Aug 20

Coal Mining Polluting Kentucky’s Water

Flaming drinking-water well in Kentucky illuminates
Big Coal’s abuses

calvin_howard_burning_well.pngThe flaming drinking water well at a home in eastern Kentucky’s Pike County first came to public attention back in May, thanks to a report by a local TV station.

WKYT visited the home of Calvin and Denise Howard on Big Branch Road, where the Howards reported that the water, which runs orange and black, burned their skin when they bathed. They also said that Excel Mining, the operator of a nearby coal mine, had offered to install a water filtration system — but only if the residents signed a liability waiver.

The Howards refused the company’s offer — and when WKYT checked back in July, the flames that had been just about to the top of the well were shooting out at least a foot and a half.

Since then, the Howards have filed a lawsuit [pdf] over the contamination. In addition, environmental advocates have gotten involved, arranging for the delivery this week of clean water to 13 area families amid inaction by the company and state environmental regulators.

“In all my 20 years of working on water quality problems, I have never seen a drinking water well catch on fire and burn continuously for days on end,” says Donna Lisenby of Appalachian Voices, who with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has arranged for the delivery of bottled water from Nestle and Keeper Springs Natural Spring Water, a company founded by environmental advocate Bobby Kennedy Jr. that gives 100 percent of its profits to clean-water causes.

According to the lawsuit, the trouble for the Howards began back in late January when they started hearing explosions beneath their home. About the same time, their well water turned gray and took on an offensive odor. Around May 1, the well exploded into flames, destroying the well house. It’s burned continuously ever since.

Earlier this month, Ted Withrow, a former regulator with the Kentucky Division of Water who now works with the grassroots citizens group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and KFTC activist Sue Tallichet visited the community, where residents confirmed the water contamination. Residents also reported mysterious health problems they feared could be connected to the poisoned water, including a teenage girl’s hair falling out and a boy vomiting blood.

The Kentucky Department of Mining Reclamation has investigated the burning well and confirmed that it “is creating an environmental and public safety hazard.” At that point, the company began providing bottled water to the Howards, but other impacted families did not get any assistance. The Howards have been advised to evacuate their trailer home but can’t afford to do so. The lawsuit seeks compensation for their replacement housing and their water.

“Based on my direct, firsthand experience with contamination of water by coal operations, I am deeply worried about the safety of the drinking water of these families,” says KFTC’s Withrow.

An ‘ineffective, choregraphed sham’

The water contamination along Big Branch Road illustrates a larger problem facing Kentucky: the coal mining industry’s abuse of communities and regulators’ failure to protect them from harm.

The Pike County situation is unfolding against a backdrop of coal company lawlessness and regulatory inaction in Kentucky. Back in June, an alliance of environmental groups including Appalachian Voices and KFTC sent notice-to-sue letters to two mining companies after discovering they had exceeded their pollution permit limits more than 4,000 times in the first quarter of this year alone.

The companies targeted by that action are International Coal Group, which is owned by Arch Coal of St. Louis, one of the world’s largest coal companies, and Frasure Creek Mining, a subsidiary of West Virginia’s Trinity Coal, which is owned by India’s Essar Group. They are the largest producers of mountaintop-removal-mined coal in Kentucky.

The watchdogs notified the same companies last October of their intent to sue over more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, including falsification of pollution monitoring reports. But Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet stepped in at the last minute and fined the companies a total of just $660,000 — less than 1 percent of the maximum fine that could be imposed under the law. Environmental advocates denounced the state’s action as an “ineffective, choreographed sham.”

Excel Mining, the mine operator implicated in the burning-well situation, is owned by Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource Partners, among the largest coal producers in the eastern United States. Alliance reported record profits in 2010, with a 67.1 percent jump in net income over the previous year to $321 million.

The company landed in the spotlight last year when a roof collapsed at its Dotiki Mine in Hopkins County, Ky., killing two miners. News reports after the incident revealed that inspectors from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issued 31 orders to close sections of the mine or shut down equipment because of safety violations between January 2009 and the time of the collapse, according to Sourcewatch. Reporters found that the company received a total of 649 citations in 2009 alone.

In addition, Alliance was involved in a 2009 controversy over the firing of the director of Kentucky’s Division of Mine Permits. Ron Mills’ termination came after he refused to issue about a half-dozen mine permits — most requested by Alliance — because they failed to comply with federal and state laws. Mills’ denials were ultimately overruled by higher state officials.

Joe Craft, the president of Alliance Resource Partners, is a major political powerhouse. He has contributed over $150,000 at the federal level over the past decade, including $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky; $17,500 to the Kentucky State Democratic Central Committee; $4,600 to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R); and $2,300 each to Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R), according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org database. The company’s political action committee has also invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in politicians’ campaigns — $193,665 in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Craft and others affiliated with the company as well as Alliance’s PAC are also major donors at the state level, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ FollowtheMoney.org database. Alliance Coal employees were among the biggest campaign donors in Kentucky’s primary election this year, together with their spouses contributing a total of $60,000 to three candidates, WBKO reported last month.

And in 2009, Craft organized a group of donors to pay for a new $7 million “Wildcat Coal Lodge” to house the University of Kentucky’s basketball players on campus — a move that sparked considerable controversy and led noted writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry to pull his personal papers from the school’s archive. While the university’s sports teams are known as the Wildcats, “wildcat coal” also refers to coal that’s mined illegally.

Meanwhile, residents along Big Branch Road are hoping to connect to a clean municipal water source — but price is a concern. Pike County officials have said it could cost as much as $150,000 to connect them to their existing water lines. The families have said they would pay to connect to closer lines in nearby Martin County, but that could take at least three months.

(Photo of Calvin Howard standing next to his burning well and destroyed wellhouse by Appalachian Voices.)

user-pic

By Sue Sturgis on August 19, 2011 10:26 AM 

Aug 16

Water, Water Everywhere…But Not a Drop to Drink?

Published July 18, 2011 By Rev. Amy Butler on her blog, Talk with the Preacher.

One of the best parts of international travel is the way it can submerge you in a context totally different from your own, an experience that is usually really uncomfortable but offers some great perspective if you let it.

Among my recent adventures in Southeast Asia I had the opportunity to visit the country of Cambodia.  There are oh-so-many things I could write about that experience; my visit to Cambodia was definitely a high point of the trip.  One thing that struck me was just the experience of meeting Cambodian people.  They seemed so affable and cheerful, even living in a country that is clearly still reeling from the horrors of genocide under the Khmer Rouge.

Given the tattered state of Cambodian society still, it wasn’t surprising to me to see quite a lot of poverty and extreme rural living right in the middle of the country’s second largest city, Siem Reap.  In other words, while I can certainly understand the convenience of keeping your cows on the ground floor of your house, this Cambodian tradition would qualify as “an experience totally different from my own.”  Geez, I personally think the dog is bad enough.

Anyway, among my Cambodian adventures was a visit to a floating village.  The floating village I visited was on the Tonle Sap lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.  I hate to publicly claim such ignorance, but my mental image of a “floating village” was a little different than what I encountered on Tonle Sap.  Seriously, when I imagined a “floating village” I was thinking something really beautiful and maybe a bit mysterious—you know, with lots of bamboo and probably some mist floating up from still waters filled with koi fish. 

Uh, not so much.

A floating village is more like a large group of people trying desperately to piece together some kind of existence, all the while trying to stay afloat on a large body of water.  Families of ten, for example, live together in a little tiny houseboat, with no electricity and no plumbing system of any kind.  The poverty in the floating village was staggering.

I kept looking around at all the water…water everywhere.  The people who live on Tonle Sap use the water to get around in any manner of floating vessels—many of them not boats at all.  They also use the water to bathe, to cook, to deposit sewage, to drink.  For someone coming from my comparatively sterile environment, witnessing all of this was rather shocking.

After what I saw I have no idea how these folks eek out an existence and stay relatively healthy.  With my limited perspective I kept wondering: do they know there’s a way to have clean drinking water?  Don’t they want that?  Why don’t they set up a sewage system so they don’t have to use the lake water for everything?  I felt almost panicky about it.

