"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, December 20, 2010

Water Causes Cancer, Except When it Doesn't

We are much in the mood to rock by the fire these days, and just say nuthin'. If you say things, you'll only get yourself into trouble; people will conclude that you're a crank; no one will take you seriously. Socrates was condemned for corrupting the youth of Athens by asking embarrassing questions. Today, it's not necessary that one ask hard questions, it's only necessary that you pay attention -- and not very close attention.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported this alarming story:
An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Bethesda and Washington, found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film "Erin Brockovich."

The study, which will be released Monday by the Environmental Working Group, is the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water to be made public.


"This chemical has been so widely used by so many industries across the U.S. that this doesn't surprise me," said Erin Brockovich, whose fight on behalf of the residents of Hinkley, Calif., against Pacific Gas & Electric became the subject of a 2000 film. In that case, PG&E was accused of leaking hexavalent chromium into the town's groundwater for more than 30 years. The company paid $333 million in damages to more than 600 townspeople and pledged to clean up the contamination.

"Our municipal water supplies are in danger all over the U.S.," Brockovich said. "This is a chemical that should be regulated."
But exactly one week ago, the Post reported:
HINKLEY, Calif. -- A California state study has not revealed elevated cancer levels in the town of Hinkley, a small desert community that inspired the award-winning Hollywood movie "Erin Brockovich" through its struggles with contaminated groundwater.

The California Cancer Registry has completed three studies on Hinkley, where a toxic plume of cancer-causing chromium 6 is once again growing. The studies found that cancer rates remained unremarkable from 1988 to 2008.
So the most-studied groundwater in the history of the world doesn't seem actually to have caused any noticeable increase in cancer. But it's still important to listen to Erin Bockovich, because . . . I don't know, because she really doesn't look at all like Julia Roberts?

Here in Fauquier County, our water comes from a well at the base of our mountain, and it's filtered by a complex system of dirt and sand thoughtfully provided by God. The only dangerous pollutant is Bourbon.


Comments on "Water Causes Cancer, Except When it Doesn't"


Anonymous Uncle M said ... (3:16 PM) : 

... and the partially masticated Klondike bars accidentally deposited therein.


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