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Poisoned Water

PBS Airdate: May 31, 2017

NARRATOR: In Flint, Michigan, officials try to save money by changing the city’s water source, but instead endanger public health.

GINA LUSTER (Flint Resident): We were so sick.

LEEANNE WALTERS (Flint Resident): We were experiencing hair loss. We realized it wasn’t just our home.

SIDDHARTHA ROY (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): People are getting poisoned, because you’re not treating the water right.

NARRATOR: The pipes carrying the water are corroding, leaching lead into the system and putting thousands of children in danger.

DR. MONA HANNA-ATTISHA (Hurley Children’s Hospital): Once a child has lead in their blood, there is not much that you can do about it.

MARC EDWARDS (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): Even one swallow of that water would cause lead poisoning of a child, one swallow.

NARRATOR: How did this happen?

MARC EDWARDS: We were fighting the very agencies who were supposed to enforce the law.

NARRATOR: Can the people of Flint use science to fight back?

PROTESTOR: What do we want? Clean Water!

NARRATOR: Now, it’s a massive job to make Flint safe,…

GENERAL MICHAEL MCDANIEL (Flint FAST Start Program): There’s probably over 20,000 lead service lines in the city.

NARRATOR: …in Flint and around the country.

MARC EDWARDS: We’ve got millions of those lead pipes out there, might be in front of your house.

NARRATOR: Poisoned Water, right now, on NOVA.

FLINT GOVERNMENT OFFICALS: We need a countdown. Three, two, one, here’s to Flint!

NARRATOR: With the push of a button, the City of Flint, Michigan switches to a new source for its drinking water, the Flint River. That switch would soon become a disastrous combination of poisoned water and misuse of science.

GINA LUSTER: I remember the switch, because it was my daughter’s birthday. It was April 25th.

City and elected officials, a lot of them were saying, you know, “This is going to save us so much money,” and, “This is a good thing.” And we’re like, “Oh boy,” you know, holding our breath.

NARRATOR: There was nothing wrong with the city’s old water source, Lake Huron, so why make the switch at all? Mainly to save money.

CLAIRE MCCLINTON (Flint Resident): Flint is a blue collar, industrial city. We are the home of General Motors. We have experienced, like other cities and areas in the Rust Belt, a tremendous decline in jobs.

NARRATOR: Since the late 1950s, G.M. closed seven major facilities in the region. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. In 2011, with the city close to bankruptcy, Governor Rick Snyder stripped power from city officials and assigned a series of emergency managers to fix Flint’s financial crisis.

DAYNE WALLING (Mayor of Flint, Michigan, 2009–2015): An emergency manager can come into a community, take the powers of a mayor and the city council and make decisions.

DARNELL EARLEY (Flint Emergency Manager, 2013–2015, film clip): We want to maintain access to a clean, sustainable water source.

NARRATOR: For decades, Flint purchased treated water, at a premium price, from Detroit. Now, the emergency manager and city officials pursue a plan to save millions by building a pipeline to Lake Huron. It would take years to finish.

Until then, the city would draw water from the Flint River and treat it at the old Flint Water Plant. There were problems from the very start.

FELIPE GATICA (Flint Resident): Rusty water came out, as soon as we turned it on. So, right then and there, you know, my wife being pregnant, she was like, “We’re not gonna use the water.”

CLAIRE MCCLINTON: My clothes in the washing machine are smelling like bleach, smelling like rotten eggs.

LISA GOULD-MALISZEWSKI (Flint Resident): We started to get rashes, listlessness, muscle aches and pains.

LEEANNE WALTERS: Where’s the other piggy at?

NARRATOR: LeeAnne Walters was a stay-at-home mom with 3-year-old twin boys and a teen-aged daughter.

LEEANNE WALTERS: My hairdresser was very concerned, because my hair was thinning out, pretty badly. And then we started noticing it in my daughter and in other…you know, my sons and my husband.

When we had our first bout of brown water, we didn’t understand what was happening. We were told by the city that they were winterizing the system, but we had lived here for years, at that point. We had never experienced anything like that.

GAVIN WALTERS (LeeAnne Walters’ Son): Am I hot?

LEEANNE WALTERS: You are hot.

NARRATOR: These problems led Walters to ask detailed questions about how the water was being treated.

LEEANNE WALTERS: I started requesting documents from the city. I wanted to know about the water treatment plant and how they were treating the water, what chemicals they were using, what their raw water data was before they treated the water.

NARRATOR: With no training in civil engineering, this was her own independent investigation. Her first question: how does water get treated?

As LeeAnne Walters discovers, at the time of the switch, local authorities set out to treat water from the Flint River much the way any other city would.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Cincinnati, which has been treating river water for 200 years. In both Flint and Cincinnati, the water starts out essentially the same, straight from the river: brown and cloudy with particles.

JEFF SWERTFEGER (Greater Cincinnati Water Works): Now, you see the water is very cloudy and has all these particulates, things like clay, pieces of leaves, decaying sticks and things like that. But the particles are also things like bacteria. So, we want to make sure that we removes these particles in treatment.

NARRATOR: To remove the particles, both treatment plants use a coagulant that helps particles stick together. These bigger and heavier globs eventually sink to the bottom.

JEFF SWERTFEGER: We end up with a water that’s about like this. So, we actually remove about 90 to 95 percent of the solids in the water, just through that process.

NARRATOR: To remove additional solids and bacteria, the water moves through filtration beds, containing materials like sand. Flint’s beds are smaller than Cincinnati’s, but function much the same way.

JEFF SWERTFEGER: As the water trickles through the sand, then the sand will remove the rest of the particulates, the rest of the pathogens that could be left in the water. So then, when we, when we come out of the sand filters, that water looks very clear, very clean.

NARRATOR: The water might look clean, but coming from an industrialized river, it may still carry invisible toxins.

JEFF SWERTFEGER: There are chemical manufacturers all up and down the river, and some of that material can get into the water.

NARRATOR: To remove these, many cities use carbon filtration, similar to the charcoal in an aquarium or in a home water filter. At the end, finishing chemicals, like fluoride and chlorine, are added. As a rule, river water is more difficult to treat than lake water.

MICHAEL R. SCHOCK (Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development): River waters are just a big engineering challenge relative to a lake water source. Rainwater, snowmelt, run-off that goes into the river from agricultural sources…you can get road salts. River waters change very rapidly, and so, the entire treatment plant has to be geared to respond, within literally minutes, to hours of big changes in chemistry.

NARRATOR: Complex chemistry and a plant that hadn’t been fully operational in 50 years? Was Flint in over its head from the start?

Within a few months of the switch, not only are residents complaining of rashes and bad smells,…

NEWS AUDIO #1: Now, back in Flint, some folks are dealing with a new problem.

NARRATOR: …but the city is issuing public health warnings.

NEWS AUDIO #2: …bacteria that prompted a boil water advisory.

NEWS AUDIO #3: … needs to be boiled to kill of any bacteria.