The guide telling me about the village said the government has tried to offer village residents options of resettlement, education, etc., in the city, but without fail those who are resettled return to the floating villages within a matter of months.  There’s something about the community that they love, something about living all together in one place and having the water under your feet all the time.

I’m still processing this experience, for sure.  I can’t get the image of the water out of my mind.  Maybe it’s because a side effect of growing up in Hawaii is my strong association of God with all the water that was always around me.  In the ocean in particular I always felt a sense of God’s immensity and power, but also the gift of life that is readily apparent wherever you see the water.

The water I saw at Tonle Sap, though, stunk of poverty and desperation…and sewage.  I wondered about a lot of things as I looked out over that brown water.  I wondered if sometimes the church feels like Tonle Sap lake to some people…with trappings of God all around, but no God really.

I thought about that as I sat, that afternoon, water all around me…and I was so thirsty.

 

 

 

amydec08Rev. Amy Butler has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 2003.  She grew up in Hawaii, where she recently spent an amazing sabbatical working with the translation team of the Hawaiian Bible.  Amy graduated from Baylor Universityin Waco, Texas, with degrees in religion and political science, received her seminary training in Europe, and recently completed her Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching at Wesley Theological Seminary.  She lives with her family in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.

Aug 04

That Poison Called Soda Pop

 

The Dangers of Drinking Soda Pop

by Djehuty Ma’at-Ra

The sad truth about soda pop (soft drinks) is that Americans drink nearly more soda pop than water, which is really pathetic! The human body is not made up of effervescent beverage, but water, nearly 75-80% water.

Soft drinks are not hardly soft on the body!

Many soda drinkers are not aware of the dangers of this beverage. Soda is some dangerous stuff!

Soda pop (regardless of the kind or brand) is 100% acid forming! It has a pH balance of 2. This is a very low pH number.

Our bodies were made to have a natural pH balance of 7.3, which is slightly alkaline. A pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 7. A pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 7. A pH of 4 is 1,000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. A pH of 3 is 10,000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. And a pH of 2 is 100,000 times more acidic than a pH of 7.

One can of soda pop greatly lowers your alkalinity. Once can of soda is 100,000 more acidic than your natural pH level.

A pH of 2 means that a person would have to drink 32 eight ounce glasses of alkaline water just to neutralize the effect of one can of soda.

So why do we drink soda pop? Well, because we’ve been conditioned to drink soda pop; plus, we like the taste of this stuff. But more importantly, we drink soda pop because we are sick, and incidentally soda pop originally started out as liquid drug (medicine) sold at the local pharmacy of which I’ll go more into detail later on in this article.

The acid forming nature of soda pop is a threat to teeth and enamel. The teeth are alkaline in nature due to calcium, the most alkalizing mineral in the body. Because soda is greatly acidic, it corrodes the teeth and enamel.

Soda pop beverages contain some of the most harmful synthetic sweeteners in existence. Many brands of soda pop contain the artificial sweeteners aspartame and saccharin, both of which are cancer causing.

Aspartame (also known as Nutra Sweet) is an artificially made sweetener composed of two amino acids – phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and is 200 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose, white table sugar).

Aspartame contains 10% methyl alcohol (wood alcohol), which is also known as methanol (a light volatile pungent flammable poisonous liquid alcohol used as a solvent, anti-freeze, or denaturant for ethyl alcohol and in the synthesis of other chemicals).

Aspartame is a known neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is a toxin to the brain and impairs brain health and function and adversely affects fetal brain development in unborn babies.

Aspartame converts into FORMALDEHYDE at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Formaldehyde (a/k/a embalming fluid) is a known NEUROTOXIN!

It stands to reason that since the human body’s natural temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, aspartame will automatically convert into formaldehyde once inside the human body. It is not wise or intelligent to embalm yourself while you are still alive. But this is what you are doing every time you guzzle down some soda pop.

Nazis and chemical warfare are recurring themes in the aspartame story. The chief patent holder of aspartame is the Monsanto Company, based in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1967, Monsanto entered into a joint venture with I.G. Farben, the financial core of Hitler’s regime and the key supplier of poison gas to the Nazi racial extermination program.

Saccharin is just as dangerous and deadly as aspartame. Saccharin is a non-caloric petroleum derivative (masked with glycine) that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Saccharin is absorbed but not modified by the body. It is excreted unchanged in the urine. Saccharine causes bladder cancer in lab animals (which mean it will also cause bladder cancer in humans).

High fructose corn syrup is another dangerous sugar that many soda pop brands contain. This harmful sugar goes straight into the blood once ingested and adversely affects blood sugar levels almost instantly.

ACE-K is one of the latest synthetic sweeteners added to soda pop, such as certain brands of Pepsi-Cola (Pepsi One). This drug adversely affects the brain.

Other brands of soda pop may contain corn syrup or dextrose, both of which are harmful to your health.

And while some “natural” and healthy brands of soda pop may contain honey, we must remember that honey is really bee vomit. It is regurgitated nectar that the bees digest and then regurgitate and store for their harvest.

Some soda pop brands outright use sugar (SUCROSE) in addition to other artificial sweeteners. Sucrose or white table sugar is nitroglycerin, a/k/a T.N.T. (dynamite)! Soda pop can explode on you, especially under pressure!

Sugar is the number one legalized drug on the planet. It kills more people in one day than all the illegal drugs combined will in 1,000 years.

One can of soda is equivalent to 11 tablespoons of sugar. No wonder soda pop consumption plays a role in diabetes, kidney failure, and anxiety. Mark Pendergrast, author of “For God, Country and Coca-Cola” correctly states that soda is “99 percent sugar water.”

Public schools nowadays have soda-dispensing machines throughout the campus of junior high schools and high schools throughout the nation, especially in the lunch area.

Government (federal government) has money to finance war and the killing of thousands of innocent people over seas, but doesn’t have money available for the public schools and our school children, which is insane and illogical. Therefore, because schools need money (for text books and other supplies) that government doesn’t allocate because of their extreme and insane military/defense budget, schools purposely sell out the health and well-being of the youth and allow major soft drink companies (like Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola) to put their soda-dispensing machines on the campus (and in some cases, their company banner, in the school’s gymnasium) in order to receive money from these soft drink beverage companies. This is true/factual! Corporations are picking up the slack created by government that give corporations more power and influence in our lives.

The flip side of this sinister scheme is that when the child is adversely affected by the drug (sugar) in the soda pop and other junk that is sold or given to him/her and then is unable to concentrate in the classroom, the innocent child (student) is classified as hyperactive or A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) and then prescribed a close cousin relative of the drug, cocaine, called Ritalin, which zombifies a child. And parents of school children (public and private) pay for this insanity and criminality with their tax dollars.

And what do you think make those cola beverages brown in color? Can you say CARAMEL as in caramel coloring? And what is caramel? Caramel is nothing but burnt white sugar. So soda pop literally contains sugar on top of sugar. Soda pop simply has too much sugar in it and thus is a major drug.

Soda pop is laced with serious amounts of caffeine, which is a drug. Caffeine belongs to a chemical drug group known as ‘Methyl-Xanthines.’

Twenty (20) to thirty (30) percent of American adults consume more than 500 milligrams of caffeine per day – twice the amount doctors consider a large “drug dose.”

Ingesting caffeine places severe stress on your heart. It also drives your nervous system into a state of sympathetic alert – the state you attain when a wild animal is chasing you and you are running for your life. Hundreds of thousands of young American schoolchildren are drinking a soda in the morning before class starts every single day and then folks wonder why anxiety is a problem in American public schools! It’s the damn drugs – SUGAR and CAFFEINE! Caffeine is one of the world’s most psycho-active drugs and sugar is the most addictive drug on the planet.

Caffeine depletes you in B-vitamins, especially B1 (thiamin).

Vitamin B1 deficiency symptoms include: fatigue, nervousness, general aches and pains, and headaches.

