Indiana Leads the US…NOT a good thing here!

Well, I just found some very disturbing information on Indiana’s water quality! It seems we lead the US in WATER CONTAMINATION! The Greene Report form 04.14.12 from the Bloomington Alternative states this very fact. So really, Indiana, wake up and smell the… crap!

AK Steel nation’s premier toxic water polluter

On April 4, Valley Watch reported that Indiana leads the United States in the release of toxic chemicals into water. Rockport’s AK Steel is the country’s largest toxic water polluter, having dumped 30 million pounds of pollution into Indiana waterways in 2010.

“[Rockport] is already one of the most toxic communities in the entire U.S.,” Valley Watch says. “And yet, local and state officials are wanting to force Hoosier natural gas consumers to pay a premium for syngas produced by the proposed Indiana Gasification facility just a mile south of AK Steel and directly across U.S. 231 from the huge polluter AEP Rockport power plant, a 2,600-megawatt behemoth that supplies electricity to southern Michigan and northeastern Indiana.”

A news release from Environment America says U.S. waterways received 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2010. Five states, among them Indiana, accounted for 40 percent of the total volume of toxic discharges to U.S. waterways in 2010.

Environment America details these facts in a report, Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act, published on March 22.

“America’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now, …” said Shelley Vinyard, clean water advocate with Environment America. “We must turn the tide of toxic pollution by restoring Clean Water Act protections to our waterways.”

Food and beverage manufacturing (slaughterhouses, rendering plants, etc.), primary metals manufacturing, chemical plants and petroleum refineries were some of the largest polluters.

In 2010, industries emitted approximately 1.5 million pounds of cancer-causing chemicals, including arsenic, chromium and benzene, into America’s waterways. Nevada’s Burns Creek received the largest volume of carcinogens in 2010, while its neighbor Mill Creek placed third.

Nitrates accounted for nearly 90 percent of the total volume of discharges to waterways reported in 2010. Nitrates are toxic, particularly to infants consuming formula made with nitrate-laden drinking water. Those infants might be vulnerable to methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby” syndrome, a disease that reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen throughout the body.

The report summarizes discharges of carcinogenic chemicals, those that persist in the environment and others with the potential to cause reproductive problems, including birth defects and decreased fertility. Among the toxic chemicals discharged by facilities are arsenic, mercury and benzene. Exposure to those chemicals is linked to cancer and to developmental and reproductive disorders.

“The Clean Water Act’s original objective was to clean up all of America’s waterways by 1985 — 27 years ago,” said Rob Kerth, analyst for Frontier Group and co-author of the report. “Many people born in 1985 have kids of their own now, yet still millions of pounds of toxic chemicals are being dumped into our waterways.”

To decrease the pollution of American waterways, Environment America recommends preventing pollution, protecting all waterways and “tough” permitting and enforcement.

“The bottom line is that America’s waterways shouldn’t be a polluter’s paradise, they should just be paradise,” Vinyard said. “We need clean water now, and we are counting on the federal government to act to protect our health and our environment.”

If that doesn’t convince you to get a quality home water filter, maybe this will…

Low doses of some chemicals tied to ill health

The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News reported that contrary to the scientific maxim that the higher the dose, the greater the negative health effects, small doses of some chemicals can have significant impacts on health.

That’s the major finding of a new report published on April 4 by a team of researchers who study hormone (endocrine)-disrupting chemicals.

According to iWatch, “Dozens of substances that can mimic or block estrogen, testosterone and other hormones are found in the environment, the food supply and consumer products, including plastics, pesticides and cosmetics. One of the biggest, longest-lasting controversies about these chemicals is whether the tiny doses that most people are exposed to are harmful.”

The scientists concluded scientific evidence “clearly indicates that low doses shouldn’t be ignored,” iWatch reported. The evidence shows a wide range of health effects on humans, from fetuses to elders, which include links to infertility, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other illnesses.

“[R]esearchers led by Tufts University’s Laura Vandenberg concluded after examining hundreds of studies that health effects ‘are remarkably common’ when people or animals are exposed to low doses of endocrine-disrupting compounds,” the report said. “As examples, they provide evidence for several controversial chemicals, including bisphenol A, found in polycarbonate plastic, canned foods and paper receipts, and the pesticide atrazine, used in large volumes mainly on corn.”

Other chemicals known to disrupt hormones are PCBs and dioxins, all of which are present in the Bloomington area thanks to Westinghouse Electric’s massive dumping of those chemicals more than 35 years ago.

The scientists concluded that low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals affect humans negatively is no longer a subject of conjecture, for epidemiological studies have shown that “environmental exposures are associated with human diseases and disabilities.”

Earth Month 2012, Indiana is focusing on our water quality.

Indiana water quality the focus of Earth Month

With April as Earth Month, the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) and Aveda Salons are drawing the public’s attention to Indiana water quality, the Public News Service said in an email.

Renee Sweany, HEC’s special events coordinator, says Indiana waterways need to be monitored because of contamination “[w]ith scary things like E. coli and other chemical toxins, runoff from our agriculture.”

Sweany says almost a thousand rivers, lakes and streams in the state have unsafe levels of E. coli. A new website “explains threats to? Indiana’s waterways and how people can make a? difference on an individual basis by using products on yards and in homes ?that won’t cause contamination,” the email says.

For the third consecutive year, Aveda is supporting HEC’s efforts to protect and clean Indiana’s waterways with activities and promotions at its salons throughout the state during Earth Month.

Waterways in Indiana are contaminated with toxics from such sources as agricultural animal waste, coal ash runoff and excess phosphorus from residential lawn fertilizers. HEC Water and Agriculture Policy Director Kim Ferraro urges Hoosiers to help clean up the state’s waterways by becoming “water warriors” and testing areas that the state government as designated as polluted (“impaired”).

Raising water awareness depends not only on environmental advocates but also on “green-minded citizens,” the email says.

Besides the efforts at Aveda salons, numerous restaurants will be asking customers to “Drink for a Cause” by donating $1 for a glass of water on specific dates in April. The donations will go toward HEC’s clean-water efforts. Participating restaurants in Indianapolis are R Bistro, Union Jack Pub, Sahm’s Place, Earth House Collective and Recess. Also taking part is Bistro 501 in Lafayette.

It is important to be aware of the quality of the water we drink, bathe in, and yes, even fish and swim in. We may not be able to control what is in our water before it gets to our faucet, but we can control what is in our drinking water before we drink it. A quality home water filter will remove contaminants of health concern.

We should all do our part by taking care to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Pay attention to what the farmers are using on their crops to kill weeds, report any intentional pollution of our water.

Indiana leads the US in water contamination…really not a good thing to be a leader in!


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