NARRATOR: E. coli bacteria, a potentially dangerous pathogen that originates in fecal matter, is found in Flint’s water. To kill E. coli, Flint adds more and more chlorine. We use it for household cleaning and swimming pools, but over-chlorinated water can react with organic matter and create toxic byproducts. This starts to happen in Flint.

In October, another red flag.

NEWS AUDIO #4: Concerns over water quality in Flint are leading Genesee County’s biggest employer to shut off their taps.

NARRATOR: General Motors reports that Flint River water is corroding its engine parts.

WALTER SMITH-RANDOLPH (NBC Reporter, film clip): The issue here is the levels of chlorine in the water. It creates some sort of corrosion.

NARRATOR: G.M. switches back to Detroit water on its own. Meanwhile, city officials continue to insist the water is safe.

Ten months after the switch, the Walters family is facing worsening health problems.

LEEANNE WALTERS: We had taken the boys in for one of their check-ups. And for being almost four years old, they seemed abnormally small to me, for their age. And I was told, “Oh, this is normal. Twins are generally smaller.” My twins weren’t smaller. My twins were seven pounds, three weeks early, so to say that this was a normal twin thing didn’t sit right with me.

And the fact that every time Gavin would come in contact with the water, what it would do to his skin, and how badly he would break out…

The final straw was when they told us we had to start giving him Benadryl to take a bath. And then his skin would be so raw, and he’d be so broken out, and he would scream and cry so ungodly. We could not keep putting this child through what he was going through just to take a bath.

NARRATOR: LeeAnne isn’t the only one investigating Flint’s water. The city falls under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 5. The E.P.A. makes regulations to protect the environment, including the water supply.

Miguel Del Toral, a water regulation expert for E.P.A., has been following the events in Flint.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL (Environmental Protection Agency Region 5): I first started to get concerned when we just had a series of events that happened one after another. Beginning with the E. coli being found in the water, followed by high disinfection byproducts, and coupled with the severely discolored water, it was obvious to me that something was really wrong there.

NARRATOR: A key component of federal water regulation is the E.P.A.’s Lead and Copper Rule, which limits the amount of lead and copper allowed in drinking water before utilities must take action.

LEEANNE WALTERS: After, the city came in and started testing at my home and realized that I wasn’t a liar and that I wasn’t stupid and that the discolored water was happening almost on a daily basis in my home. And my first test came back at 104 parts per billion.

NARRATOR: One hundred and four parts per billion of lead.

LEEANNE WALTERS: The maximal allowed by E.P.A. is 15 parts per billion.

NARRATOR: Later, Leanne’s home will be called “ground zero,” known as the first critical case of dangerous lead levels in drinking water after the switch.

Walters contacts authorities in E.P.A. Region 5, who put her in touch with Del Toral.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL: I looked at the results from the Walters’ home. First result was 104 parts per billion, the second was 397 parts per billion, but it was looked at as an isolated problem.

NARRATOR: Del Toral and Walters are right to be concerned. Even the ancient Romans, who used lead for plumbing, knew it was toxic, though they didn’t understand why. Today, we do.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the University of Cincinnati have been following children exposed to lead into adulthood. It’s the longest running study of its kind in the world.

DR. KIM CECIL (Cincinnati Lead Study): You nervous? A little bit?

NARRATOR: Dr. Kim Cecil is an investigator for the Cincinnati Lead Study.

DR. KIM CECIL: So, lead tricks the body into thinking it’s calcium. Whenever lead has got into your body, primarily through ingestion, it goes and hides where calcium should be, in the bones and in the cells of the brain.

Visualize a neuron. There’s the neuron that’s sending the signal and then another that’s receiving the signal, and, typically, calcium is in that gap.

NARRATOR: Calcium is essential for neurons to communicate, but when a child is exposed to lead, lead gets in that gap and blocks the flow of calcium. Without calcium, synapses get weaker and brain function suffers.

KIM CECIL: The average I.Q. of the Cincinnati lead study is 86. It should be 100 in a typically developing population.

NARRATOR: Lead can disrupt brain growth and even lead to shrinkage or volume loss in brain tissue.

KIM CECIL: I can give you, kind of, a hint of volume loss. You can see these ventricles look plump, because there’s less brain. From this analysis, I can tell you that most of that volume loss is in the frontal lobe. And that region of the brain is responsible for what makes us the most human. It controls our decision-making, our ability to pay attention, our ability to plan, to make judgment, to evaluate rewards, all the things that we need in life to be successful.

NARRATOR: Lead can cause harm wherever it ends up in the body, and lead poisoning can even be passed to the next generation.

KIM CECIL: If you’re a pregnant woman, exposed to lead when you were a child, that lead is stored in your bones. And when your body needs calcium for the developing fetus, it’s pulling lead out of the bone instead of calcium, in many cases.

NARRATOR: LeeAnne Walters’ drinking water has extremely high levels of lead, but where is it coming from?

Marc Edwards, a professor of environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, would play an important role in the story of Flint’s water.

MARC EDWARDS: Lead gets into drinking water almost exclusively from pipes. There are very few cases where there’s lead in water leaving the treatment plant.

NARRATOR: Edwards knows a lot can happen after the water leaves the treatment plant. In American cities, water flows through networks of underground pipes: first, through city water mains, up to 10 feet in diameter, typically made of iron. From the mains, smaller service lines carry water to individual homes and businesses. And, in Flint, a lot of those service lines are made of lead.

MARC EDWARDS: It used to be the law in some cities that that pipe had to be made of 100 percent pure lead. And so we’ve got millions of those lead pipes out there around the country, might be in front of your house.

NARRATOR: And it’s not just the service lines that can bring lead into your home.

MARC EDWARDS: After it goes into the house, oftentimes, in the basement, there’s three additional sources of lead in plumbing. One is lead in brass, which is the faucets and brass valves; galvanized iron had lead in it; and then you also had lead solder, which is a glue that’s used to connect metal pipes together. So, that’s how the water picks up lead, right before it comes out into your glass.

NARRATOR: If there is so much lead in our plumbing, why aren’t we all lead-poisoned? The answer lies in the complex chemical reactions that go on between the pipe itself and the water flowing through it.

MIKE SCHOCK: Inside the pipe, as the water goes through, it reacts. Chemical reactions take place with the plumbing material, and this begins to build up kind of a protective coating, what we call a “scale.”

NARRATOR: This protective scale is crucial. It becomes a barrier that prevents lead from leaching into the water.

As scientists at the E.P.A.’s office of research and development reveal, this protective scale can be made of up to 90 percent lead.

MIKE SCHOCK: Most people don’t expect that there’s actually a lot of lead in the scale. It’s not a very good joke, but we often say that you are drinking water through lead painted straws, because these are the minerals that were in lead paint, and yet they’re lining your drinking water pipe.

You’re using lead to protect yourself from lead.

NARRATOR: To control pipe corrosion, water utilities often add a chemical that helps build up the scale and protect the water. This is so critical, that E.P.A.’s Lead and Copper Rule requires cities with over 50,000 people to have what’s called “corrosion control treatment” in place.