If your adrenal glands do not react to the stimulation of caffeine, it could mean that you are headed for a physical breakdown due to adrenal exhaustion.

When you get into a state of sympathetic alert, your digestive system turns off because your blood is now sent preferentially to your muscles, lungs, and heart.

If you have any food in your digestive tract, it is subject to fermentation, putrfaction, and becoming rancid from sitting too long in an intestinal tract that is shut down.

Instead of being nourished by your food, you will become poisoned by the rotting products of incomplete digestion.

Caffeine also has diuretic properties. These properties put extra stress on the kidneys and have a dehydrating effect on the body. Caffeine makes the nervous system work like crazy.

Various studies also link caffeine to birth defects and research shows that caffeine interferes with DNA replication and robs the body of vital nutrients, especially B-vitamins, Vitamin C, zinc, and potassium and prevents the absorption of iron.

Sadly and unfortunately, many Americans have a physiological and/or psychological dependency on caffeine than on all other drugs combined.

Many well-known and liked soda brands are loaded with caffeine. Consider the following:

Mountain Dew – 54.0 milligrams
TAB – 46.8 milligrams
Coca-Cola – 45.6 milligrams
Diet Coke – 45.6 milligrams
Shasta Cola – 44.4 milligrams
Dr. Pepper – 39.6 milligrams
Pepsi-Cola – 38.4 milligrams
RC Cola – 36.0 milligrams

Soda pop contains preservatives as well. The chief preservative in many soda brands is sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is used to preserve freshness. Soda pop has to be preserved because it is a dead substance. If a thing has to be preserved, it’s dead! We must remember that life renders life and death renders death and we cannot obtain life from death.

Most soda pop brands will contain “taste freshener” chemicals such as “erythorbic acid” and “potassium benzoate”; as well as “flavor protector” chemicals such as “calcium disodium.” All of these chemicals supra are synthetic. Once inside the body, they help to preserve the taste of other chemicalized foodstuffs in addition to corrupting and polluting the taste buds.

Another sinister ingredient some soda pop brands may contain is polyethylene glycol. In case you didn’t know it, glycol is used as anti-freeze in automobiles and as an oil solvent.

I can’t forget about soda pop’s phosphoric acid. This is some seriously corrosive and caustic stuff! Phosphoric acid is truly acidic. It dissolves calcium out of the bones, which plays a major role in the development of osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones and skeletal structure) which make a person (especially a woman in general, Caucasian woman in particular) be susceptible to broken bones due to the bones becoming fragile.

Phosphoric acid also damages the skeletal system and greatly disturbs and upsets the body calcium-phosphorus ratio. It even kills brain cells! The stuff even fights with hydrochloric acid (which is needed for digestion) in human stomachs and renders it ineffective.

And what makes soda pop so effervescent in nature? Can you say carbon dioxide? Carbon dioxide is a natural waste product that the body produces. Carbon dioxide is released with every exhalation. So how stupid is it to put carbon dioxide back into the body via ingestion of soda pop when the body naturally expels it with every exhalation? Nature takes out the carbon dioxide and then dumb man puts it back in.

Soda is predominantly CO2 and colored sugar water. That’s all it really is. When I used to work for General Cinema Theatres (now defunct), I remember the soda machines we used to have and only two things were needed – CO2 tanks and a box of colored, sweetened syrup that we used to call a bag in a box (because the syrup was in a bag which was stored in a box). A box of syrup used to cost $10 back then (c. 1989-1992). From that one $10 box of syrup, General Cinema would reap nearly $800-$1,000 in soda sales. The soda machine had about six different nozzles so do the math.

Sixty dollars ($60) of sugary syrup brought in $4,800.00 worth of soda sales!

Movie theatre snack (concession) stands make a lot of money. In fact, most of their money is made at the concession stand. We used to order the junk food/candy supplies from a place in Long Beach or Carson, California, called VSA (Vending Supplies of America) for wholesale prices and once the supplies were delivered to the theater, the mark up would be astronomical; but there was a science that they taught us in management (I was a manager in Redondo Beach, California) that once people get inside the theatre, the smell and sound of other people’s snacks would titillate other patrons to desire the same snacks and beverages. And because patrons couldn’t bring in outside food, patrons would have no choice but to purchase from the snack bar. You are forced to purchase from the snack or concession stand at movie theatres unless you sneak your own junk food and candy in which many people do.

A few brands of well-known soda pop brands indirectly contain synthetic phenylalanine, a synthetic amino acid that plays a role in phenylketonuria, a metabolic disease that is characterized by inability to oxidize a metabolic product of phenylalanine and also by severe mental retardation. This is why a few soda pop cans warn the drinker who may be a phenylketonuric that the beverage contains phenylalanine. Anything containing aspartame contains phenylalanine.

Cleverly hidden within the chemical name, but an ingredient contained in some soda pop brands – glycerol ester of wood resin, is actually alcohol; wood alcohol to be exact. This type of alcohol is horrendous to human health. However, it won’t stop the soda pop manufacturer from using it in their product.

And I can’t forget about those horrible and sinister petroleum-based chemical color dyes – LAKES, e.g. Yellow Lake, Blue Lake, Red Lake, and Green Lake. All “Lake” dyes are dangerous to human health. All are carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Other ingredients soda pop may contain include “citric acid”, “sodium citrate”, “sodium polyphosphates”, “potassium sorbate” (a preservative); and “gum acacia.” And just about every soda pop can or bottle today may have the ingredient “natural flavor” listed, which is bogus. Natural flavor is an umbrella term that allows companies to hide synthetic chemicals under the banner of that which is natural, but if the flavor is natural or derived from natural sources, why not list them on the product? Well, clearly because the truth of the matter is that the “natural flavor” is derived from unnatural chemicals – more synthetic chemicals that pollute and corrupt our taste buds and our blood.

A recent health situation with soda pop that is inciting cause for alarm and frightening people is leptospirosis. Leptospirosis results from dried rat urine on soda pop cans. Rats pee or urinate on the soda cans in many stores and market and the urine dries up on the can and then unconscious consumers purchase the can of soda and open it up and drink from the can and expose their mouth to the dried rat urine. If you are going to drink this poison called soda pop, at least drink it from a glass or cup.

Rat urine contains very toxic and fatal substances. A New York City University study showed that the tops of soda pop cans are more contaminated than public toilets and are full of so-called germs and bacteria.

I personally stopped drinking soda pop back in 1996. I used to drink all kinds of soda pop brands – Mountain Dew, Sunkist Orange, Sprite, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Crush (especially strawberry, orange, pineapple, and grape); 7-Up (along with my powdered aspirin – BC Powder, for headaches); A&W Root Beer (my paternal grandmother’s favorite brand); Cactus Cooler, Aspen, RC Cola (my father’s favorite soda); the cheap brand of sodas – Springfield (especially their creme soda).

The funny thing is, looking back on my soda consumption days, no soda ever contained the real source of its flavor. If you drank a strawberry soda and read the ingredients on the can or bottle, you never saw the word strawberry under the list of ingredients. However, every soda did tell you in fine print on the front of the can that the beverage was “artificially flavored.” The artificial flavoring industry is very good at what they do. This industry really exists and is located in New Jersey. Read the great book “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser.

“The flavor industry is highly secretive. Its leading companies will not divulge the precise formulas of flavor compounds or the identities of clients. The secrecy is deemed essential for protecting the reputation of beloved brands. The fast food chains, understandably, would like the public to believe that the flavors of their food somehow originate in their restaurant kitchens, not in distant factories run by other firms. The New Jersey turnpike runs through the heart of the flavor industry, an industrial corridor dotted with refineries and chemical plants. International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), the world’s largest flavor company, has a manufacturing facility off Exit 8A in Dayton, New Jersey; Givaudan, the world’s second-largest flavor company, has a plant in East Hanover. Haarman & Reimer, the largest German flavor company, has a plant in Teterboro, as does Takasoga, the largest Japanese flavor company. V. Mane Fils, the largest French flavor company, has a plant in Wayne, Bush Boake Allen is in Montvale, and Heavenly Flavors is in Bayonne. Dozens of companies manufacture flavors in New Jersey industrial parks between Teaneck and South Brunswick. Indeed, the area produces about two-thirds of the flavor additives sold in the United States.” Fast Food Nation. Schlosser, Eric. New York: Houghton Mifflin (2001), pg. 121

Shortly after becoming a health researcher back in 1996, I soon discovered many dark secrets about soda pop and the soda pop beverage industry. I learned that some auto mechanics actually use soda pop (Coca-Cola) in their garages as an industrial agent. They pour cola on corroded and rusted battery terminals and cables that eat up the alkali that forms on battery cables and terminals. I learned from one mechanic that he puts out car engine fires with cola beverage. He told me to always carry a large bottle of cola in my trunk with the rest of my car supplies.

