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Big Gulp of Metal

Hexavalent chromium! Does that make your eyes gloss over. Not really “click bait” to make you excited to read.

I’m not sure that this story will make you tell the waitress that you would like to order two chickens and a coke, but it may cause you to say “no thanks” when she asks you if you would like a glass of water.

A report released by an environmental research group found concentrations of hexavalent chromium in the public drinking water systems of 200 million Americans. This includes the utilities that serve Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hexavalent chromium found in the water is a metal that is known to cause cancer in laboratory rats and mice. The metal is known to be associated with industrial pollution from  such things as steelmaking, chrome-plating, coal ash, paints, inks and plastics.

It is considered a carcinogen when inhaled. This is also the chemical made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich, because as a paralegal she worked on these kinds of claims. You just don’t expect to see it in “our water”.

It’s a fair question to ask why there isn’t more concern over the drinking water. The government (Environmental Protection Agency) tells us not to worry. This contaminant is considered well below the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for total chromium of 100 parts per billion.

That’s just some defined general amount. That’s code for “we’re fine”. Here’s the kicker: For drinking water, the EPA has no maximum contaminant level for this metal.  Does that make you feel better? Me… not so much. It makes me think twice about ordering a glass of water at a restaurant.

As far as I know, unless you are a superhero or the Tin Man, I can’t figure out any good to the concept of having a glass of metal with my meal.

And for pic o’ day:

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Michigan Water Reminder

Today,  you might go to your cabinet, pull out a glass, and put it under the faucet. You expect clean and safe water to flow into your drinking glass.

When you sit down at a restaurant, and they bring you a glass of ice water while you look at the menu, you feel safe in drinking that water. In fact, you probably barely look at it.

Your feeling of safety stems from your belief that the city or the government is doing a good job in providing safe water to drink. Plus, water is free… and you are thirsty!

Unfortunately, our feeling of safety just received a nudge from Flint, Michigan. (Washington Post) The mayor of Flint, Michigan, has declared a state of emergency over the amount of lead in the city’s water supply. He takes the actions to apparently seek state and federal financial aid. Now, a lawsuit has also been filed by the citizens of Flint against the city, state and public officials over the water safety. (lawsuit copy)

The city began using the Flint River supply in April 2014, but has now and switched back to the Detroit water system as of Oct. 16. Why? Because of lead in the drinking water. They are now calling it a “manmade disaster”  that has affected residents and the children in the city. The percentage of Flint children with above-average lead levels in their bloodstream has statistically now almost doubled, since the city switched from the Detroit system to the river supply.

According to the World Health Organization, High levels of lead in a child’s bloodstream,  “ affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

It’s serious and it’s unacceptable. This city has basically poisoned it’s children.

We think we can count on the government to provide clean water. Instead, they choose cost over safety. That’s why I stop and think before I start guzzling that glass of water that the waitress brings me. A true head-shaker. Not a fun topic for the blog.

And for pic o’ day… I am also not encouraging this drinking by dogs!!!!

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