The question is has the City of Flint been using corrosion control?

LEEANNE WALTERS: I had requested, from the City of Flint, one of their monthly operational reports. And I was going through that, and I was looking at what chemicals they were using in our water. And I wasn’t seeing anything they were using for an anti-corrosion.

NARRATOR: An anxious Walters reaches out to Miguel Del Toral.

LEEANNE WALTERS: And so I had called Miguel, and I told him I wasn’t seeing orthophosphates, anything that should say, “Hey, there’s a corrosion control in here.” And so he asked me to read him the document, and I did. He asked me to read it to him again. We went through this three or four times.

And so he’s like, “Nope, that doesn’t sound right. You need to, can you please send that to me?” And so I emailed it to him. And then he called me back, and then he said, “Oh, my god, they’re breaking a federal law. They’re not using any corrosion controls.”

NARRATOR: On his own, Del Toral had already contacted M.D.E.Q., the Michigan environmental agency, to see if Flint had implemented corrosion control.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL: Early on, we received an email from the D.E.Q. that, basically, indicated that the system had corrosion control in place.

NARRATOR: After Walter’s discovery, Del Toral emailed M.D.E.Q. to ask again about corrosion control.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL: The city, at that point, told us that the system did not have corrosion control in place.

I thought that was pretty incredible, that they would not. The public health implications of not having corrosion control and having lead lines in the system, was, was really weighing on me, at that point.

MIKE SCHOCK: If you don’t add the corrosion inhibitor when you should have it, the result’s going to be, you’ll have much higher lead levels or copper levels or what your other metals are in that distribution system.

NARRATOR: The power of corrosion control can be seen with the naked eye. At Virginia Tech, Amy Pruden compares Flint’s water to water from the Detroit system. She places a small iron coil, to represent the iron water mains, into each sample.

AMY PRUDEN (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): In this case, we’re going to go ahead and let this water react overnight. And what we’ll see is that, with time, the more corrosive Flint water will react with the iron.

NARRATOR: With no corrosion control in place, the Flint water corrodes and rusts the iron much faster.

AMY PRUDEN: And we’ll also see the water begin to become orange and cloudy, because of the rust.

NARRATOR: The corrosive water not only rusted Flint’s iron water mains, but it also attacked the scale on the lead lines servicing individual homes.

MIKE SCHOCK: So now, because this water was much more corrosive, the scale changed, it saw a different chemical environment, and the scale began to flake off and deteriorate from all types of plumbing, including the lead. And then the lead on that surface of the pipe dissolved rapidly into the water.

NARRATOR: Over several months, protests had been building.

LEEANNE WALTERS: We were watching people hold up bags of hair, and we were experiencing hair loss; people showing off their rashes, we had rashes. They were holding up jugs of water that looked, not as bad as this one, but discolored.

So, at that point, we realized it wasn’t just our home. It wasn’t specific to us. And knowing that there’s something happening to my children, and that my children were being harmed…you can mess with me all you want, but don’t mess with my kids.

It wasn’t just about my kids, though, it was everybody’s kids. You’re hurting all the kids in my neighborhood that I love. All the kids that live in the City of Flint. And so, that wasn’t okay with me.

NARRATOR: Fourteen months after the switch, Miguel Del Toral’s emails reveal frustration at what he sees as his own agency’s unwillingness to take charge of the growing crisis. He does something that catches E.P.A. Region 5 leadership by surprise: he writes a preliminary report on the situation in Flint, sharing it with LeeAnne Walters, who gives it to the press.

MARC EDWARDS: The memo laid out the danger to Flint’s residents and children, that they were not being protected by Federal Corrosion Control laws. There was one child who’d been lead poisoned, and in all likelihood, there were many others.

NARRATOR: But the memo fails to inspire the kind of action Flint residents are looking for.

BRAD WURFEL (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Spokesperson, audio clip): Anyone who’s concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax.

NARRATOR: E.P.A. Region 5 director Susan Hedman apologizes to Flint’s mayor for its release.

MARC EDWARDS: Then the mayor of Flint went on T.V., drinking the water, telling everyone in Flint the water was safe to drink.

NARRATOR: Later, according to N.P.R., a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, M.D.E.Q., will describe Del Toral as a “rogue employee,” and, according to LeeAnne Walters, another M.D.E.Q. official discredits his report.

LEEANNE WALTERS: Liane Shekter-Smith, head of drinking water for M.D.E.Q., told me that Miguel had been handled, that his report was flawed, and there would be no final report.

NARRATOR: By now, Walters’ son Gavin has been diagnosed with lead poisoning.

LEEANNE WALTERS: Well, I had called Marc in tears. I was just bawling my eyes out, and I’m like, “What do we do? How do we stop this? We just can’t sit by and let all these kids be poisoned. It’s too late for my family. What about everybody else’s kids?

NARRATOR: Edwards was already working with Walters to measure the level of lead in her water.

MARC EDWARDS: I’ll never forget calling her on the phone and telling her how to fill up 30 bottles. And so, she was at this sink here, filling up the bottles, and she Federal Expressed the samples back to us. And it took us a few days to analyze them, and when I got those results, it was about midnight. I was in my easy chair, and I almost, I almost fell out of it, and my heart skipped a couple of beats, because it, it was the worst lead and water contamination I’d seen in 25 years.

NARRATOR: Virginia Tech researcher Jeffrey Parks evaluates the water samples from the Walters’ home.

JEFFREY PARKS (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): What we found was that there was a lot of lead everywhere, for the most part. The first sample was over 2,000. And as we flip to sample 20, which is 20 liters of water being flushed through her kitchen sink, that sample read 13,200 parts per billion of lead.

Five thousand is considered hazardous waste, so we’re almost three times the level of hazardous waste in that one sample.

NARRATOR: Poisoned water, poisoned science, government inaction, lives of children and families under threat, to Marc Edwards, the story unfolding in Flint is all too familiar.

MARC EDWARDS: I knew something like Flint was inevitable, based on 10 years’ prior experience in Washington D.C.

NEWS AUDIO #5: For the residents of the Nation’s Capital tonight, there is a concern over a potential danger at home.

MARC EDWARDS: From 2001 to 2010, they suffered the worst lead contamination event in modern U.S. history.

NARRATOR: The water crisis in the Nation’s Capital started in the early 2000s, when the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, WASA, and the Army Corps of Engineers made a water treatment switch. And, like Flint, they failed to add corrosion control chemicals to the water.

CAROL SCHWARTZ (D.C. City Councilor, audio file): WASA apparently has uncovered…elevated levels of lead in D.C. tap water and apparently has been aware, for some time, that the problem could be widespread.

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (United States House of Representatives, film clip): We want to know what actually happened.

MARC EDWARDS: Congress was mad because lead was high. People were marching in the streets. They were out of their mind with anger.

NARRATOR: D.C. residents had been drinking lead-contaminated water for almost three years before the public was notified.

Elin Betanzo was a water engineer at the E.P.A.

