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Friday, September 18, 2009

The things some of us take for granted: for instance , "clean water"

Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering

Written by Charles Duhigg of the New York Times. This is a summary of the article posted at

The water in Charleston, West Virgina is full of toxic substances <:(. Tap water in Charleston has been found to contain arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations U.S. federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system. Local coal companies have been found to be the source of these chemicals,which have been piped into the ground,and are now in the groundwater Other states are also reported to have water violations such as in West Virgina, in fact violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. In the last five years alone, chemical factories, manufacturing plants and other workplaces in the United States have violated water pollution laws more than half a million times, with the majority of these offenders escaping punishment!! Research shows that an estimated one in 10 Americans have been exposed to drinking water that contains dangerous chemicals or fails to meet a federal health benchmark in other ways.An estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from drinking water contaminated with parasites, bacteria or viruses!! In the last year, 40 percent of the nation’s community water systems violated the Safe Drinking Water Act at least once!!! Records analyzed by The Times indicate that the Clean Water Act has been violated more than 506,000 times since 2004, by more than 23,000 companies and other facilities, according to reports submitted by polluters themselves,with about 60 percent of the polluters were deemed in “significant noncompliance” — meaning their violations were the most serious kind, like dumping cancer-causing chemicals or failing to measure or report when they pollute.!!! Fewer than 3 percent of Clean Water Act violations resulted in fines or other significant punishments by state officials!!! In New York state, the number of regulated polluters has almost doubled to 19,000 in the last decade, but the number of inspections each year has remained about the same!!! Three coal companies in West Virgina, — Loadout, Remington Coal and Pine Ridge, a subsidiary of Peabody Energy, one of the largest coal companies in the world — reported to state officials that 93 percent of the waste they injected near this community had illegal concentrations of chemicals including arsenic, lead, chromium, beryllium or nickel!!! Sometimes those concentrations exceeded legal limits by as much as 1,000 percent!!! Those chemicals have been shown to contribute to cancer, organ failures and other diseases!!! But those companies were never fined or punished for those illegal injections, according to state records!!! Medical professionals in the area say residents show unusually high rates of health problems. A survey of more than 100 residents conducted by a nurse hired by Mrs. Hall-Massey’s lawyer indicated that as many as 30 percent of people in this area have had their gallbladders removed, and as many as half the residents have significant tooth enamel damage, chronic stomach problems and other illnesses!!!That research was confirmed through interviews with residents.

If this state of affairs is happening in Charleston,it must be happening in other places in the world where companies who extract or use toxic substances and discard them! One of my uncles from the Eastern United States died due to cancer. His work contributed to his development of his cancer, however because he lived in one of the worst counties in the entire United States for Major Chemical toxic waste releases and Waste Generation, I now believe this must have had even more of an influence on his developing cancer!

This chart represents the 2002 rankings for Major Chemical releases or Waste Generation in Albany County, New York:source:

Cleanest/Best Counties in USPercentileDirtiest/Worst Counties in US

Total environmental releases:
Cancer risk score (air and water releases):
Noncancer risk score (air and water releases):
Air releases of recognized carcinogens:
Air releases of recognized developmental toxicants:
Air releases of recognized reproductive toxicants:

So, the next time you think you would rather live somewhere else than where you live right now, think again, and if your town or city has clearn water, be thankful you live where you do, as many places in the world where humans reside do not have clean water, or have water which is toxic to drink!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.