recommend it to everyone. You can stream the movie from multiple outlets now, here’s the trailer from last year at this time:
After reading Don Hopey’s story, we watched an excellent documentary on YouTube, THE DEVIL WE KNOW, that included more detailed information on the health studies:
There appears to be new hope on the horizon to better control these chemicals:

Clock ticking on ‘forever chemicals’? Biden win spurs revival of plans for federal regulation
Toxic PFAS chemicals that contaminate water and soil in many areas of New Jersey and across the country stand a better chance of national regulation under the incoming Biden administration than they have done for the past four years, advocates for their control predicted Tuesday.
New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is expected to play a key role in renewing support for the PFAS Action Act, a bill that was passed by the House in January this year but died in the Senate, and will be reintroduced in the new Congress.
PFAS are widespread, and are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment, and accumulate in the human body, scientists say. In 2009 and 2010, the chemicals were found in two-thirds of 33 New Jersey public water systems tested, according to a DEP report issued in 2014.

Jon Hurdle – NJ Spotlight – November 19, 2020
We see additional recommendations coming from North Carolina:

Pittsboro task force recommends “deep discounts” so poor residents can afford clean drinking water
The Pittsboro Drinking Water Task Force wants the town to provide deeply discounted reverse osmosis filtration systems to low-income residents while it continues to explore permanent solutions for a community rocked by contaminated drinking water.
The task force, which formed in November 2019, issued its final report in October on the avenues it recommends the town take to resolve problems with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — known as PFAS — and another potential carcinogen called 1,4 dioxane.
Earlier this year, the PFAS Testing Network, a consortium of researchers from seven North Carolina universities, released data showing total PFAS at Pittsboro’s drinking water intake measuring 844 parts per trillion. That was the highest level discovered by the network after an initial sampling of 320 municipal water treatment plants throughout the state.

Greg Barnes – North Carolina Health News – November 23, 2020
Legislation has been introduced by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan:

PRESS RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, bipartisan legislation to address PFAS contamination by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) cleared a key hurdle by passing the House Energy and Commerce Committee and now heads to the House Floor for consideration.
The Committee passed Dingell’s PFAS Action Act which lists select PFAS chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – as hazardous substances within one year under the Superfund program to direct federal resources to clean up contaminated sites and limit their spread. It would also require EPA to make a determination on all remaining PFAS chemicals within five years.  Several other PFAS bills were also added to the PFAS Action Act as an amendment.
“PFAS is a clear threat to human health and our environment,” said Dingell. “I made a promise to my constituents I would keep fighting for PFAS legislation that actually addresses cleaning up ‘forever chemical’ and calling it what it is – a toxic chemical. Video

Full Press Release
Water is life, and clean water is essential to good health. Ask your representatives in Congress to support this important legislation.
Bob

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