ELIN BETANZO (Northeast-Midwest Institute): Even though we have a drinking water regulation that directly addresses lead in drinking water, the Lead and Copper Rule, my boss asked me, “Do you think people were actually hurt here? We need to find out if children get poisoned by lead through drinking water.”

NARRATOR: Betanzo began her research but never completed it.

ELIN BETANZO: I was given a leadership role on a different project, but sometimes, when I look back on it, I wonder if I was moved because I was asking too many questions about what was happening in Washington, D.C.

NARRATOR: Then, in 2004, the Centers for Disease Control reported that children in D.C. who had been drinking the contaminated water did not have high enough levels of lead in their blood to cause concern.

MARC EDWARDS: The claim was that kids could drink any amount a lead in water and it wouldn’t hurt them. And that story spread nationally, internationally, did all kinds of harm to kids. That’s the danger of bad science.

NARRATOR: Edwards challenged the C.D.C.’s findings, and over the next six years, spent thousands of dollars of his own funds and demanded scores of documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

MARC EDWARDS: It’s not so much the initial crime, it’s when people read these papers and believe it, act on it. And then you had cheating all around the country, because it didn’t matter how much lead in water your kid drank.

NARRATOR: Edwards discovered that thousands of blood test results had been lost. And many of the individuals tested were already drinking filtered or bottled water. A congressional investigation agreed: there were grave problems with the scientific integrity of the study.

ELIN BETANZO: I was just horrified that, you know, finally, there is confirmation that everything that had been shared between 2004 and 2010 was wrong. And part of me felt like I should’ve been able to see that and intervene.

NARRATOR: Marc Edwards estimated that more than 40,000 children under the age of two or in the womb were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the water. Many could be left with lifelong problems.

The experience had a huge impact on him.

MARC EDWARDS: You’re questioning these agencies. And to see them attack you, and to see your friends leave you and your career destroyed, but the public welfare depends on you getting the truth out.

NARRATOR: Over a decade after the D.C. crisis, Siddartha Roy, a Ph.D. student of Edwards’, knows how affected he was by the ordeal.

SID ROY: It radicalized him. So, that, kind of, gave him a playbook, a set of tools that we were ready to deploy in case another D.C. happened.

NARRATOR: To Edwards, Flint is the next D.C.

MARC EDWARDS: All the science was done, essentially, before I got involved.

LeeAnne was the one who figured out that her children had been poisoned by the water. LeeAnne figured out, on her own, that the state actually had said that corrosion control was in place when it wasn’t there. And Miguel had checked into it and found out it was all true.

MARC EDWARDS: We were mainly involved in figuring out just how bad the problem was getting.

NARRATOR: Edwards hopes a citywide investigation of Flint’s water will force government agencies to finally take action. And for that, his playbook calls for willing bodies.

MARC EDWARDS: We needed a team of students to immediately go to Flint and start sampling the water.

SID ROY: So, the key to getting students to do their job is to feed them free pizza.

MARC EDWARDS: I sent out an email, requesting volunteers, and I used the bribe of free pizza. And I explained the situation: that I felt this entire city’s future was in danger.

SID ROY: He was going to launch a volunteer effort, and he asked if people were willing to volunteer, so we said yes.

MARC EDWARDS: It was us or nobody. This was a war.

NARRATOR: Marc and his students drive 550 miles from Blacksburg, Virginia, to Flint, to test the water and distribute sampling kits. Flint residents will have to follow a rigorous scientific protocol for the results to be valid.

MARC EDWARDS: What are you up to, 80? Okay, well only 200 more to go.

SID ROY: We wanted to make sure every resident gets how to actually sample their homes.

LEEANNE WALTERS: I made sure that there were 45 participants in each zip code, so we made this a statistical test, so we could prove that this was a citywide problem, not specific to one home or one zip code. We were given 300 kits.

I’m here for your water kit.

And within those 300 kits, we returned 277 kits in three weeks.

You have a great day.

Citizens testing their own water to prove that there’s a problem…no one’s ever done anything like that before.

SID ROY: The people of Flint really were desperate for answers.

GINA LUSTER: We were so sick. I mean, like, missing numerous days of work and school. And we did not know what the heck was wrong with us. I mean, just, severe fatigue and diarrhea and rashes and losing teeth and hair. And we were going to doctors and no one had an answer.

PROTESTER: I had to go in and pay a $512 water bill, for water that is making my family sick!

SID ROY: They had been protesting this water quality, and they were not getting anywhere. The city insisted everything was fine.

NARRATOR: By early September 2015, 17 months after the switch, this experiment in citizen science is yielding results. Hundreds of samples are collected by residents.

When analyzed by Virginia Tech, many show high lead levels, some six times higher than the Lead and Copper Rule allows.

Students begin calling homes with the highest lead levels, to warn residents not to use tap water without a filter.

An effective filter can remove up to 99 percent of lead and other metals.

SID ROY: I called up this woman who had very high lead and she asks us, “So how much does a filter cost?” And we’re like, “It’s $25.” And she goes, “Well, I’m on social welfare. There’s no way I can afford $25 in the next two months.” I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.

MICHAEL MOORE (filmmaker protesting, film clip): Let’s call this what it is. It’s not just a water crisis, it’s a racial crisis, it’s a poverty crisis.

PROTESTORS: Water is a human right. Fight, fight, fight!

MARC EDWARDS: We realized early on that we had to be investigative scientists.

NARRATOR: Edwards has another rule in his playbook: get hold of internal government documents to see what’s happening behind the scenes.

MARC EDWARDS: We knew what documents to ask for. We and we alone knew where the bodies were going to be buried.

SID ROY: Unknown to all of us, Marc was filing Freedom of Information Act requests left and right.

NARRATOR: On September 15, 2015, Virginia Tech researchers publically present their findings: Flint’s water has dangerously high levels of lead.

MARC EDWARDS (film clip): We estimate that the water in about 5,000 Flint homes is over standards set by the World Health Organization for lead in water.

LEEANNE WALTERS (film clip): This evidence shows that Flint is not monitoring according to the Lead and Copper Rules given by the E.P.A. Basically, the bottom line is stop trying to come up with ways to hide the lead. You should be looking for the high lead; that is your job as the D.E.Q.

SID ROY: We left a very clear message that no matter what the state says, no matter what the city says, the science is clear on this, and no one should be drinking that water.

NARRATOR: But Michigan authorities, at M.D.E.Q., dispute Virginia Tech’s findings.

SID ROY: M.D.E.Q., says that the V.T research group led by Marc Edwards, they essentially can go to any city and they’ll find lead. Essentially, they pull the lead rabbit out of the hat.

MARC EDWARDS: Why is it that normal people sampling their water are finding all this lead, when the city and state, who are being paid to do this and determine if the water is safe, can’t seem to find any lead?

NARRATOR: The answer would be found in the emails and documents streaming in from Freedom of Information Act requests.

When the Virginia Tech team and other investigators scour the documents, they uncover disturbing problems with the state’s testing protocols.

