Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The DC City Council has important things to consider

The DC City Council has important things to consider

The choice between ensuring safe drinking water and paying for a baseball stadium is a clear one.

Nine male smallmouth bass taken from the Potomac near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles upstream from Washington, were found to have developed eggs inside their sex organs, said Vicki S. Blazer, a scientist overseeing the research for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Authorities say the problems are likely related to a class of pollutants called endocrine disruptors, which short-circuit animals' natural systems of hormone chemical messages....

The Potomac River is the main source of drinking water for the Washington metropolitan area and many upstream communities. It provides about 75 percent of the water supply to the 3.6 million residents of Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

But, it's not a problem, is it?
The same symptoms had previously been found about 170 miles upstream, in the South Branch of the Potomac in Hardy County, West Virginia.

A recent survey of cancer in Hardy County, where some residents get drinking water from the South Branch, found rates of cancer of the liver, gallbladder, ovaries and uterus that were higher than the state average. All four cancers can in some cases grow faster in the presence of estrogen or chemicals that mimic it, cancer experts said.

Don't worry, though, the market will take care of providing safety.
Endocrine disruptors comprise a vast universe of pollutants capable of driving a hormone system haywire. Some are hormones themselves -- such as human estrogen from women taking birth-control pills or animal hormones washed downstream with manure -- that can pass through sewage plants untouched....

But the Environmental Protection Agency has not set standards for many of these pollutants. Because of this, many drinking-water plants make no special efforts to remove them.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home