Clean water tax: EPA urges midwest to drink bottled water, not tap

I had a tough time with Independence Day yesterday. I mean, would you wish someone happy birthday who poisoned your water and hurt your baby girl? I wasn't in the mood to celebrate "freedom" since the only entity that applies to right now are corporations. Hi! I might be bitter! I've decided to work through those nasty feelings and get back to being fabulous by digging up comically horrifying EPA documents and sharing them with you. Are you ready for today's bit? The government, whom you pay with taxes to keep your water clean, suggests you drink bottled water because your tap water may be causing lymphoma and reproductive problems. (Note: There's sales tax on bottled water. Bwahahah, it would be funny if it weren't true. And horrible!)

On to the document. The EPA issued a disturbing report that you probably didn't read. It's not your fault; they didn't publicize it. But hey, that's what you have me for. I dig up really scary government-issued reports about the literal poison in our drinking water and give you solutions! I know shedding an unfavorable light on our water makes me a terrorist but I'll take my lumps. First, this report is about Atrazine, the common midwestern herbicide that contaminates our water supply, how harmful it is and what to do about it (spoiler alert: the EPA suggests you should start buying bottled water).

According to the latest, well, I'll just give it to you in quotes from this document:

Where is the contaminant?

"Atrazine is most commonly used on corn crops, with a large proportion of usage in the “Corn Belt” of the U.S., predominantly in the Midwest"

What's the problem?

"The primary target of atrazine in humans and animals is the endocrine (hormonal) system "

"Implications of possible endocrine disruption for children’s health are related to effects during pregnancy and during sexual development"

How does it get to us, again? My brain haz a forget.

"Atrazine is a commonly reported groundwater contaminant,"

"Drinking water from a contaminated groundwater or surface water source can be a significant medium of exposure for children."

"Exposure to children can occur primarily from ingestion of contaminated drinking water, and from dermal contact or ingestion following agricultural and lawn applications"

"Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. surface waters, particularly in the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt region."

The problem?

"One study of childhood cancers (bone and brain cancers, and lymphomas and leukemias) found increased incidence of these cancers was significantly associated with concentrations of three chemicals (atrazine, nitrates, and metachlor) together in drinking water,"

"Atrazine exposure may affect germ cells (eggs and sperm)"

"exposure of rats to atrazine during pregnancy resulted in increased fetal death"

Fetal death? But it's just kids and fetuses and rats, right? I hate kids! Just kidding, but seriously, this is just a big deal for kids? Errr . . .

"Effects reported in adults (human and experimental animals) include shortening of estrous cycle length, attenuation of the LH (leutenizing hormone) surge, decreases in pituitary hormone levels, ovarian histopathology (changes in ovarian tissue), and liver effects[...]. Other effects on the central nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular function have been reported in adults (2).

"Exposure to atrazine may be associated with some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in adult humans"

"[I]ncreased risk of preterm delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, and decreased birth weight were significantly associated with atrazine concentrations in drinking water"

Ah, shoo. So what am I supposed to do about it? Didn't you say something about the government something-something bottled water? What exactly did the EPA say in its very quiet report?

"Caregivers may consider an alternate water supply, e.g. bottled water, where atrazine-contaminated ground water may be impacting drinking water."

Woah, you mean the government that we pay taxes to to ensure clean drinking water actually admits not doing their job and suggests we spend what little grocery money we have on bottled water? Water? That's supposed to run free and clean from our tap? Then they don't even get the word out? They just publish it in a quiet report no one read? That is so WRONG DONG.

Surely the bottled water suggestion is just for a few small, random towns or something, right?

"Heaviest atrazine uses per unit area, due primarily to agricultural use, occur in portions of Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Nebraska. Levels of atrazine in community water systems in these states, and in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri, are of particular concern"

Ooooh, doggie, that's the whole midwest! It's going to get expensive for all those people buying bottled water and don't we already pay tax for clean water from the tap? Is bottled water good enough? What about the landfills and the fact that low-grade plastic is loaded with harmful BPA?

Answers:Yes, yes, sort of and that sucks.

It's going to get expensive. The government suggesting you buy water at the store creates a built-in tax on midwesterners and it aint' cool. Since we live in a practical world and it would take several million more signatures on my anti-atrazine petition to get it out of our public water, let's live in Real Town and figure out a practical solution. I muh'self bought this universal water filter for the whole house, then this reverse osmosis filter for my sink. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

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My kids love shopping for big, boring appliances.

Sure, that little trip to the home improvement store cost me about $500 but I'd probably pay with my earlobes at this point because I refuse to drink public water (or bathe in it, cook with it or compliment it when it gets a new hairdo). Chicago tax on that purchase exceeded $50, but I'll just rock back and forth and tell myself that money went to local public schools.

I get so mad about our government taxing us and failing to carry their end of the bargain that sometimes I think one might get the cray cray idearrrr to escape to a far away land mass and have themselves a little revolution. Unfortunately, that would mean taking a boatload of us to, like, Australia and they already have people living there. Hm. I guess we could just kill most of the Australians and strip the rest of their culture and push them onto little reservations. Too bad the internet is around to fact check and blog about our asses or we might get away with it. But think! We could write all the new history books like we were the good guys and we could even invent a holiday every fall called something like Thanks Day or Thankfulness where we act like we all sat down to dinner with these fine Australians we killed, like they just handed over their land to us very nicely so we could start our country and stand against the terrible tyrannical government who did us wrong. Ah, my imagination, huh? It gets away with me! I get so bored sitting here on bed rest.

But seriously, buy a universal water filter for your home and sign the petition to ban Atrazine. It really makes you quite a patriot to fight for a better government, no? EFF YEAH, 'MERICA! Good day.



"Like" this post and read more mildly amusing stuff on my Facebook page! Also, sign my petition against the EPA for allowing a harmful herbicide, known to cause the birth defects that claimed my daughter, to continue to contaminate our public water supply.

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Filed under: Poison in the well!

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