MARC EDWARDS: And so, when it came to Flint, they used every trick in the book. They used pre-cleaning of pipes the night before sampling. They told consumers to clean out their lines for five minutes.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL: By including an instruction for residents to pre-flush the tap before they collect compliance samples, what that, in effect, does is results in less lead being captured than is actually there. And so it makes the public water system look like they have low lead levels, when in fact they may not.

MARC EDWARDS: On top of that, incredibly, they had samples from LeeAnne Walter’s house. All those samples were thrown into the garbage. They said that LeeAnne’s house was not an approved sampling site, and, therefore, they weren’t going to count any of those samples.

SID ROY: And I’m in shock again. I’m witnessing engineers trying to artificially reduce the actual numbers by manipulating where you sample.

NARRATOR: But a week later, new evidence emerges that authorities cannot ignore. It begins with water engineer Elin Betanzo, who’d been at the E.P.A. during the D.C. crisis. By coincidence, she is now working in southeast Michigan and reading about the crisis in Flint.

ELIN BETANZO: I had seen a news report where there is a memo written by Miguel Del Toral from the E.P.A. Region 5 office, and I used to work with Miguel. I have so much respect for Miguel. And so, when I saw his name on this memo, and I read it and I understood it, I was scared. I was scared for the people of Flint.

So, I thought back to Washington, D.C., and I thought about what happened there and I was thinking, “I know what’s happening here. What can I do?”

NARRATOR: A few weeks later, Betanzo is at dinner with her friend Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician with access to crucial blood data at Flint’s Hurley Children’s Hospital.

ELIN BETANZO: So then, like, my brain is spinning, and I said “Do you have access to all the medical records at your hospital? You’ve got to do a study. You’ve got to look to see if lead levels in children’s blood has increased, from before they switched the water.”

She got started on her study the next day.

MONA HANNA-ATTISHA: That night was the first night that I stopped sleeping, because anybody who knows anything about lead stops sleeping. And that really, kind of, started my, almost, crusade to find out if that lead in the water was getting into the bodies of our children.

This is not something you mess around with. We are never ever, ever supposed to expose a child to lead, because once a child has it in their blood, there is not much that you can do about it.

NARRATOR: Dr. Hanna-Attisha begins a systematic study of the amounts of lead in children’s blood.

PHLEBOTOMIST (Hurley Children’s Hospital): How old are you? You are doing real good.

MONA HANNA-ATTISHA: What we did is we compared lead levels before the water switch in 2013, and we compared them to lead levels after the water switch in 2015. We were really only looking at one thing: was the percentage of children with lead levels at or above five micrograms per deciliter.

When we saw the results we weren’t surprised, but we were heartbroken. How could this have happened?

We saw that the percentage of children with elevated lead levels—this, this five or greater—had doubled after the water switch. And in some neighborhoods, where, where the water lead levels done by Marc Edwards were the highest, were the same neighborhoods that the children’s blood lead levels had increased the most.

But right away, the, the state’s machinery began to dismiss me. They began to dismiss the research, and that the state’s number didn’t add up to my numbers. They said that I was causing near-hysteria.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, because for 18 months, the people of Flint were dismissed. And the moms were dismissed, and the activists were dismissed, and the pastors, and the journalists and the E.P.A. scientists were dismissed.

NARRATOR: But a week later, Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at Michigan’s Department of Health, concludes the research is sound. She is pivotal in convincing other agencies of the importance of this study.

DR. EDEN WELLS (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, film clip): Do we know how many children will actually have a long-term effect from this exposure? We do not.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Clean water! When do we want it ? Now!

PROTESTER: There are babies that are sick that will have to deal with illnesses for the rest of their life. You have people that are in hospitals for multiple months, while our politicians are sitting back playing politics.

NARRATOR: And lead is not the only danger in Flint’s waters.

NEWS AUDIO #6: … a deadly spike in something called Legionnaires’ disease.

NARRATOR: During the crisis, Flint suffers one of the largest outbreaks in U.S. history of Legionnaires’ disease.

NEWS AUDIO #7: State health officials say the number of deaths from Legionnaire’s disease in the Flint area has now grown.

NARRATOR: One of the deadliest water-borne illnesses in the developed world, it’s a severe form of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. Experts suspect that the legionella outbreak was triggered by Flint’s water treatment.

AMY PRUDEN: To our knowledge, what happened in Flint is really the first example of where lack of corrosion control can trigger a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

NARRATOR: According to Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards, chlorine added to Flint’s water should have killed off legionella, but without corrosion control, Flint’s water filled up with rusty iron. Chlorine reacted with rust and was used up, and with no chlorine to stop it, legionella thrived inside Flint’s water pipes. Ninety people were infected; 12 of them died.

In October 2015, 18 months after the switch, Flint finally changes back to the Detroit water system and once again receives properly treated water from Lake Huron. But it will take many months for Flint’s water pipes to rebuild the protective scale that’s been stripped away.

The Virginia Tech study concludes that over 40 percent of Flint homes had elevated levels of lead in their water, and as many as 8,000 children under the age of six were exposed.

DAYNE WALLING: A rise in the number of children with elevated blood lead levels was devastating for our community.

NARRATOR: Crucial evidence from Freedom of Information Act filings by Marc Edwards, the A.C.L.U. and others reveals the failure of Michigan’s water and health officials to protect the public.

Thirteen criminal indictments follow, including emergency managers, and officials from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Health and Human Services and the Flint Water Plant.

BILL SCHUETTE (Michigan Attorney General, film clip): Flint was a casualty of arrogance, absence of accountability, shirking responsibility.

NARRATOR: Charges included tampering with evidence, conspiracy and willful neglect of duty.

Susan Hedman, head of E.P.A. Region 5, resigns under criticism.

DAYNE WALLING: One of the emails, from the E.P.A. said, “Is Flint the kind of community we should go to bat for?” And you know, I just felt sick to my stomach to think that my family, my neighborhood, my city somehow counts less?

COURT OFFICER AT A HEARING: … the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

DAYNE WALLING: And then later, the state Department of Environmental Quality admits that they had misinterpreted the Lead and Copper Rule, that the orthophosphate should’ve been ordered from the beginning.

KEITH CREAGH (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, news clip): Corrosion treatment should’ve been required by the Department of Environmental Quality.

DAYNE WALLING: That’s not how government’s supposed to work. It’s not how science is supposed to work.

NARRATOR: Mayor Dayne Walling, who drank the water on T.V. during the crisis, is voted out of office.

Over a year and a half after the switch, officials declare a state of emergency. So far, federal and state agencies have provided over 300-million dollars to help the city, but some estimate that as much as a billion-and-a-half dollars will be needed to upgrade the water system and provide services for families and children affected by the crisis.

For now, bottled water is a way of life.

CHERKEETHA LOVE (Flint Water Response Team): We’re passing out water for the residents of Flint, for us. We all need the water, because we have lead and different things going on with our water.

LEEANNE WALTERS: I tell people if they don’t believe Flint is that bad, “Turn off the water to your house—go in your basement or wherever your shutoff is, turn it off for the entire week—and, and see how it is to live.” My children will never drink the water from a tap ever again. My family will never, ever, ever trust a water source again, just because we’re told to.