One time (around 1997) my car’s engine caught on fire shortly after arriving home from work. I quickly popped the trunk and pulled out a liter size bottle of generic brand cola and poured it on the engine fire and put the fire out. What I learned from the mechanic proved invaluable and saved my car’s engine.

Then I learned that police officers were using cola to remove blood from the highways stemming from accidents. This really blew me a way.

Next, I discovered that rich people were using cola to keep their toilets clean. They were cleaning their toilets or commodes with cola.

After learning this, coupled with the knowledge of what mechanics and police officers were doing with soda pop, I said to hell with soda pop and left it alone. The crap is clearly only good for industrial purposes due to its seriously caustic nature. I should have known something with was wrong soda pop when I was a little boy and recognized how soda pop burned the back of my throat every time I took a sip or guzzle.

Regardless of the above, I was still not done discovering the dark secrets about soda pop. I had always heard that Coca-Cola contained cocaine, but that it was removed in the year 1905 (though some sources say 1955) and replaced with cola nut, which naturally contains caffeine.

The Coca-Cola symbol, followed by the golden arches of McDonald’s, is the most universally known symbol in the world by people, which is a damn shame in my opinion. Coca-Cola is in more countries on the earth than there are nations as members of the United Nations. Coca-Cola is in more than 180 nations on this planet. It has in fact globalized the planet and by any means necessary, as was shown in the movie “The Coca-Cola Kid” starring Eric Roberts, and was about a Coca-Cola rep whose duty was to convert the last standing anti-Coca-Cola nation/territory on the planet into the membership of nation families that sell Coca-Cola to its citizens. A slow and somewhat boring movie that offered a lot of insight into the hostile corporate takeover of small nations.

Coca-Cola is so powerful, that it dressed up Santa Claus. Originally, Santa didn’t wear red and white, the colors of Coca-Cola, of course. He wore many colors, from Green, blue, to purple. But after Coca-Cola’s version of Santa Claus in red and white was launched, in no time did it take over the worldview of Santa Claus. Coca-Cola was having difficulty moving its beverage in the winter so it launched a campaign using Santa Claus to sell Coke:

“In the 1920s Coca-Cola was having difficulty selling its soft drink during the winter. The soda execs wanted to make it a cold weather beverage. “Thirst knows no season” was the initial winter campaign. At first they decided to show how a winter personage like Santa could enjoy a soft drink in December. They showed Santa chugalugging with the Sprite Boy (the addled young soda jerk with the Coke bottle cap jauntily stuck on his head). But then they got lucky. They started showing Santa relaxing from his travails by drinking a Coke, then showed how the kids might leave a Coke (not milk) for Santa, and then implied that the gifts coming in from Santa were in exchange for the Coke. Pay dirt. Santa’s presents might not be in exchange for a Coke, but they were “worth” a Coke. Coke’s Santa was elbowing aside other Santas. Coke’s Santa was starting to own Christmas.” Adcult USA. Twitchell, James B. New York: Columbia University Press (1996), pg. 175

For myself personally, the most interesting discovery I made about soda pop was its origin. Soda pop originated in pharmacies. Yes, pharmacies. Soda pop was originally a drug or pharmaceutical. Many inventers of certain brands of soda pop, such as John Pemberton, inventor of Coca-Cola, were pharmacists who patented soda pop as medicine:

“Coca-Cola was just one in a flood of other patent medicines foisted upon the public by hopeful marketers during the age of quackery.” For God, Country, and Coca-Cola. Pendergrast, Mark. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons (1993), pg.11

“Part of Coca-Cola’s appeal … was that it was supposed to relieve indigestion.” Ibid

Because soda pop was supposed to be a great reliever of dyspepsia, a brand was finally produced whose name was hidden in the word “dyspepsia.’ Can you guess what it is? PEPSI! That’s correct!

We find Pepsi within the word “dys(pepsi)a.”

7-Up was originally a drug (medicine) used on mental patients. It was a drug given to people in insane asylums. The name 7-Up derives from the drug originally having seven ingredients, with the seventh ingredient being lithium, a known chemical drug that is given for depression.

Originally, only insane people drank 7-Up; but today, almost everybody drinks 7-Up. Is it because people are generally retarded or insane or has America become one big insane asylum?

When I reflect back on my childhood, soda being a drug makes so much sense. I remember Saturdays and going to visit my paternal grandmother (Grandma Sis) and how my uncles would bring their children over to visit Grandma Sis. It was great kicking it with all of my cousins. We’d all have about a dollar or two and we’d go to the corner liquor store to buy knick knacks (junk food). We’d buy donuts (chocolate, crumb, or powdered), potato chips (Lay’s sour cream and onion, Barbecue, Funions, Cheetos, Doritos, Ruffles), ice cream (ice cream sandwich, big sticks, strawberry shortcake) and SODA POP.

Because it would be about nine or ten of us total (cousins-wise), we’d usually end up with about six or seven different flavors of soda pop. However, when we’d get back to Grandma Sis’ house, we perform a little ritual of mixing up all the soda pop flavors. Everybody would pour a little of their soda into a cup and mix it up and drink it. And the strange thing is, we would call this mixture a “suicide.” So when I found out the true nature of soda being medicine (a drug) and reflecting back on my childhood and making “suicides” with mixtures of various flavors of soda pop with my cousins, it made so much sense why we called the mixture of various soda pops “suicide”, because if you were to mix six or seven different drugs up (or together) and then consume them, you undoubtedly would be committing suicide.

Soda pop is one of two factors for which I believe contributes to young African-American males being the number one victims of asthma in the United States, especially in Los Angeles County, California; the other factor being asphalt (or cement). I heard Dick Gregory mention this as well back in the 1990s.

Many young Black youth live in inner cities in asphalt (concrete) jungles. They play basketball on concrete (asphalt) and after games, instead of drinking water they reach for a cold can of soda. I know this was true of myself and my childhood homies when we used to play B-ball at the local elementary school playground back in the early 1980s. We only drank water when we didn’t have 50 cents to buy a soda and we didn’t have bottled water back then, at least not in the hood of South Central Los Angeles. You could find everything else but bottled water in the liquor stores of the Black community. They always had plenty of soda pop, beer, cheap wine (e.g. E&J, Night Train, Thunderbird), coolers, concentrated fruit juice beverages, and cow’s milk.

In all due honesty, I almost drank more soda pop than water in my childhood; and yes, I did have asthma (and bronchitis) for a while; actually for a few years and I also came very close to death too.

Today, major soda companies (like major shoe companies) hire ignorant and unconscious professional NBA basketball players to sell their liquid poison to inner city youth who guzzle that crap down on inner city basketball courts.

In closing, there is nothing soft about soft drinks. All soda is harmful!

Soft drinks should be renamed to hard drinks because it is really hard on the human body.

And diet soda is just as worse as regular soda. If you drink diet soda and don’t work out or move around (be mobile, active), the sugars in diet soda will convert into fat in your body and the next thing you know, you will have gotten fat or obese by drinking diet soda (in addition to consuming other fat-inducing foodstuffs. White women evidently understood this.

A lot of Black women who drank regular (non-diet) soda evidently didn’t understand this and how inactivity, immobility, and/or being sedentary corresponded to how sugar converted into stored fat. And clearly, today you have more fat Black women than White women.

