Godspeed to you Marine. Semper fi!
Seems AOC is in a Twitter tit-for-tat with Sen. Ted Cruz.
Normally I post satire or political opinion. On occasion I vent on issues I have personal experience with and today is again one of those days. My opinion will not sit well with conservatives or libertarians. Reason being is I don’t generally support more regulation but in this case it’s difficult as the options are limited. I’m talking about the safety of your water. I myself am a water industry professional so I deal with it on a daily basis. I worked at the Flint Water Treatment Plant during the water crisis that began in 2014. I have also worked in Northern Michigan directly with the PFAS crisis at the former Wurtsmith AFB in Oscoda, Michigan. I say it’s difficult because the options are limited due to the fact that the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ which is now EGLE) and the EPA are what we rely upon to keep our water safe and they have unquestionably failed. How can we expect more regulation will improve the situation? Yet how can we expect a better result with less regulation? After all it was the City of Flint, the DEQ and the State of Michigan all at fault in the Flint water crisis. It is the EPA, the U.S. Defense Dept. and corporate America at fault in the PFAS crisis.
These environmental issues affect virtually every human and animal on the planet. You may not have lead pipes or a lead issue in your area but without question you have a PFAS issue. What does that mean? PFAS is a complex issue. The most important point I could make is don’t get to caught up in the minutiae. You don’t have to know what every acronym means. You don’t have to be a chemistry expert to understand the basics of what is happening. Research it all if you can but it’s simply common sense that these synthetic (man-made) chemicals are called forever chemicals because they’ll never break down in the environment and they shouldn’t be in our bodies. Long chain or short chain compounds. Virtually unbreakable carbon-fluorine bonds. PFAS, C-8, PFOS, Gen-X, Nafion. Just a few terms that can confuse a regular person what in the heck are they talking about and why should they care. But we are capable of critical thinking so we know non-natural (meaning synthetic) compounds don’t belong in the human body and bad things are likely to occur. As time goes on we’ll hear about even more chemicals with long names and acronyms we can’t remember what mean. Keep it simple. Man-made chemicals used for making products perform better have no beneficial reason at all to be in our bodies. You are being exposed to them from the air, from the soil and from the water. The reason why? The almighty buck.
Literally hundreds of billions of those bucks. It’s sort of a too big to fail scenario. For corporate America or our environmental protection agencies to do the right thing when a dangerous product is discovered after the fact quite frankly costs too much. From their perspective. It’s a domino chain of jobs and profits lost by doing the right thing. The regulatory agencies are not what they claim to be. Safety of the environment is not their sole priority. Never has been. You can read this essentially verbatim in their regulatory language which always has a financial burden impact on industry component. Thus begins the money trail. Who should pay for clean-up or treatment? The regulatory agencies are heavily influenced by industry and won’t take the stand to force corporate America to bear the cost burden. Should communities bear the tremendous cost of upgrading filtration and treatment techniques to prevent these forever chemicals from spreading further? Should the end user bear the burden of taking responsibility and protecting themselves?
What in the world do we do? Empowering big government to police industry hasn’t worked, isn’t working and thus why would we expect anything different going forward? Corporate America is too invested to ever expect that they will self-police. The cost for individuals to protect themselves from toxins from the air, soil and water would almost certainly be prohibitive and not practical. Unfortunately, the usual suspects are turning this into a political football. You can tune into multiple media outlets and hear them blaming Trump and a lax GOP regulatory stance as the reason. Lead pipes have been around for centuries. PFAS issues began in the 1950’s and have been on the radar of regulatory agencies for decades. The EPA under democrat administrations has been inept as well. It isn’t a partisan issue. DuPont likely will never have an epiphany and do the right thing. It would be opening the door for corporations and industry to take responsibility for past and future malfeasance that would be financially devastating.
Much of America has no idea what is even happening let alone what to do about it. Blow the whistle and be ostracized as in the case of DuPont. Disinformation campaigns are common to label people conspiracy nuts. Generally these are chronic diseases that bio-accumulate in your body for years. It’s difficult to even put your finger on some exposure from years past causing a current health issue. You can’t see, smell, touch or feel these chemicals. Every study that comes out warning of the dangers is offset by an industry study finding no link.
So I say this. Educate yourself. If you can afford it, buy the filters. Don’t trust bottled water, it’s even less regulated then tap water. Learn the avenues that these chemicals can enter the body and take the proper precautions. Even if you secure your water supply you are being exposed through the air and soil. Remember, once they are in your body you have no recourse but time. They will eventually leave your body as we are nothing more than a constant body cell replacement machine. But it may take many years and the damage may be too great already.
Sounds alarmist? Not when you know the facts. Fluorine (fluorine is the gas from which fluoride is derived from. It is so reactive in nature it can’t exist outside of a compound as it will catch fire simply by contacting air) is horrific for the body. Willingly drinking hydrofluorosilicic acid (the fluoride many water plants add to your water) which is a hazardous waste byproduct of the fertilizer industry is just nuts. The pharmaceutical grade fluoride, sodium fluoride, found in toothpaste is too cost prohibitive to put in drinking water. Besides even the dental industry will tell you that fluoride is beneficial to growing teeth. Established adult teeth get no value from fluoride except topically. In other words to protect your enamel use toothpaste and quit running a hazardous waste product through your body to get to your mouth. Research it yourself. Terrible stuff. However it is the carbon-fluorine molecular bond which is so appealing to industry so we find it in products like Teflon. When heat eventually takes its toll on your Teflon and the microscopic flakes come off your pan and get into your food you are then exposed to a forever chemical.
It’s very frustrating as we have so many real problems in this world rather than ridiculous money making schemes like global warming. You and every one you know are being poisoned each and every day. Industry, despite their slick ad campaigns, in no way has your best interests at heart. This coming from a capitalist. I have no answers, only more questions. The only way these toxins are likely to be removed from the marketplace is to eliminate demand. However, that’s only after an extensive public education campaign and after the damage has been done. Even now DuPont has spun off a corporate division called Chemours to defray legal liability from any future court rulings. PFOA (C-8) was replaced by Gen-X which is nothing more than a chemistry twist on the same carbon-fluorine bond which is so desirable. They can do this indefinitely. Retire a compound that will become a liability and simply replace it with a like compound and let that cycle run its course. Rinse and repeat. It’s always decades later before regulatory and judicial punishment comes and the simple fact is the profits far, far outweigh those punishments.
How do we find an overseer that can’t be bought by those it watches over? How can we count on government without the usual inefficient bloat to rely on? How can we rely on for profit industry to act counter-productive to their very existence? Perhaps impossible questions. Sorry, I’m not going to ‘feel the bern’ and go all in on communism to put the people first. Nor will I buy into hogwash like good corporate citizens to prioritize safety over profits. I only hope there lies an answer as yet undiscovered. In the meantime do all you can to protect yourself and your loved ones as you are exposed.