GINA LUSTER: I mean, the amount of water bottles just my small family goes through would shock the average person. Easily, you can go through a case of water just with one dinner.

We didn’t think we would be living years like that. We thought this would be over.

When they did that switch, they did it for financial …?

VEO LUSTER (Water Distribution Specialist): Yeah, it was financial.

NARRATOR: Gina Lusters’ father is a water distribution specialist helping to replace pipes in Flint.

VEO LUSTER: Two of the grandchildren had exceedingly high levels. The youngest one is just, what, eight now, so she’s been drinking it, you know, she don’t know any other water system, you know?

NARRATOR: Flint is now working to replace about 20,000 service lines, but how many more Flints are out there? A report estimates that over 18-million Americans were served by water systems in violation of the Lead and Copper Rule in 2015.

MICHAEL MCDANIEL: This is going to happen over and over again. We’re seeing it here. We’re going to see it across the rest of the country. Any older industrial city where you’ve got older service lines and older mains that have been there for 80, 90 years. If we aren’t replacing those on a regular basis, we’re going to have the same problems here.

MIKE SCHOCK: It’s going to take time. There are literally millions of pipes. We don’t know how many lead pipes there are, but it’s many millions. And this is going to take decades and decades to do.

The interim solution is we need stringent corrosion control and very proactive monitoring.

NARRATOR: Some of the same agencies criticized during the crisis, are now supporting the work to heal Flint.

MARC EDWARDS: I saw how hard E.P.A. and M.D.E.Q. have worked to help get Flint fixed since January of 2016. It’s been amazing.

NARRATOR: Today Marc Edwards and local authorities agree that the water in Flint is safe to drink with a filter.

VEO LUSTER: I get emotional when I think about the kids, and…excuse me for a minute.

But, you know, as a licensed water professional in the State of Michigan, you see, you read about, you hear about, you talk about the long-term effects of the bacteria, the heavy metals, the lead, you know what it can do. And you just hope, by the grace of god, that the people are okay.

MIGUEL DEL TORAL: From the standpoint of science, once you start to corrupt the science, the validity of the results that you’re trying to present get called into question. If you corrupt the science, in a sense, you corrupt your agency. And once the public loses trust, it’s going to be very difficult to try to regain that trust. And it may take a long time.

You all are being conned into diverting your attention away from the greatest threat to life. The greatest threat to our planet is the building of this ruling class capitalist munitions branch.
 
So many fixate on the Pentagon and political puppets but few examine the powerful capitalists who control it. They’ve been consolidating their power, if you have not noticed. Few bother studying them and the markets they profit from by robbing the working class blind and destroying them every step of the way. As long as the working class ignore who is truly running this nation and expose their crimes, nothing will ever change.
 
“DuPont chemical company, which until recently operated a site in Parkersburg that is more than 35 times the size of the Pentagon” – The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare
 
Dow Chemical and DuPont Have Completed a $130 Billion Merger.
 
“Nuclear weapons contractors repeatedly stifle whistleblowers, auditors say. The Energy Department lets its private contractors police themselves, producing “chilled work environments” in which employees who find wrongdoing have no useful path for complaints”
 
Dow Chemical and General Electric have yet been held financially accountable for damages to communities or cleaned up the superfund sites they created from the last arms race. Dow Chemical and General Electric are two of those concealed institutions that our government serves with clearly no oversight and none on the horizon.
 
 
And since our Trillion dollar weapons upgrade is being created under these current conditions, I’m sure this time we are far more likely to nuke ourselves in the process of this “upgrade.”
 
“Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with people who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.”
 
When will we ever learn that putting power in the hands of those only interested in greed will destroy us all and think nothing of it.
 
 
Why?
 
“The United States must remain at the frontier of nuclear technology, even while it negotiates about restraint in its use. From the perspective of the past century’s absence of a major power conflict, it could be argued that nuclear weapons have made the world less prone to war.” – World Order by Kissinger (page 340 – 341.) & Hillary agreed because Kissinger is the policy voice of the Deep State. “Henry Kissinger’s book makes a compelling case for why we have to do it and how we can succeed.” – Hillary Clinton.
 
American psychos….
 
The United States is currently appropriating $1 Trillion dollars over the next 30 years to upgrade our nuclear weapons program because that’s apparently a high priority for us here in the states…. or should I say Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, and company need a huge subsidy infusion of billions of dollars. I wonder why? Could it possibly be because some of their current investments are in trouble because consumers realize their products are actually destroying them?
 
 
The other 9/11 you’ve never heard about…
 
“Department of Energy officials deny this, but it’s likely that a criticality — a nuclear chain reaction — occurred during the 1957 fire…. Elements such as strontium-90 and cesium-135 never occur except in the case of a nuclear chain reaction. Based on soil and water testing completed decades later that detected the presence of these elements, some experts — despite the government’s insistence that there has never been a criticality at Rocky Flats — believe that a criticality accident producing various fission products may have occurred on September 11, 1957.
 
But the worst thing about the fire was that no one — except for officials with the Department of Energy and Rocky Flats (then operated by Dow Chemical) — knew about it. There was no public evacuation, no warning, nothing in the press. Local citizens had no idea. This fire was deliberately hidden from public view. People were exposed to plutonium and other contaminants without their knowledge, although officials at the plant were aware of what was going on.
 
COHEN: How long did it take for the government, and the private entities involved, to admit to what happened on September 11, 1957? When did it dawn on people, in the area and elsewhere, that this great event had occurred?
 
IVERSEN: Thirteen years passed before the public began to learn that this fire occurred and had contaminated the Denver metro area — and it took another devastating fire to force the government and the private companies that operated Rocky Flats to reveal the truth….
 
“For some, the story of Rocky Flats, one of the most disgraceful episodes in the annals of America’s interaction with the atom, is ancient history. For others, it’s a current event. For Kristen Iversen, it’s a burden she lives with, physically and psychologically, every day of her life. Iversen is the author of a new book on the subject — Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, a striking tale of innocence in a time and a place of great danger. It’s the story of an American family buying into the myth of nuclear safety, a story of an abuse of trust for which our government still hasn’t fully atoned.”
 
Nuclear Energy feeds into all fluoride-based capitalist markets.
 
The Fluoride Deception: How a Nuclear Waste Byproduct Made Its Way Into the Nation’s Drinking Water – A new book, titled “The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson examines the background of the fluoridation debate. According to Bryson, research challenging fluoride’s safety was either suppressed or not conducted in the first place. He says fluoridation is a triumph not of medical science but of US government spin.
 
* Christopher Bryson, has reported science news stories for many media outlets including the BBC, Christian Science Monitor and the Discovery Channel. He was part of an investigative team at Public Television that won a George Polk Award for “The Kwitny Report.”
 
