by Elisa Adams
Five hundred years ago, a mere
blink in time historically speaking, Massachusetts was virgin forests and
sparkling waterways. The native inhabitants kept the countryside immaculate by
regular burning of the underbrush and dead leaves, to allow the grass to grow
thickly, as in a park, and to aid them in sneaking up silently on the local
deer, moose, and other furry denizens of the eastern woodlands.
When our earliest ancestors
arrived from over-farmed and over-populated Europe, they were astounded to find
a land kept as well as the greatest noblemen’s parks, inhabited by men they
Now, in the early years of the
new millenium, Massachusetts is attempting to recover from some of the worst
pollution inflicted on our beautiful planet. The polluted waters of Woburn,
responsible for the deaths of several local children who died of leukemia, are
no longer an issue. Thanks to local activists, the Nashua flows more cleanly
than it has in decades. Almost every town has a lake clean enough for the
children to swim in, and fishermen are beginning to be able to find rivers where
they can fish and actually eat their catch safely.
One of the greatest remaining
challenges is to provide pure drinking water for people inhabiting our local
cities. Unfortunately, the quality of water adequate for flushing toilets,
watering lawns, and running carwashes and washing machines does not equal the
quality of water needed by thirsty pregnant women, little children, and the
One of the problems is chlorine,
used by cities to prevent bacterial growth in the municipal water supplies.
Chemists have pointed out for decades that chlorinated water, mixed with food
and other organic substances, creates carcinogens that should not be
One category, called CBPs, are
known carcinogens. A 1998 bulletin released by Health Canada, the Canadian food
and drug administration, reported that “CBP’s (may be) the most important
environmental carcinogens in terms of attributable cancers.” The study,
labeled “Safe Drinking Water: A Public Health Challenge” also links CBPs
with miscarriages, birth defects, and childhood asthma.
A decade ago, in 1992, the
American Medical Association issued its own statistics, attributing a full 28%
of all colon cancer and 18% of all bladder cancers to the drinking of
chlorinated water! By 1998, a dozen studies confirmed these findings. One,
reported upon in the journal Epidemiology, indicated that men who drink
chlorinated tap water for more than 40 years have a 200% increased risk for
bladder cancer compared with men who drink distilled, bottled, or
The EPA admits that
trihalomethanes (THMs) are present in virtually all chlorinated water. Despite
the dangers of chlorination, the safer method of disinfecting water with ozone
or UV light, used in Amsterdam, Paris, and many other European cities, has not
caught on in American communities.
Another major problem in drinking
water safety is fluoride. According the late Dean Burk, Ph.D., former head
chemist at the National Cancer Institute, “Fluoride causes more cancer, and
causes it faster, than any other chemical.” Fluoride has also been linked to
loss of memory, osteoporosis, and kidney disorders.
The employees' union of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency also takes a strong stand against fluoridated
water. “Our union — comprising several hundred toxicologists, other
scientist, and lawyers — maintains its solid opposition to fluoridation,”
offers Dr. J. William Huzy, senior vice president of the EPA union.
One of the best solutions for the
drinking water problem is having a point-of-use reverse osmosis unit available
for providing your family with pure drinking water. Used by astronauts in the
space shuttle, by the Saudis to create fresh water out of seawater, and by most
Nature’s Sunshine distributors, reverse osmosis has provided hundreds of local
families with pure drinking water free of contaminants, including lead, copper,
fluoride, and chlorine. By making pure water from tap water in your own homes,
you can enjoy
- No more dangerous tap water in
the tea, soup, or rice
- No more lugging heavy bottles
home from the store
- No more expensive deliveries
from commercial water companies!
Until the waterways in
Massachusetts run as pure and free as they did five hundred years ago, we can
thank our inventors for reverse osmosis and use the tools we have to save our
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