A new study by the Department of Health and Human Services provides a comprehensive report on the effects of perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS. The review indicates that the danger to our drinking water is much more severe than previously thought.
Perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS is found in practically everything from carpets and frying pan coatings to military firefighting foams. The chemical compound PFAS poses damaging health risks to millions of Americans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), roughly 1,500 drinking water systems are at risk of cancer; hormonal disruptions as well as damaging the immune system.
In the past, the EPA assured Americans that safe drinking water levels of PFAS are acceptable at 70 parts per trillion. This new study finds that safe levels are actually significantly lower (from 7 to 11 parts per trillion). That's very troubling as the numbers are vastly different. Are we all at risk?
In a Military Times report (April 2018 ) testing found that “In all, 25 Army bases; 50 Air Force bases, 49 Navy or Marine Corps bases and two Defense Logistics Agency sites have tested at higher than acceptable levels for the PFAS compounds in either their drinking water or groundwater sources.”
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How does this happen? And why? And who should be held accountable? Politico reports that the EPA and the White House have suppressed the publication of a federal health study on a national water contamination crisis. Why are we not surprised?
The government has a responsibility to protect the interests of all Americans. This crisis needs to be addressed and those responsible must be held accountable. Now, not next year. Let’s get on this straight away.
The Pentagon has used foams containing these PFAS chemicals in exercises at military bases nationwide. As of this report the Pentagon has identified 126 military installations where the nearby water supplies are potentially poisoning residents with harmful levels of these chemicals.
The government's effort to suppress research on PFAS and it's danger to Americans is unfortunately not new. In fact, retired Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger USMC - founder of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten spoke on the topic of water contamination and what the public needs to know (July 2017 - The Newburgh PFOS Crisis).
For decades, the chemical giant DuPont hid information about the toxicity of this chemical. PFAS has leached into our water supplies and is now linked to six diseases, including testicular and kidney cancers. PFAS has been used so widely, it’s now in the bloodstream of 99 percent of Americans, even newborn babies. And the chemical is bio resistant, meaning it doesn’t break down.
The Campaign for Water Protection held a forum Saturday July 22, 2017 to raise awareness about the contamination affecting the city of Newburgh, NY water supply. Keynote speaker retired Marine Jerry Ensminger spoke about his ongoing fight with the Department of Defense (DOD) over water contamination at Camp Lejeune, where he was stationed.
“Our nation’s largest polluter is not Dow Chemical. It’s not Monsanto. It’s not DuPont. It’s not Exxon Mobil. It is the United States Department of Defense,” said Ensminger. “The U.S. Department of Defense is our nation’s largest polluter. The DOD have more superfund sites . . . [and some of the worst] contamination sites in our country.”
Ensminger lost his nine-year-old daughter from water contamination at Camp Lejeune. "The Department of Navy and Marine Corps tried to cover it up," said Ensminger. Ensminger’s 20 year campaign against the DOD resulted in the 2012 Janey Ensminger Act, that mandates medical care be given to those affected by exposure from water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
This will not stand. The public needs to know what’s going on. Millions of Americans all across this great nation and around the globe have these harmful, life threatening chemicals in their blood. It’s in our drinking water and it’s killing us.
The public needs the most up to date, accurate information about this crisis. Enough studies have been completed to act on this issue now. Research is always needed, but the time to act is now.
Many of us have been exposed, the health risks are real. Let’s all stand for our water. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed his outrage on this crisis: “I’m a simple guy so I have a simple remedy when people like [Scott] Pruitt ignore or hide pollution: if you don’t have a problem with Americans drinking contaminated drinking water, drink it yourself until you tap out or resign.”
To make matters worse the EPA does not have a federally enforceable standard for any of these harmful chemicals in drinking water. If the EPA will not take a stand on this issue, it’s up to all of us to reach out to our local government officials to demand that the water contamination be removed immediately.
The issue of water contamination is beginning to reach the public. Rob Bilott is a leading environmental lawyer who successfully represented 70,000 citizens in lawsuits against DuPont, winning compensation for his clients whose drinking water had been contaminated by toxic chemicals used to make Teflon. Bilott is a recipient of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award, and was the subject of a 2016 New York Times Magazine article headlined “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.”
Now is the time, share this with your family and friends. Do what you can to bring this crisis to the public’s attention. Don’t turn a blind eye to this crisis, more than likely someone you know is already at risk.
Chemicals in Teflon have contaminated nearly 99 percent of the population of the United States. Please watch the short clip below on “The Devil We Know” which highlights the water contamination issue and how widespread the issue is across the country.
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