“Sodium fluoride is used as a rat poison for a long time.”
…In essence, the uranium and fluoride that was necessary for enriching of the uranium and produced this by-product and obviously this waste of fluoride in my mind it sounds very similar to the issue of depleted uranium , again, being a by-product of the nuclear industry and the need then to sanitize these waste products from our nuclear industry, for the public to get rid of them in other words , right? So, it’s—could you talk a little bit about the role of Edward Bernays, ,the father of propaganda or public relations in America in convincing the public about this?
 
CHRISTOPHER BRYSON: Yes, the Manhattan Project with the World War II, very secret project to make the atomic bomb. I went to industry archives, a very large, significant industry archive out at the University of Cincinnati and found that the very same health researcher , Dr. Robert Kehoe who headed up the laboratory at the University Of Cincinnati, he spent his entire career telling the United States’ public health community that adding lead to gasoline was safe. That’s now being discredited. He was also one of two leading public health scientists saying that adding fluoride to water was safe and good for children. So, that’s the—some of the material that this book gets into.”
 
 
Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCS) The Devil We Know
Chasing Molecules excerpt explaining the ethylene tree branch of perfluorinated compounds. It’s our whole economic model that needs to be re-designed. Munition technologies have evolved significantly.
 
(Always remember that DuPont’s nickname was “The Merchants of Death” in the early 1900s for a reason)
 
Chapter 7: Out of the Frying Pan
Excerpt on Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)
 
“This scenario of new materials with comparable intrinsic hazards being offered as alternatives to restricted products is now being repeated with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). This is a family of compounds from an alphabet soup of names that are used to create non-stick, stain-repellant, and waterproof surfaces and films for both industrial and consumer applications—compounds so widely used that the EPA describes human exposure to these chemicals as “ubiquitous.” Perfluorinated compounds also provide an illustration of how difficult it is under our current chemical regulatory system to find out what is in a commercially marketed synthetic chemical even when it’s being used in contact with food or in products that touch our bodies. They also clearly demonstrate why it’s so important to ask questions about new materials’ biochemical behavior, molecular structure, and behavior—and not simply about performance and expedient production—as they’re being designed for a pharmaceutical or a frying pan.
 
Among this class of synthetic chemicals that we’ve been wrapping around food, sitting on, and wearing are substances that have been linked to impaired liver and thyroid function, immune and reproductive system problems, altered production of genetic proteins involved in cellular development, to tumor production in lab animals, and to elevated cholesterol levels in children, as well as to changes in metabolism, including how the body processes fat. These compounds are endocrine-disrupting properties and have been linked to cancer.
 
These perfluorinated chemicals—also sometimes referred to as perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) or fluoropolymers—are physically long chain molecules, made up predominantly of carbons and fluorines, in which the carbons are surrounded by fluorine atoms. (In chemistry, the prefix “per” describes a molecule that has the maximum amount of a particular element for its configuration. In the case of PFCs, each molecule has as many fluorine atoms attached as that structure can support.) Their varying lengths and structures depend on how, by whom, and for what purpose they are manufactured. This combination of elements makes strong, flexible, liquid-resistant, and slick-surfaced polymers. They are used as photoresist compounds in semiconductor manufacture, as fire-fighting foams, as insulation in plastics that sheathe wires and cables, as grease-resistant coating on pizza boxes, takeout food containers, microwave popcorn bags, and other packaging, including the support cards in candy and bakery items. They’re also used to make carpets, upholstery, and clothing fabrics (including leather) stain- and water-resistant—and are even added to toilet cleaner.
 
Among these compounds is one known as perfluorooctane sulfonate (FPOS). PFOA—made with eight carbon atoms and sometimes referred to as C8—is an ingredient of yet another per fluorinated compound called polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE) that made up the original formulation of the products sold under the names Teflon, Gore-Tex, and Scotchguard. The structure that makes PFOA, PFOS, and PFTE so strong and durable also means that they resist degradation in the environment. They do so to such an extent that, like other persistent pollutants, they are chemical globetrotters. They are being found in Arctic animals, both fish and mammals—including polar bears—as well as in ice and snow. They’ve been found in Lake Ontario trout, in bird eggs collected along the Baltic Sea, in plant tissue, in mink liver, and in threatened and endangered sea turtles along the southern coast of the United States, including the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, now the scarcest of loggerhead sea turtles. Levels of PFOA and PFOS measured in sea otters along California coast reported in 2006 were the highest yet found in sea mammals.
 
While these fluoropolymers and the smaller molecules into which they break down are being found in remote locations and far from where their products were used or made, they are also being detected in human bio monitoring studies all around the world. Testing by the 3M Company—until 2000, itself a major PFOA producer—found PFCs in 95 precent of the Americans it surveyed, while researchers from the Center for Disease Control found such compounds in 98 percent of the Americans it tested. These compounds have even been found in fetal cord blood of newborn babies. These babies, part of a study conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, were also predominately low-birth-weight babies, suggesting that there may be a connection between PFC exposure and prenatal development. Subsequent studies found similar incidence of low birth weights in babies born to mothers in Denmark carrying PFOA in their blood. As has been observed in some PBDE studies, PFC levels in children taken from biomonitoring studies appeared to be higher that those in adults in the same studies. Given that PFOA can last years and that reexposure is almost certain under current conditions, it’s not surprising that children have been found to carry proportionally higher loads of these chemicals than do adults.
 
There are so many of these compounds at large in the environment and PFCs last so long that PFOA has now been detected in deep ocean environments in the Labrador Sea, which occupies a critical location in global ocean circulation and could send contaminants into either European or North American Arctic, thus extending their routes of potential exposure to people and wildlife. Factor in subsistence global warming in the far north and it’s likely these contaminants’ potential impacts will be felt more directly than in more southerly locations….
 
In late 2008, PFOA and PFOS were found in sewage sludge used as fertilizer on agricultural fields used for cattle grazing near Decatur, Alabama, where there was fear that the meat itself might be contaminated. The chemicals are thought to have originated in wastewater from nearby chemical manufacturing plants. Similar cases of PFC contamination of waterways and sludge have been reported across the United States and elsewhere around the world.
 
Meanwhile, workers at plants that produce PFCs have routinely been testing positive for these compounds. Such discoveries date back to 1978. Testing of DuPont workers done throughout the 1980s and the 1990s found elevated blood levels of PFOA and employees at DuPont’s West Virginia plant were found—in company studies—also to have higher than normal rates of leukemia, heart problems, atherosclerosis, and aneurysms. Women at a 3M plant who’d worked with these chemicals reported instances of birth defects in their children in the early 1980s, and in 1997 traces of PFOA and PFOS were reported in donated blood supplies…
 
There turn out to be a number of nonstick cookware lines now being sold under the banner of “PFOA-free.”…. There are a number of these PTFE-based “PFOA-free” products now being made by DuPont and other PFC manufacturers.
 
