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U.S. Cities Fight Back Against Water Pollution

U.S. Cities Fight Back Against Water Pollution

Today is World Water Day, and that means that millions of people around the world are coming together to celebrate the essential nature of water, and raise awareness about the global lack of clean, safe water supplies.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater and this year organizers have selected the theme of water quality, reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in water management.

Too bad no one told municipal governments around America, who have allowed the widespread use of a common weedkiller to jeopardize the safety of public water supplies all over the country.

Change.org reports:

Atrazine is the most widely used weed killer in the United States. It is notorious for seeping into groundwater supplies and can be carried up to 600 miles on the wind. And studies suggest that even in low concentrations it causes low sperm count in men and increases the chances of breast cancer and fertility problems in women, and birth defects and low birth weight in fetuses — which can, in turn, cause death.

(Find that hard to believe? Check out a recent report by Care2′s Melissa Breyer about this dangerous gender-bender).

With rampant GMO and pesticide use occuring every day without the public’s knowledge, it’s good to see that some citizens aren’t going to take this latest discovery lying down.

Sixteen cities in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa have filed a lawsuit demanding that Syngenta—which manufactures atrazine and has made billions off it—pay for its removal from public water systems. If successful, the payout could be huge: It’s estimated the cities involved have spent more than $350 million trying to filter the herbicide from their water.

Taking a cue from it’s corporate-bully cousin, Monsanto, Syngenta has denied any wrongdoing, citing a controversial 2006 EPA decision that gave atrazine the green light for municipal use.

The EPA recently announced that it would be re-evaluating the herbicide’s ability to cause cancer and birth defects, as well as its potential to disrupt the hormone and reproductive systems of humans and amphibians (Huffington Post), and concerned citizens are encouraged to sign the Pesticide Action Network’s petiton to “Stand with U.S. farmers against Syngenta.”

Related Reading:

10 Ways To Celebrate World Water Day!

Tell the EPA to Ban Atrazine: Common Herbicide Linked to Birth Defects and Cancer

Month Without Monsanto: One Woman’s Attempt To Avoid GMOs

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Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - Attempts at Photography

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57 comments

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4:07AM PDT on Mar 31, 2010

The only way to ensure environmental safety is the "Polluter Pays" policy. If this is not enforced, then companies will continue to do what is cheapest not what is environmentally sound. However, add the clean up of any pollution, and suddenly taking sort cut gets very expensive and nowhere near as attractive

12:06PM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

Check out the other issues on Care 2. There are several that go along with this one! Yes chemicals are bad in our water. Well here's another scary one ACNE Cream caused UC (Ulcerated Colitis) in many young adults due to no guidelines and LAX testing of products made available for our use. Whether it is for the land or our bodies we eventually eat or drink the hazards of our ignorance and laziness! The governemnt runs the FDA and we depend on them to keep us safe! I say no more. Have a great day, enjoy it while you can.

5:25AM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

It is sad that Human people with all the knowledge we have about the things we do and the effects of it, doesnt change our usage in a more effectiv way to show our respect to nature. I guess we are all spoiled Kings and Queens of the earth.

3:20AM PDT on Mar 27, 2010

The betterment of the planet is in your hands, I agree totally. When something needs doing, who better than ourselfs to get the job done. Boycott all these products that harm our planet.

8:49AM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Once again, now that CORPORATIONS are CITIZENS, they have the same responsibility as other citizens. If I dump garbarage on someone's lawn, the law will make me clean it up and make restitution to the lawn owner.

5:06AM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

thanks for the post

5:02AM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

thanks for the post

10:59AM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

"Concerned citizens are encouraged to sign the Pesticide Action Network's petition to "Stand With U.S. Farmers Against Syngenta".
Please go to the link just above, and SIGN THE PETITION!

[On the Pesticide Action Network's site, the PANNA site, there are OTHER actions you can take also if you wish; calling your legislators and the California Governor.]

Atrazine in their water HAS BEEN SHOWN TO MAKE MALE FROGS, FEMALE; and what it does to HUMANS???
We DON'T KNOW, yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sounds like Pesticide Action Network does good things for the Planet.

Thank you, June H., for your kind words; and especially, for your COMMITMENT to this Planet and its future.

DOWN WITH the Corporations, their lying and bullying and STEALING; save our lovely and only Planet from UNLIMITED, UN-REGULATED UN-MORAL CORPORATE GREED-FOR-PROFITS; a Profit-Greed which is mindlessly DESTROYING all our most basic life-support systems.

BMutinyTheCorporationsAreEvil

10:24AM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

BMutiny, you hit the nail on the head. I don't believe it is ever too late to make a change. It's not over till it's over. Everything that we can do, we need to be doing. I am not going to give up yet. Our destructive ways, can be changed. We can reverse and preserve the environment. It starts with accountability. Big business abuses? Well, their days are numbered. The world is aware and watching. We can fight against them. Why would anyone stop fighting for what is right. Giving up is not an option. As long as I have breath left in my body, I will fight for the future of my kids, grandkids, and on down the line. I once had a very smart economics teacher, who asked: "If there is economic failure on the other side of the world, will it affect you?" He then stated, step by step, how it ends up a problem for us. He was right, not just in economics, but everything. Especially the environment. Macro economics, macro environomics, it doesn't matter. We are all effected.

9:37AM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

In spite of their deceptive propaganda, in spite of their advertising blitzes designed to LIE and to appeal to our basic emotions and shaky self-esteem, in spite of highly-paid PR people working day and night to earn their salaries by LYING and hedging the Truth; in spite of all this, the Big Corporations are being finally revealed for what they really ARE: heartless, soulless PROFIT-MAKING MACHINES. Mega-Profit-making machines who care absolutely NOTHING about people, animals, children, the Future, or the Planet; ONLY, you guessed it, their own huge and ill-gotten PROFITS.

Consumers can't entirely be blamed for believing the overwhelming and slickly-produced LIES of the past; but NOW the Truth is coming out; and it is all of our Duty, to see that the Truth spreads widely.
A Profit-making system, such as Capitalism is based on, is ANTI-HUMAN by its very nature.
We need an Economic system that puts HUMAN NEEDS, FIRST; not Profit-taking.
If such a system goes by the name of "Socialism", we need not be scared of such a mere NAME.
Socialism and Democracy, go hand-in-hand. "Democracy" under Capitalism, turns into a Kleptocracy where the rich get to STEAL all the resources they can get their hands on. Water, land, minerals, people and plant and animal resources: EVERYTHING. All for the sake of the PROFITS of a very, very few at the top. Governments are CORRUPTED to serve their interests.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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