Coming up in my day, Black people never bought diet soda pop. Never! We didn’t like the taste. Diet soda pop was something traditionally drank by White women, who were always health conscious since I could remember. White women have been conscious about their diet and weight for some time now that I think about it. However, because White women drank so much diet soda pop, they became the number one group who suffered from fragile bones and when the term “osteoporosis” was created, guess who was the number one group with the disease? Unsurprisingly, WHITE WOMEN!

People who find themselves addicted to soda pop, but want to kick the habit would do well to switch from soda pop to cider. Martinelli brand ciders are pretty good; pure fruit juice and sparkling mineral water (or carbonated water).

Cider is far better than any brand of soda pop. The Crystal Geyser carbonated sparkling fruit juices are also better than soda pop. Along with fruit cider, these make for a good transitory beverage for the soda pop feine or addict.

So while you may still be ingesting carbon with cider and/or sparkling fruit jucie, you are not ingesting the harmful chemical sugars (aspartame, saccharin), caffeine, phosphoric acid, caramel, phenylalanine; freshness, flavor, and taste preservatives that soda pop beverages contain.

If I had to say who makes the best sodas on the market, my vote would go to “Virgils” who make pretty near-healthy soda pops (e.g. root beer, sarsaparilla, black cherry, ginger ale) compared to the average soft drink company.

One thing I will say, if you like good ginger ale and/or root beer, you will find a few good brands on the shelves of good health food store. I included the foregoing because I realize how strong people’s (especially Americans) addiction to certain foodstuffs and beverages really are. I don’t give a damn what religion they profess, food and beverage are God to many people.

I have a listing of soda pop manufacturers/companies in my “Life and Diet after the Full Body Detox” booklet that make very tasty (and far better than the average soft drink company) soda pop that do not contain all the gunk and junk of your average soda pops in the local super casket (market).

In closing I’ll say no soda pop is good; but because I understand the process of weaning one self from an addictive substance, if you are going to drink nuclear fission blast beverage, oops, I mean, “soda pop”, drink the best that is available; and yes Mr. and Mrs. Cheapskate, better brands of soda pop are going to cost a bit more than that cheap crap you may be drinking at present. On earth, you have to pay in order to play, and it’s not necessarily and/or only in the realm of money.

Thank you for reading!

This article is compliments of www.dherbs.com and Djehuty Ma’at-Ra

Read more: http://www.dherbs.com/articles/dangers-drinking-soda-127.html#ixzz1U6zgbchY

 

Aug 01

Bottled Water – A “Healthy Drink” For Your Family?

This Everyday “Healthy” Beverage Poisons Your Body One Swallow at a Time
Posted By Dr. Mercola | January 15 2011 | 221,883 views

By Dr. Mercola

water bottlesYou’ve probably heard a lot about bottled water. That it’s healthier for you than tap water, that it can replace your vitamins, that it’s really only tap water and how environmentally unfriendly it is.

With this type of conflicting information about water, it’s easy to get confused. Let’s see if we can help you cut through the clutter and lead you down the path to healthier water consumption.

Environmental Impact

There’s no sense in sugar-coating it. Bottled water is destructive to the environment. It is a fact that 67 million water bottles are thrown away each day.

That’s a staggering amount of waste considering only 10 percent of these water bottles are ever recycled. Despite the good reputation recycling has, this practice is not always best for the ecosystem as it is labor-intensive, costly and burns natural resources. Also, just because you are throwing your used water bottles into the recycling bin, it does not necessarily mean they are able to be recycled.

Another problem with bottled water is the incredible amount of fuel needed to transport these heavy loads of plastic (and sometimes glass) bottles to your local supermarket, home or office.

Where Your Bottled Water REALLY Comes From

About 40 percent of bottled water is nothing more than bottled tap water! So not only might you still be drinking all the chemicals you were trying to avoid in the first place, you may be exposing yourself to even MORE chemicals by drinking from plastic bottles….

The Dangers of Plastic

Drinking water from a plastic water bottle poses serious health risks to you and your family. Let’s take a look at some of these dangers  to give you a better idea of why bottled water is not the healthy choice you’ve been led to believe it is.

Plastic would obviously be an issue for most bottled waters but it also comes into play for home or commercially filtered waters, or even raw spring water in that you need a container to store your water before you consume it. Obviously the best container is glass because when you choose plastic you are potentially exposed to the following chemicals.

BPA – Bisphenol A or BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been linked to a host of serious health problems including:

  • Learning and behavioral problems
  • Altered immune system function
  • Early puberty in girls and fertility problems
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Prostate and breast cancer
  • Diabetes and obesity

If you are pregnant or nursing, your child is also at risk. If you are feeding your baby or toddler from a plastic bottle, switch to glass to avoid BPA contamination.

Phthalates — Phthalates are widely used in the United States to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible.

Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including:

  • Reduced sperm counts
  • Testicular atrophy or structural abnormality
  • Liver cancer

Further, in experiments on rats, phthalates have demonstrably blocked the action of fetal androgens, which affects gender development in male offspring, leading to undescended testes at birth and testicular tumors later in life.

Studies have also found that boys whose mothers had high phthalate exposures while pregnant were much more likely to have certain demasculinized traits and produce less testosterone.

Yet another study found that pregnant women who are exposed to phthalates gave birth more than one week earlier than women who were not exposed to them.

Pharmacy in a Bottle — As mentioned above, about 40 percent of bottled water is tap water. This means you are not only exposed to  dangerous BPA from the bottle, you may also be exposed to a variety of water contaminants such as fluoride, chlorine, arsenicaluminumdisinfection byproducts and prescription drugs.

Although you may have been told that disposing your unused prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in the garbage instead of down the toilet means this eliminates the threat of your water supply being contaminated, this is simply not true.Water that drains through landfills, known as leach rate, eventually ends up in rivers. Although not all states source drinking water from rivers, many do.

According to studies, human cells do not grow normally when exposed to even minute amounts of prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Some drugs that were never meant to be combined are mixed together in the drinking water you consume every day. Millions of people have drug allergies. Are you one of them? If so, how do you know the unusual symptoms you’ve been exhibiting are not due to ingesting small doses of the drugs you’re allergic to from your bottled water?

Ticking Time Bomb

Though drinking bottled water directly from a store shelf poses serious health risks, leaving this bottled water in your car or strapped to your bike and exposed to the hot sun will cause even more serious chemical exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or high temperatures will accelerate leaching of the plastic chemicals mentioned above into the water.

Adding to this health threat is a toxic substance called dioxin, which is also released into bottled water when it is left in the sun. Dioxin has been strongly linked to the development of breast cancer.

Health-conscious people like to transport filtered water from home to ensure a safe supply on the go. If you’re one of these individuals, using a glass or steel bottle instead will bypass the risks associated with carrying filtered water in plastic.

“Vitamin Water” – As Unhealthy as Soda

One of the biggest scams soda manufacturers have come up with is, “vitamin water”. The marketers for this cleverly disguised “health drink” take advantage of your growing interest in health and try to make you believe it can measure up to the vitamins and minerals in food. It can’t even come close.

In truth, vitamin water is one of the worst types of bottled water you can drink!

Most vitamin waters contain health-harming additives such as high fructose corn syrup, which is a primary cause of  obesity and diabetes, and food dyes that can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health.

Don’t be fooled. Skip the vitamin water. If you eat a healthy diet and follow my comprehensive nutritional plan http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm , most of your vitamins will come from food. For more information about the health hazards of vitamin waters, please see this link.

Do Not Deliver

For years, you may have enjoyed the ease and convenience of having bottled water delivered straight to your door. The idea of being able to avoid the dangerous chemicals in tap water by having your very own water cooler full of fresh, mountain spring water to drink from may have seemed to good to be true.

Turns out, it was. Home water delivery is not an environmentally-friendly way to get the water you need.The plastic bottles they come in pose health risks that are less significant than the pint or quart water bottles as they have denser plastic and they typically are reused many times, unlike the smaller bottles.

