The chemical contaminants that infest city water supplies in industrialized nations are abundant, including fluoride, chlorine and many others. What's worse is that many of these chemicals are added intentionally under faulty and misguided science. To top that off, city officials are increasingly being caught for falsifying documents and submitting fraudulent water tests.
In mid-April 2009, a former operator of the City of Edgewood
Water Treatment Plant submitted false testing reports pled guilty in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Scott John Harris, 43, from Edgewood, Iowa, was convicted of one count of making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency
At the plea hearing, Harris admitted that, from about February 2008 to about July 2009, he submitted false entries to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
for Edgewood monthly operational reports. Harris claimed he tested and recorded fluoride, chlorine, and manganese levels, but he had not performed the tests and knew the monthly operating reports he submitted were false.
In Massachusetts, the former owner of Thorstensen Laboratory Inc. of Westford pled guilty in Middlesex Superior Court
in connection to charges he collected payments from several municipalities for water tests that had either not been conducted or had been conducted at a laboratory not certified to conduct the water tests, Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced in late June.
The integrity of public drinking water systems is based on regular water testing by qualified laboratories. The failure to properly test samples or the reporting of false results undermines the system that allows MassDEP to determine whether a public water supply is safe. False reporting threatens and endangers the public health.
Blue Marsh Laboratories Inc in Douglassville
PA, was charged early July with submitting fraudulent water testing reports
that allegedly brought more money into the company, according to the state attorney general's office.
Blue Marsh, which tests drinking and wastewater for contaminants, allegedly issued reports with falsified information about what kind of chemicals were being released into the environment by its customers, who were required by the Department of Environmental Protection to have their drinking and wastewater tested.
"Just as if a mechanic were to put an emissions sticker on a car regardless of the test outcome, Blue Marsh was not helping these clients protect the environment," Attorney General Tom Corbett said.
In Stover, Missouri, the public works superintendent pleaded guilty in federal court on August 16, 2010 for making a false statement after admitting to falsifying water quality tests, the News Tribune
Richard Sparks, 54, was indicted in April on 27 counts of making false statements in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act
, the article stated.
The ongoing issues and corruption surround public water officials are increasing every year. Toxins saturate the water supply even with proper monitoring.
Fluoride added to water is an industrial by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry. The hydrofluorosilicic acid used is an unpurified, industrial-grade, corrosive acid which has been linked, in several recent studies, to increased levels of lead in children’s blood.
play a vital role in preventing the build-up of excessive fluoride in the body. Among healthy individuals, the kidneys excrete approximately 50% of the daily fluoride intake. However, among individuals with kidney disease, the kidneys’ ability to excrete becomes markedly impaired, resulting in a build-up of fluoride within the body
Concern about fluoride’s impact on the brain has been fueled by 18 human studies
(from China, Mexico, India, and Iran) reporting IQ deficits
among children exposed to excess fluoride, by 4 human studies
indicating that fluoride can enter, and damage, the fetal brain; and by a growing number of animal studies
finding damage to brain tissue
(at levels as low as 1 ppm) and impairment of learning and memory
among fluoride-treated groups.
Fluoride has been found to cause bone cancer
(osteosarcoma) in government animal studies
and rates of osteosarcoma among young males living in fluoridated areas
have been found to be higher than young males living in unfluoridated areas. Osteosarcoma, while rare, is a very serious cancer. Children who develop osteosarcoma face a high probability of death (usually within 3 years) or amputation.
Disinfection by chlorination can be problematic, in some circumstances. Chlorine can react with naturally occurring organic compounds found in the water supply to produce dangerous compounds, known as disinfection byproducts
(DBPs). The most common DBPs are trihalomethanes
(THMs) and haloacetic acids
(HAAs). Due to the carcinogenic
potential of these compounds, federal regulations in the United States of America require regular monitoring of the concentration of these compounds in the distribution systems of municipal water systems. If monitoring failures persist, the public water supply could be poisoned.
Most THM’s are formed in drinking water when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances such as decomposing plant and animal materials. Risks for certain types of cancer are now being correlated to the use of chlorinated drinking water. Suspected carcinogens make the human body more vulnerable through repeated ingestion and research indicates the incidents of cancer are 44% higher among those using chlorinated water.
The problem regarding city water supplies can be narrowed down to government ignorance and lack of scientific knowledge. There is a way to create clean and healthy drinking water for entire cities using advanced filtration methods. Governments simply do not want to implement them.
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.