The story of Parkersburg, West Virginia is a cautionary tale of how large companies are still able to use marketing, lobbying, and lawyering to protect dangerous products.
Mariah Blake of the Huffington Post shares the story of how Parkersburg became disastrously poisoned by DuPont’s chemical waste and how the main toxin, perfluorooctanoic acid (C8), has found it’s way into many US water systems. In fact, studies have shown the toxic chemical to be in the blood of over 90% of Americans.
Shelby county, Cullman County, and Clayton county are some of the many US counties that have detected C8 in the water supply.
Although C8 is a known carcinogen, liver toxin, developmental toxin, allergy stimulant and disrupter of normal thyroid function, it is still an unregulated substance.
The article in the Huffington Post explains how we arrived at this situation:
By the early 1970s, Congress was once again debating how to regulate the chemicals that now formed the fabric of American domestic life. Both houses drafted legislation that would empower the Environmental Protection Agency to study the health and environmental effects of chemicals and regulate their use. But the industry unleashed another lobbying blitz. Under the final version of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, existing chemicals were again grandfathered in. Manufacturers did have to inform the EPA when they introduced new chemicals—but no testing was required. The resulting regulatory regime, which exists to this day, is remarkably laissez-faire. Only a handful of the 80,000-plus chemicals on the market have ever been tested for safety—meaning that we are all, in effect, guinea pigs in a vast, haphazard chemistry experiment.
Developments in chemistry have produced many valuable chemicals and medicines that have greatly benefited mankind. However, we should never be so foolish to ignore the dangers that can permanently damage our future and the future of our children.
The article is a long read, but definitely worth the time. Click here.