How PCBs Devastated the Environment

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Contamination, Injury, Water | 0 comments

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs were widely used for a variety of industrial and commercial applications during the 1920s until the late 1970s. These chemical compounds solely manufactured by Monsanto were primarily used as coolants and insulators for electrical equipment. They were also used as ingredients in several commercial products and construction materials. PCBs were believed to be highly beneficial until reports of safety concerns and environmental issues came to light. In 1979, the United States federal government imposed a ban on PCBs to ensure that the destruction it caused to the environment can be properly mitigated.

PCBs were solely manufactured in the U.S. by Monsanto. The chemical industry giant produced PCBs in a factory in Anniston, Alabama and used its water sources as a dumping ground for chemical waste. While it was largely believed that PCBs were safe and had little impact on the environment, there were several documents that showed that Monsanto was long aware of the negative effects caused by their product. Despite research results from independent studies commissioned by the company, Monsanto continued their operations until public pressure caused to cease PCB production two years before the government’s ban. According to The Washington Post, one study from 1966 examined how fish reacted to the contaminated waters of Snow Creek. The researchers found that “all 25 fish lost equilibrium and turned on their sides in 10 seconds and all were dead in 3 1/2 minutes” and concluded that creek has been made “extremely toxic” by the wasted dumped there by Monsanto.

The scientific community continued its examination of the devastating environmental effects of PCBs after the federal ban. The results are all conclusive, showing that the widely used chemical substance is highly toxic and dangerous. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry summarizes these findings by saying that PCBs are particularly harmful due to the fact that it doesn’t break down easily and can continue to exist in the environment for a long time. It can also easily spread by affecting the wildlife living in affected areas. Smaller animals contaminated with PCB risk contaminating the predators that hunt them for food. As a result, PCBs tend to spread through the food chain and accumulate at very high levels.

For more information about PCBs and the pollution in the Anniston area, visit the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/21/business/700-million-settlement-in-alabama-pcb-lawsuit.html.

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Why you need A Water Filtration and Softening System in your Home

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Water | 0 comments

The water in Texas is hard. According to the American Water website, this means that it contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals such as magnesium, copper, even iron. It usually does not matter if it the water supply is from a deep well or the city reservoir; the water is basically the same anywhere in areas like Texas. Most people don’t realize that their water is hard, or what harm it can do to the home.

Hard water does not pose a danger to human health unless the ground water has been contaminated or there is a leak in the pipes that lets in harmful pathogens. However, it does lead to some problems at home such as cleansers that do not foam or appliances that use water that easily break down. Signs of hard water include water spots in glassware, yellowish stains on clothes, unsightly rings around drains and toilets, dry hair and skin, and clogged drains.

The yellow tinge on clothes and stains on water fixtures and sink are due to the dissolved manganese or iron in the water. They can be well nigh impossible to remove without expensive and probably toxic chemicals.

Clogged pipes and dry skin and hair can be attributed t the accumulation of these minerals to form a scale. In water pipes in the home or appliances, they are a yellowish-white deposit that can be hard as rock and can only be removed effectively by replacing the pipes, often by hiring a professional.

People who have lived in Austin all their lives accept these things as a fact of life, but in fact they can do something about it. Water filtration and softening systems are designed specifically to minimize these effects in homes. It requires some investment to purchase and install these systems but they will pay for themselves in the long run.

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