Although some water home delivery companies will ship their water in glass, you still have no real idea where your water is coming from. Also, the load is that much heavier and requires that much more fuel to transport and heavy glass bottles can be difficult to manage and have been known to break and cut  seriously injure or even kill people.

The Truth about Fluoride

Tap water, and bottled water that originates from tap water, is loaded with fluoride. Though you may have been lead to believe this substance to be vital to the dental health of you and your family, this is simply not the case. Unfortunately, the belief that fluoride prevents cavities is a common misconception. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

As this  recent study done on children in India shows, fluoride is anything but a cavity fighter. Fluoride is a toxin that actually leads to an increased risk of cavities and can cause a wide range of health problems, including weakening your immune system and accelerating aging due to cellular damage.

One study, published in the September 2001 issue of International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, found that South African children who drank water containing high levels of natural fluoride (3 ppm), had more tooth decay than children in other parts of South Africa who drank much lower concentrations (between 0.19 to 0.48 ppm). And fluoride-saturated American teenagers had twice the rate of cavities as the South African children drinking low levels of natural fluoride!

A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, published in October of last year, also found that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.The study found that fluoride intake during a child’s first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula.

In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the information on their website, stating:

“Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing … enamel fluorosis.” “In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources—water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products—contributes to enamel fluorosis.”

More importantly however, on January 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they will take another look at the standards and guidelines for fluoride in drinking water due to the increase in dental fluorosis.

This is the first time in 50 years that the federal government has recommended changing the amount of fluoride added to public water supplies. They’re now proposing the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water be reduced to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. The recommended range has been 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L, so for many communities this new level will equate to a fluoride reduction of nearly 50 percent!  The EPA is also initiating a review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed. Depending on their findings, the maximum amount of fluoride allowed may also be revised. This is at least a step in the right direction!

However, this is likely not the last you’ll hear on this issue. According to a recent press release by The Fluoride Action Network, “Fluoridegate” is fast approaching as it’s becoming clear that dental fluorosis is “just the tip of the iceberg.” The press release states:

“A series of disclosures are surfacing about the actions of water fluoridation promoters that point to a likely tsunami of Fluoridegate investigations, hearings, and explosive courtroom entanglements. Tennessee state legislator Frank Niceley states, “There is a real Fluoridegate scandal here. Citizens haven’t been told about harm from fluorides, and this needs to be investigated by the authorities and the media.”

Washington D.C. toxic tort attorney Chris Nidel says, “I think when we look back we’ll ask why Fluoridegate didn’t surface earlier. There are serious concerns about possible conflict of interest and heavy editing of information being fed to the public about fluoride risks and impacts.”

Your Optimal Water Choices

Your most convenient solution is to filter your own tap water. African women spend five hours per day, on average, seeking out water and carrying it back to their villages. If you’re like most modern Americans, you have indoor plumbing in your home. So, why are you purchasing and transporting bottled water from your supermarket?

The most economical and environmentally sound choice you and your family can make is to purchase and install a water filter for your home. Alternatively, you can look around for sources of mountain spring water, which is about as close to ideal as you can get.

There’s a great website called FindaSpring.com where you can find a natural spring in your area. This is also a great way to get back to nature and teach your children about health and the sources of clean water. The best part is that most of these spring water sources are free!

Final Thoughts

Your body is made up of 80 percent water and you can only live a few days without this precious, life-giving substance. Most of you are dehydrated and not even aware of your body’s many cries for water. But the quality, and hence the source of your water is vitally important for maintaining optimal health. To learn even more about water, please visit my water index page for links to more articles on this important topic.

Jul 31

Is Your Water Bottle Really BPA Free?

Think your Water Bottle is “BPA Free”? Better double check.

JULY 14, 2011

By Margot Pagan, EWG Summer Press Intern

Is your reusable water bottle aluminum? In an effort to be more sustainable and protect my health, I made the switch from plastic water bottles to my reliable metal bottle that I carry with me every day. I thought this switch was a positive change, which is why I’m a little concerned to read headlines that “Metal Water Bottles May Leach BPA.” Just when I thought I was doing something good for my health and the environment, I learn otherwise. Just my luck!
Aluminum water bottles aren’t just aluminum

The issue is that some aluminum water bottles aren’t just aluminum – they’re lined with a resin meant to prevent that bad aluminum taste in your water. Problem is, the resin is epoxy, and epoxy is made with bisphenol A, or BPA, which is a synthetic estrogen. The epoxy molecule is unstable. It comes apart and releases BPA readily into whatever it touches.

This new study from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has discovered that switching from polycarbonate to aluminum might not protect you from BPA exposure as well as you thought. Keep in mind – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has called for parents to take action to reduce their children’s exposure to BPA. The chemical isn’t healthy for any age group: it is linked to an alarming list of health conditions – breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The study found that epoxy-lined aluminum bottles (including older SIGG bottles) leached BPA. But SIGG’s new linings, made of a synthetic the company calls Ecocare did not emit the troublesome chemical. Stainless steel bottles, which are unlined, were also free of BPA.

BPA is an essential ingredient of polycarbonate, a hard, clear plastic ideal for safety glasses, safety helmets and computer and cell phone houses. Until a few years ago, Nalgene water bottles were made of polycarbonate. Like epoxy, polycarbonate is unstable and, experiments show, readily leaches BPA into surrounded liquids, even cold water. Nalgene, Camelbak and some other sports bottle makers moved to a non-BPA-based plastic called Tritan. The University of Cincinnati study found bottles made with Tritan did not emit BPA.

BPA leaching by the “worst” water bottles is still less than the amount you’d get from a serving of most canned foods but still important to consider since exposures add up.

The study also examined the effects of BPA on heart muscle cells and found that increasing exposure to this estrogen-like chemical can result in potentially deadly heart arrhythmias in rodents. This finding leads the group to suggest that heart arrhythmias could be an issue for women specifically, because they already have natural estrogen in their bodies.

Does the Claim “BPA Free” Mean Anything?

“BPA free” is not a defined and consistent term, noted the study’s author Scott Belcher in an interview with Science News. For “BPA free” to have a useful meaning for consumers there should be regulations to limit its use, Belcher said.

Legislation to control BPA in food containers, especially those made for infants and children, is making its way through lawmaking bodies, with varying degrees of success.

In Maine, a bill to remove BPA from children’s products became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage. Now Maine’s Environmental Health Strategy Center is accusing LePage of foot-dragging and has petitioned the state Attorney General to force LePage to put the law into effect. LePage is famed for declaring that BPA is harmless, except that “some women may have little beards” if exposed to the chemical. (LePage confused it with another sex hormone, testosterone).

Meanwhile, in California, the state assembly is moving the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, which would bar BPA in bottles or cups intended for infants or children three years of age or younger.

So what should you do to protect your health?

– Buy a glass or stainless steel bottle without an epoxy liner.

– Examine the inside of a bottle. A golden-orange coating indicates a material that can shed BPA, while a white coating doesn’t. Contact the manufacturer to see if it has tested its product for BPA leaching.

– Don’t put hot liquids in your water bottles.

Remember, BPA is most harmful during pregnancy and early childhood. Pregnant women, babies and children should take extra efforts to avoid BPA. Check out what EWG has been saying about kid-size Klean Kanteen bottles.
Buying a water bottle might seem like a simple purchase (it should be, right?), but doing your BPA research before you buy could grant you peace of mind that your bottle isn’t leaching BPA.

Jul 16

Arsenic in drinking water – How to protect yourself

A one-time oral dose of 60,000 ppb of arsenic will kill you. That’s no more than 1/50 the weight of a penny, which shows how dangerous arsenic really is.

It’s unlikely you won’t be exposed to that much arsenic at one time. However, there’s a very good chance you will be exposed to much higher levels over just a few years, merely through the water you drink, food you eat and air you breathe. Why? Unfortunately, the arsenic to which you are exposed is typically colorless, odorless and tasteless. So if arsenic is in your water, you won’t notice it by sight, smell or taste.

