Sandbranch: The Town Without Water

Posted by: Rhona Reid On December 7, 2017 12:00 pm

 
There has never been running water here.  Some of the dwindling number of residents, all of whom live in poverty, recall that there were wells up until around 30 years ago, where locals could draw water. Those wells are now dry or contaminated.  People who live here have to make a seven-mile journey to buy water or depend on donations made to the local Baptist church.

Welcome to Sandbranch, just 14 miles southeast of Dallas, the fifth wealthiest city in America.  

Welcome to Sandbranch.
Forgotten Community?

There hasn’t been any investment here for a long time.  The community doesn’t have trash collections, proper sewerage or street lighting – yet most of the residents don’t want move, or lack

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The Future for Flint’s Children

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 21, 2017 7:00 am

 
In 1990, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of an 11-year study into the long term cognitive and neurobehavioral effects of lead exposure in children.  

What are the long terms behavioral effects of lead exposure for children?
What Does Lead Do?

The children had been exposed to lead during their childhood, in some cases relatively low levels.  132 test subjects were re-examined in 1988 and the following neurobehavioral traits were identified as being related to lead exposure during childhood:

  • School absenteeism
  • Lower vocabulary
  • Poorer hand/eye co-ordination
  • Slower reaction times
“No Safe Level of Lead”

Although some lead can be excreted by the body, children are more susceptible to long term effects from lead exposure, as their

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Can an 11-Year-Old Really Change How Lead in Water is Identified? 

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 14, 2017 7:00 am

 
America’s water system is undeniably in crisis.  The projected cost of fixing the miles of pipeline that criss-cross the country runs to $1 trillion, according to some estimates.  There’s no quick fix.

Our infrastructure won’t be updated any time soon…
Next Generation – New Hope

But where there is a future, there is always hope.  And where there is hope, there is a future.  Maybe the next generation will come up with some answers, determined to put right what is broken and unsustainable.  This possibility has been highlighted by eleven-year-old Gitanjali Rao, winner of America’s top young scientist award.

Mythical Inspiration

Horrified by the news of lead contamination in the water of Flint, Michigan, Gitanjali quickly realized the …

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 24, 2017 7:00 am

 
Thousands of people every year are affected by breast cancer, either directly or indirectly.  According to the Cancer Statistics Center, 255,180 new cases are anticipated during 2017, which are projected to result in some 41,070 deaths from breast cancer across America before the year is out.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017
Can We Reduce Our Risk Factors?

Despite these statistics, deaths from breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989, largely due to better detection rates through screening, increased awareness and improved methods of treatment.  

So what can we do to help our bodies stay as healthy as possible and actively lower the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer?  

Diet is a vital factor.  Making your body

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Drinking Plastics – Why Our Water Infrastructure Just Can’t Cope (Plastics Series: Part III)

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 19, 2017 12:00 pm

 
We recently looked at the plastics that we unknowingly drink when we crack open a fresh bottle of water or turn on the tap.  America is the world leader in plastic fiber contamination, with a horrifying 94% of nationwide samples testing positive.  India and Lebanon are the closest runners-up; but for now, the dubious honor of topping the plastic fiber contamination table belongs to us.  

Sometimes being first isn’t so great…
Plastic is Not Fantastic

Plastic fibers are expelled into the air and into our water supply all the time.  The problem is that our current methods of treating drinking water are inadequate.  That’s not a new fact; horror stories about the problems with America’s water infrastructure

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Are You Drinking Plastic Chemicals From Your Tap? (Plastics Series: Part II)

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 16, 2017 5:51 pm

 
Yet another unpalatable fact about America’s drinking water emerged upon publication of a report into the presence of microscopic plastic fibers in an astonishing 94 percent of samples tested.

Plastic is on the menu for nearly all of us.
Global Problem

It’s not just America that is swallowing untold quantities of plastics from industry, homes and manufacturing; around 80 percent of samples worldwide tested positive.  If it’s in our water, then it’s in our food.  If it’s our food, then our bodies are awash with plastic fibers of unknown origin.  

Plastic Forever

It gets worse.  Plastic doesn’t biodegrade.  Instead, it just gets smaller and smaller until it’s a tiny particle measured by nanometer (one nanometer is one-billionth of a

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Water Ionizers and the “Swiss Cheese” Scare Story

Posted by: Rhona Reid On August 10, 2017 12:00 pm

 
We learned a little more this week about how lead ended up flowing out the taps in Flint.  Researchers at the University of Michigan have released their forensic conclusions on how the crisis took shape.

Some of the Flint evidence has more holes in it than this.
The “Swiss Cheese” Evidence

Officials had put forward a claim that failure to add anti-corrosion chemicals hadn’t impacted on the eventual contamination of the water.  This assertion was undermined by the researchers’ discovery of “a Swiss cheese pattern” in the aging pipework cause by corrosion.

The research team goes on to emphasize the importance of ensuring that anti-corrosion chemicals are used in all of America’s aging water systems to prevent lead-laced water …

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Is a Water Ionizer Really Much Better Than My Well Water?

Posted by: Rhona Reid On July 20, 2017 12:00 pm

 
We all know that there are serious problems with America’s water pipelines and infrastructure from coast to coast, so well water must be a better option, right?

What ends up in here is pretty horrifying.
Well, What’s the Truth?

Well water gives an impression of natural purity, untainted by miles of aging, contaminated pipework.  After all, people have drunk well water for hundreds of years.  Lots of us have grandparents who drank water from their own wells, and they all lived to a good old age, right?  Aside from that, some people don’t have a choice – not everyone is joined up to a municipal water source.

Times have Changed

True, but things are different now.  Fracking, construction and …

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Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Brought in Flint

Posted by: Rhona Reid On June 20, 2017 7:00 am

 
It’s been quite the week in Flint.  Dressed in custom-made gowns and bright, sharp suits, excited seniors of Flint Northwestern High School rode charter buses into Detroit for their prom.  At almost the same time, the news began to emerge that Nick Lyon, Michigan’s health chief, was to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, along with four other officials.

Flint deserves justice.
Conspiracy of Silence?

Failure to tell residents in Flint that the water flowing into their homes was contaminated with legionella is one of the accusations the defendant’s face.  Twelve people died as a result, and 100 people in total contracted the disease.  Officials knew for months about the outbreak, but kept silent.

“People in Flint have

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Are There Any Dangers with Alkaline Ionizers?

Posted by: Rhona Reid On May 30, 2017 7:00 am

 
Big question.  The answer?  Well it depends on your ionizer, your source water and how the two work together.

Are there any dangers you should know about?
Source Water Worries

Let’s look at source water first.  Is your water contaminated by herbicides, pesticides, chemicals or even worse – lead?  The harsh truth is if you buy a water ionizer that doesn’t filter your source water properly, it can be dangerous.  The reason?  Well, some machines will process the water and produce alkaline water with a higher concentration of contaminants than the original source water.

Not good news at all.

What’s in the Water?

There’s also the “unknown” to factor in.  Pharmaceutical companies are producing ever-more complex medicinal compounds.  As …

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