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Poisoned Valley: Californians Confront a Chemical in Their Water

One of the most powerful cancer-causing agents in the world is poisoning the wells of a million people in Central Valley, California, NBC News reports. Residents are blaming the chemical on their health issues, including cancers. The chemical is a degreasing agent used in making plastics. Investigators say it entered the water when Dow Chemical and Shell Oil decided to recycle it by packaging it with agricultural pesticides. Thirty communities are suing the two industrial giants.

The devastation caused by poisoned waters around the world must stop. People are getting sick and dying. Wildlife are dying, too, and bizarre disfigurements of aquatic creatures are becoming commonplace: frogs with six legs, or male fish that lay eggs. Fish with cancerous lesions are also common. And each decade that goes by, dead zones across the globe have doubled in size: Eventually 100 percent of our oceans and waterways will be devoid of life unless significant changes are made.

Industrial agriculture is arguably the largest contributor to water pollution across the U.S. Around the globe, half of the world’s population is drinking contaminated water: The World Health Organization finds nearly 2 billion are drinking water contaminated with feces. Agriculture runoff, accidents and improper disposal of drugs also contaminate waterways.

And while lawsuits are good, they don’t solve the immediate problem of carcinogenic chemicals and metals found in U.S. tap water. It’s clear that filtering your water at home is no longer an option, but a necessity to reduce your exposure to water treatment chemicals, pesticides, medications and carcinogenic metals. To assure you drink and bathe in the least contaminated water possible, it is best to buy a whole-house water filter, and filter at the point of entry to your home and at the point of use, such as your sink or shower.
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