How does arsenic get into your drinking water?
Arsenic occurs naturally in some soil and rock. When water comes in contact with arsenic in soil or rocks, it’s absorbed naturally.

Industrial processes such as mining, smelting and coal-fired electric power plants contribute to the presence of arsenic in your water. Arsenic can either be discharged directly into rivers and streams or pumped into the air.

When arsenic is pumped into the air, it travels with the wind before settling back into lakes and rivers. Or if arsenic settles on the ground, it’s carried into the underground water supply by rain or melting snow.

Arsenic is also used in agricultural pesticides and chemicals used to preserve wood. The residue from these applications can be washed into rivers, lakes and underground water supplies.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising to you that arsenic is very common in ground water across the United States.

What are the possible health effects of ingesting even low levels of arsenic?

Skin cancer
Nervous system damage
Diabetes
Circulatory diseases
High blood pressure
Reduced intelligence in children
Studies have also linked long-term arsenic exposure to an increased risk of cancer of the bladder, lungs, liver and other organs. Arsenic can also damage chromosomes, which house the genetic material inside the cells of the body.

It’s believed the side effects from arsenic exposure in drinking water typically take years to develop. Much of it depends on the concentration of arsenic to which you are exposed. Most arsenic leaves your body within three days of exposure. But the arsenic that remains is stored in the brain, bones and tissue and continues to do serious damage.

How much arsenic in my water is considered safe?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has reduced the safe drinking water standard for arsenic in your water to 10 parts per billion (ppb). That standard — a dramatic decrease from the current standard of 50 ppb — goes into effect in January 2006. The agency reduced the level it currently allows in water because newer scientific studies found the old standard did not protect people exposed to arsenic for many years.

While the new standard is lower, it’s certainly not enough to eliminate all the risk of cancer and other side effects. Your exposure to arsenic in past years could cause problems to your health later in life. That’s why the EPA set a goal of zero as to the amount of arsenic that should be in your water.

But their goal is not enforceable.

You might feel a little safer knowing arsenic is not easily absorbed through the skin and doesn’t evaporate from water. But don’t get too comfortable… If arsenic is in your water, you will primarily be exposed to it from the water you drink, and not to bathe, wash dishes or clean your clothes.

Find out if arsenic or other harmful contaminants are in your water supply. If they are, get the appropriate water purification system to treat your specific problem. Then, see your health practitioner about removing the contaminants that are already in your body.

More about Arsenic & how to protect yourself
Arsenic (abbreviated As) is a naturally occurring contaminant found in many ground waters. Arsenic in water has no color, taste or odor. It must be measured by a lab test. Public water utilities must have their water tested for arsenic. You can get the results from your water utility. If you have your own well, you can have the water tested. The local health department or the state environmental health agency can provide a list of certified labs. The cost is typically $15 to $30. Information about arsenic in water can be found on the Internet at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website: www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html.

There are two forms of arsenic: pentavalent arsenic (also called As(V), As(+5), and arsenate) and trivalent arsenic (also called As(III), As(+3), and arsenite). In well water, arsenic may be pentavalent, trivalent, or a combination of both. Special sampling procedures are needed for a lab to determine what type and how much of each type of arsenic is in the water. Check with the labs in your area to see if they can provide this type of service.

Specially formulated Carbon Block systems are very effective at removing pentavalent arsenic. A free chlorine residual will rapidly convert trivalent arsenic to pentavalent arsenic. Other water treatment chemicals such as ozone and potassium permanganate will also change trivalent arsenic to pentavalent arsenic. A combined chlorine residual (also called chloramine) may not convert all the trivalent arsenic. If you get your water from a public water utility, contact the utility to find out if free chlorine or combined chlorine is used in the water system.

A study from the Water Quality Association (WQA) revealed that the top two contaminants which Americans are concerned about in their drinking water are LEAD and ARSENIC. Multi-Pure has been the leader in the drinking water industry with products which treat both lead and arsenic. Currently, MultiPure is the only manufacturer with a filter system NSF certified to reduce levels of Arsenic V.

The MultiPure MP880 Models are designed to remove only pentavalent arsenic. It will not convert trivalent arsenic to prevalent arsenic. The system may remove some trivalent arsenic, however, it has not been evaluated for its ability to remove trivalent arsenic. The system was tested in a laboratory to remove pentavalent arsenic. Under lab conditions, as defined in ANSI/NSF Standard 53, the system reduced 0.050 mg/L (ppm) pentavalent arsenic to 0.010 mg/L (ppm) (the U.S. EPA standard for drinking water) or less. The performance of the system may be different at your installation. Have the treated water tested for arsenic to check if the system is working properly.

* Only MultiPure’s MP880 Series is certified to reduce Arsenic V

Jul 10

Why do I need a water filter?

Never before has the need been greater for quality home water purification.

America’s tap water is contaminated with toxic heavy metals, synthetic organic chemicals, chlorination by-products, biological parasites and virtually thousands of harmful contaminants.

“E.P.A. reports show that U.S. water supplies contain over 2300 cancer causing chemicals…” — Ralph Nader Research Group

Studies also show that bottled water isn’t any purer than tap water, it simply costs more. Most quality home water purification products can provide water far superior to bottled water, at a fraction of the cost and in the convenience of your own home. The intention of this site is to promote the use of home water filtration, show what products are available and how to determine which ones are the best. Our goal is to also increase basic awareness of this critically important subject.

In America’s highly industrialized society we use over 80,000 toxic chemicals every day, and over 1000 new ones are being developed every year. We are learning the hard way that all of the chemicals we use, will ultimately show up in the water we drink. There is no “new water”, this planet keeps recycling the same water over and over. As we use more synthetic chemicals, the levels in our water supplies increases proportionately.

In contrast to popular belief, our water treatment facilities were not designed to take out synthetic organic chemicals and toxic heavy metals like lead. Municipal water treatment today is essentially the same as it was over 100 years ago, the water is flown through sand beds to remove visible particles and then bleach (chlorine) is added to kill most of the bacteria! We do not filter out the synthetic chemicals!

75 years ago, before all of these chemicals were present in our environment, 1 out of 50 Americans would get cancer in their lives… now, 1 in 3 Americans… 1 in 2 males, will become cancer victims! 1 in 8 women get breast cancer, childhood cancers have increased 300% in just the last 20 years… and much of this can be linked to the accumulation of man made chemicals in our body.

Cancer is not natural, it’s a man made disease, and for the most part… completely preventable. The purity of our water is one of the most critical factors in the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Water is our body’s only means of purifying its self. If our water already contains chemical contaminants, our body is not able to use it to its full benefit. When the risk is so great and the solution is so simple… why chance it?

In-home water purification is the most effective, by far the most convenient and most economical means of providing clean, healthy water for you and your family.

“Healthy water” is the best health insurance we can get… and home water purification is the best way to get it… possibly the only way.

Click here to see which water filter reduces more contaminants than any other water filter on the market.

Jul 07

Feeling Sick? It May Be Your Tap Water

Public water supplies in 42 U.S. states are contaminated with 141 unregulated chemicals for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never established safety standards, according to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Tainted Tap Water Used by Millions of Americans
Another 119 regulated chemicals—a total of 260 contaminants altogether—were found by the environmental group in a two-and-a-half-year analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests. The tests, which are required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, were conducted at nearly 40,000 utilities that supply water to 231 million people. If you are feeling ill, for no apparent reason, it really could be the water in your own home! Below are listed some contaminants found in your public water supply that truly could be making you sick!

