Our earth has provided safe food and water for us for millions of years. Unfortunately, we have contaminated our earth in some areas to the point that the food and water is harmful to our health. The water in nine counties in West Virginia is undrinkable, closing restaurants, hotels, schools and other businesses.
The January 9th chemical spill contaminated the Elk River with crude MCHM, a chemical mixture used in the coal production process. MCHM is toxic if ingested. A ‘Do Not Use the water’ order left 300,000 West Virginians without potable water. The water coming out of their taps was poisonous brown and liquorice-scented.
After 10 days, the water was declared safe to drink. However West Virginians remain skeptical. "If one smells the odor, people know the chemical is in the water," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. Governor Tomblin has told residents that the decision of whether or not to use the water is a personal, individual matter. After he made that announcement, news broke that crude MCHM can break down into formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
Sadly, on February 7th, weeks after the water was declared safe, two of the chemicals were detected in the water supply of George Washington High School. The tell-tale licorice odor was back, and students and staff reported symptoms that included burning eyes, light-headedness and headaches.
Why are we allowing this to happen to our world? When will it stop? Can we end this contamination? Or will it end us?
Always green, Christine