A damning report from the Environmental Working Group has just revealed that drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that are shown to cause cancer. Not only does the report expose the deadly levels of radiation but it also shows that officials have been actively covering it up.
EWG’s investigation consisted of testing the water supplies of nearly 50,000 public water systems from all 50 states. Researchers found that from “2010 to 2015, more than 22,000 utilities in all 50 states reported radium in the treated water delivered to customers’ taps.”
Only a small percentage of the water supplies exceeded what the Environmental Protection Agency considers “safe,” however, their standards for legal radiation limits are more than 40 years old. EWG pointed out that, according to more recent standards, like those set in 2006 in California, nearly 100 percent of tested water supplies failed. These findings make Flint, Michigan look like child’s play.
“Most radioactive elements in tap water come from natural sources, but that doesn’t take away the need to protect people through stronger standards and better water treatment,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. “Millions of Americans are drinking water with potentially harmful levels of radioactive elements, but the outdated federal standards mean many people don’t know about the risk they face when they turn on the tap.”
The problem is only getting worse too. As EWG reports, the government has long known about this problem and has covered it up by fudging the numbers. Now, one of the people who admitted to fudging the numbers has just been nominated to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ.
The nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White, admitted in a 2011 investigation by Houston’s KHOU-TV that if utility tests found radiation levels over the EPA limit, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would subtract the test’s margin of error to make it appear the water met federal standards. In some cases, this meant that Texans whose tap water posed the extraordinarily elevated lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 400 were not informed of the danger.
Hartnett White told KHOU she did not trust the science behind the EPA’s standard. When pressed by a reporter – “What if you’re wrong and EPA’s right?” – she said: “It would be regrettable.”
Not only did Hartnett White admit to the media they’d been cooking the books but last month, she told the Senate, who then rescinded her nomination. However, this week, Trump renominated her.
“Putting someone in charge of CEQ who deliberately falsified data to get around federal regulations is outrageous, and the fact that her deception left people at serious risk of cancer is even more alarming,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s vice president of government affairs. “The Senate should reject this radioactive nominee.”
“With the renomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to the White House Council of Environmental Quality, President Trump is failing these 170 million at-risk Americans who are drinking contaminated water,” said Christy Goldfuss, vice president for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress. “When Hartnett White was tasked with addressing radiation in Texas’s drinking water as a government official, she regularly and deliberately underreported the amount of radiation in drinking water, keeping families in the dark about their health and safety. Putting her in charge of the Council of Environmental Quality could do untold damage to even more Americans. With today’s data revealed, it is even more vital that our leaders and representatives prioritize clean and safe drinking water for all.”
There you have it. Americans are slowly being given cancer by their government and not only is one of the people responsible for covering it up not getting held accountable, she’s getting a massive promotion.
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