Water Disinfection Byproducts

  • What are water disinfection byproducts?
    The term refers not to one chemical compound but a group of chemicals that are formed as byproducts of water treatment. Up to 600 disinfection byproducts have been identified but only a fraction of them — including bromate, total trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform) and haloacetic acids (dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid) — are monitored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • How often do they occur in drinking water?
    According to the Environmental Working Group’s analysis of about 20 million drinking water tests conducted by water suppliers between 2004 and 2009, disinfection byproducts, many of which are unregulated, were the most common water pollutants found in US water supplies.
  • How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
    Chemical byproducts are formed when disinfectants used to treat water, such as chlorine, react with organic pollution washed off from cities, suburbs and agricultural farms.
  • What are the possible health effects of water disinfection byproducts?
    Disinfection byproducts can cause gene mutation, induce birth defects, accelerate the aging process, sets off an inflammatory response in the body, and even induce cancer after long-term exposures.
Associations have also been made between exposure to certain trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids at concentrations above the maximum contaminant level and injury to the liver, kidney, eyes, nerves and the reproductive system.
  • How to remove water disinfection byproducts from water?
    Water filtration systems using activated carbon filters can reduce levels of disinfection byproducts (such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids) as can a reverse osmosis unit. Look out for certification, or confirm with the manufacturer before making your purchase.

Nitrate and Nitrite

·What are nitrate and nitrite?
Nitrates and nitrites are common inorganic compounds that are found contaminating drinking water.
·How often do they occur in drinking water?
Nitrate ranks number five in EWG’s list of frequently detected water pollutants. Nitrate and/or nitrite contamination is also not uncommon in drinking water drawn from private wells in the US.
·How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
The major sources of nitrates and nitrites in drinking water are excessive use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers (e.g. potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate) by farmers and homeowners, leaching from septic sewer systems, discharge by chemical, petrochemical and metal-finishing industries, human and animal organic wastes, as well as erosion of natural deposits.
·What are the possible health effects of nitrate and nitrite?
Infants are susceptible to ‘blue baby syndrome’, or methemoglobinemia, after drinking water containing excess nitrate. This potentially dangerous condition occurs when hemoglobins in the red blood cells are converted into methemoglobin in the presence of nitrate and/or nitrite and loses their ability to carry oxygen.
Although older children and adults can tolerate higher levels of nitrates, little is known about the possible long-term effects of nitrate ingestion. Some evidence suggests that nitrate exposure above safety limits may be carcinogenic.
·How to remove nitrate and nitrite from water?
Unfortunately, nitrate and nitrite cannot be removed by carbon-only water filters. Technologies that can reduce the water pollutants effectively include reverse osmosis and atmospheric water generation.
But these technologies have their drawbacks too.
Although reverse osmosis filters are effective in eliminating most disease causing organisms and chemical contaminants, they generally use about three times as much water as they treat. They also remove most of the minerals in the water and may worsen mineral deficiency in those who are already getting insufficient minerals from their diet.
Atmospheric water generator, which extracts water from humid ambient air, is slow, huge (almost the size of a medium refrigerator), and requires an environment with a relatively high humidity to generate water at an acceptable rate. Though you can connect it to a water supply and use it as a regular purifier, its water filtration capabilities may not be sufficient to remove the types of contaminants in your water.

Pharmaceuticals

·What are pharmaceutical contaminants?
Pharmaceutical contaminants refer to a cocktail of dissolved prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs as well as ingredients used for making drugs that are found in drinking water.
According to the 2008-2009 annual report presented by the President’s Cancer Panel, some medications found in water supplies include antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, medications for hypertension and diabetes, steroid medications, oral contraceptives, non-prescription pain relievers, hormone replacement therapy medications, anti-convulsants, heart medications and antibiotics.
·How often do they occur in drinking water?
A shocking Associated Press report in 2009 revealed that at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals have been poured into US waterways that often provide drinking water.
Unlike nitrate and other regulated contaminants, the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is not monitored by government in most countries and hence, water suppliers are not required to test for them. To make things worse, conventional water treatment plants are also incapable of removing dissolved medications that have entered the water systems.
·How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
Dumping of active pharmaceutical ingredients by manufacturers into waterways, as well as improper disposal of medications by consumers into household drains and toilets. Drugs of all types also enter the water supply when they are excreted.
(If you’ve the habit of flushing expired drugs down the toilet, please stop!)
·What are the possible health effects of pharmaceuticals?
Currently, there is no study looking into the long-term effects of drinking water containing low doses of multiple drugs for extended period of time. However, considering that a number of medications are formulated to work at relatively low dosage, their long-term unintended effects cannot be ruled out completely.
· How to remove pharmaceuticals from water?
Water filters that use only basic carbon blocker are unlikely to remove pharmaceutical contaminants. Reverse osmosis system, however, is able to remove dissolved drugs, so is atmospheric water generator which skips contaminated water altogether and generates water from air.

Arsenic

·What is arsenic?
Arsenic is a natural occurring element found in soil, rocks, air, food and water. It’s also used for producing electronic parts, automotive batteries, wood preservatives, glass, pesticides and more.
·How often does it occur in drinking water?
Arsenic contamination of water is a global problem. According to the Wikipedia, over 137 million people in more than 70 countries, including America, are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.
· How did the water pollutant end up in water supplies?
Arsenic leaches into water when water flows pass arsenic-rich soils and rocks. Mining activities, discharges from industries that use arsenic compounds, and runoffs from farms and homes that use arsenic-containing pesticides also add to the amount of the pollutant in water supplies.
·What are the possible health effects of arsenic?
Arsenic is a highly toxic substance and is classified as a carcinogen which can cause cancers of the skin, lung, and bladder as well as heart disease.
·How to remove arsenic from water?
Reverse osmosis is currently the most effective way to remove arsenic. Generating water through air is also another way to avoid arsenic. But take note of the cons highlighted earlier for each of them before purchasing to make sure you can live with the drawbacks.

Hexavalent Chromium

·What is hexavalent chromium?
Hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, is a common industrial chemical used for the production of textile dyes, pigments, stainless steel, wood preservation, leather tanning, anti-corrosion coatings and other niche uses.
It was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich”, starring Julia Roberts, that tells the real-life story of cancer-stricken residents of Hinkley who in 1996 won a $333 million settlement from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for contaminating their tap water with hexavalent chromium.
· How often does it occur in drinking water?
A 2010 study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found that water from 31 out of 35 US cities was polluted with hexavalent chromium. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the safety limits proposed by California regulators.
·How did the water pollutant end up in water supplies?
Discharge by irresponsible industries that produce or use hexavalent chromium, such as metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities as well as steel and pulp mills.
Other forms of chromium, such as chromium-3, also occur naturally in soil, rocks, rivers, plants and animals.
·What are the possible health effects of hexavalent chromium?
Hexavalent chromium has long been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled. There are also increasing scientific evidence linking the pollutant to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers in lab animals.
·How to remove hexavalent chromium from water?
Use a water filter that is certified to remove hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). MultiPure’s Reverse Osmosis water filter unit is NSF certified to remove all or most of these contaminants.
Jul 01

Is Bottled Water Safer Than Tap Water?

Corporate giants like Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and others have done an great job selling us on the idea that bottled water is safer, better, perhaps sexier than tap water. However, there is a real dark side to bottled water as the movie “Tapped” has pointed out. When you seriously look at the petroleum needed to produce the plastic bottles, storage issues and potential water contamination by the plastic bottles themselves, the transportation needed to transport the water to the store shelves and environmental impact of plastic bottles have on the Earth, one can see that bottled water is not only wasteful, the discarded plastic bottles create one of the most dangerous environmental hazards known to man. This little video tells the story beautifully.

http://www.myspace.com/video/trailerpark/oceans-exclusive-use-less-plastic/104426743

One can easily see that filtered water not only is a better product, it costs significantly less. The fact is that roughly 25% of all bottled water is actually tap water that has been processed and repackaged. Corporate America treats local municipal sources as a commodity and sells it back to the community at a profit. When you really look at the cost of bottled water compared to filtered water, the numbers are staggering.

Example; bottled water averages around $2.50 per gallon. A Multi Pure 750 gallon filter is $69.95. To produce the same amount of bottled water you would spend $1850.00!! (750 gallons x $2.50= $1850.00)

To find out how your bottled water rates, check the Environmental Working Group Widget below. Simply enter your favorite brand or click the first letter to get the details on that product.

Jun 27

The Story Of Bottled Water – Annie Leonard

The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.