How, I wondered, could a material be “PFOA-free” yet made with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFR)? For an explanation, I spoke to Olga Nadeinko, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group. These compounds are big, Christmas tree-like polymers, she says, explaining that “the carbon backbone of the molecule is the trunk of the tree and the side chains with the fluorine atoms are the branches.” PFOA is also known as C8 because it has eight carbon atoms from which its fluorine branches stem. One of the new perfluorinated compounds being used as an alternative to PFOA or C8, she explains is a compound known as perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)—or C6, so named for the six carbon atoms in the molecules that make up the backbone or tree trunk of this PFC.
 
“What happens,” Nadeinko continued, “is that eventually the branches break off the tree” and these branches that form six-, seven-, and eight-carbon-chain molecules are among the perfluorinated compounds now being found in children and adults. “In the human body, PFOA can last two to fourteen years—on average five—and honestly, you don’t want it there,” says Nadeinko. And these fluorine branches, she points out, can break off PFC trees with six carbons in their initial formulation just as they can from those with eight carbons.
 
Yet DuPont, one of the several companies offering products based on C6 chemistry, states that these Capstone products “are based on short chain molecules that cannot break down to PFOA in the environment.” The technology used to produce this new product, we’re told, requires “negligible PFOA and PFOA precursor content.” While the company maintains that these products are not made with PFOA, it also says that it “believes that no one can substantiate statements that fluorotelomer products [the basis of chemistry] are ‘PFOA Free’ or have ‘Zero PFOA’ even if test results are below the limit of detection.” This circular statement would seem to indicate that while these products are being marketed as “PFOA-free,” they actually may contain—and therefore be made with—these compounds….
 
Toxic effects observed have resulted not only from C8 but also from exposure to C6, and it appears that very small amounts—in micro molar concentrations—can produce adverse effects… Scientists can now locate the precise genetic receptors where many such chemical interactions occur and have learned that certain synthetic chemicals have molecular compositions and structures that enable them to interact with the site where a hormone would bind. This has been discovered for a number of common synthetic chemicals, including bisphenol A and the other chemicals Bruce Blumberg of UC Irvine called “obesogens,” for dioxins, and for perfluorinated compounds.” – Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry by Elizabeth Grossman
 
The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare..
 
“At one point, the video cuts to a skinny red cow standing in hay. Patches of its hair are missing, and its back is humped — a result, Wilbur speculates, of a kidney malfunction. Another blast of static is followed by a close-up of a dead black calf lying in the snow, its eye a brilliant, chemical blue. ‘‘One hundred fifty-three of these animals I’ve lost on this farm,’’ Wilbur says later in the video. ‘‘Every veterinarian that I’ve called in Parkersburg, they will not return my phone calls or they don’t want to get involved. Since they don’t want to get involved, I’ll have to dissect this thing myself. … I’m going to start at this head.’’
 
The video cuts to a calf’s bisected head. Close-ups follow of the calf’s blackened teeth (‘‘They say that’s due to high concentrations of fluoride in the water that they drink’’), its liver, heart, stomachs, kidneys and gall bladder. Each organ is sliced open, and Wilbur points out unusual discolorations — some dark, some green — and textures. ‘‘I don’t even like the looks of them,’’ he says. ‘‘It don’t look like anything I’ve been into before.’’
 
Bilott watched the video and looked at photographs for several hours. He saw cows with stringy tails, malformed hooves, giant lesions protruding from their hides and red, receded eyes; cows suffering constant diarrhea, slobbering white slime the consistency of toothpaste, staggering bowlegged like drunks. Tennant always zoomed in on his cows’ eyes. ‘‘This cow’s done a lot of suffering,’’ he would say, as a blinking eye filled the screen.
 
‘‘This is bad,’’ Bilott said to himself. ‘‘There’s something really bad going on here.’’
 
 
And since ABC removed this story regarding DuPont’s PFOAs
 
Whistleblower Questions Safety of Food Packaging
Former Employee Says Chemicals Come Off on Food
 
ABC News Investigation
 
Nov. 18, 2005
 
Could a Teflon chemical widely used in fast-food packages, candy wrappers, and microwave popcorn bags pose a health hazard?
 
A former DuPont senior engineer alleges the company long failed to disclose all it knew about the chemical. His allegations come as an environmental activist group has uncovered internal DuPont documents and provided them to the Food and Drug Administration for its review.
 
The FDA approved the chemical’s use in a wide range of food package in 1967. An FDA spokesman says the FDA has not changed its position that food packaging containing the chemical is safe for consumer use, but confirms that it is investigating the chemical’s safety.
 
Glen Evers, a 22-year veteran of DuPont, tells ABC News that DuPont failed to tell the FDA of internal studies showing that the chemical coating comes off food wrapping in greater concentrations than thought when the FDA first approved its use.
 
The chemical is widely used in the paper wrapping for fast foods such as french fries and pizza, as well as candy wrappers, microwave popcorn bags and other products. It helps to prevent grease stains from coming through the wrapper.
 
“You don’t see it, you don’t feel it, you can’t taste it,” Evers says. “But when you open that bag … and you start dipping your French fries in there, you are extracting fluorchemical … and you’re eating it.”
 
Once in the body, the chemical — zonyl — can break down into a chemical called PFOA. PFOA stays in the blood, a fact that was unknown when zonyl was first approved for use. The government says PFOA is now believed to be in the blood of nearly every American.
 
“It bioaccumulates, which means the chemical goes into the blood, and it stays there for a very long period of time,” says Evers.
 
Studies have linked PFOA to cancer, organ damage and other health effects in tests on laboratory animals. The Environmental Protection Agency currently is considering its safety in humans.
 
A DuPont memo from 1987, obtained by the Environmental Working Group, reveals test results that show the chemical zonyl was coming off food wrapping at three times the amount DuPont first thought it would.
 
“They never notified the FDA. They never said to the FDA, ‘We’re stopping our production of this product until we figure out what the problem is,’” Evers said.
 
DuPont is already under criminal investigation for failing to notify the government that PFOA might have been linked to birth defects of children born to workers at a DuPont plant in West Virginia.
 
“The documents that we are sending now to the FDA show that this is a pattern of cover-up and suppression,” said toxicologist Tim Kroop of the Environmental Working Group.
 
The company strongly denies any suggestion of a cover-up and insists the chemical is perfectly safe for use in food wrapping even though it does come off in small amounts. These small amounts, DuPont says, do not pose a health hazard. DuPont says it has “always complied with all FDA regulations and standards regarding these products.”
 
Evers is suing DuPont, asserting they fired him because of his opposition to some of their practices. DuPont says Evers “lost his job in a restructuring” and denies his allegations.
 
“DuPont thinks that they have pollution rights to the blood of every American, every man, woman and child in the United States,” says Evers.
 
ABC News’ Jill Rackmill, Dana Hughes and Rhonda Schwartz contributed to this report.
 
 
And we’re going for round two…. (And Americans believe that Russia is the problem?!!! America has lost their minds… The United States of Insanity…)

This Department of Defense report has never been publicized to those serving in our military. The Department of Defense is not telling anyone in any of our armed forces that they will suffer the impacts of lead poisoning from their service to our nation and that their health conditions will deteriorate as they age….

“…High risk of heart disease, kidney damage, and dementia.”

“A review of the epidemiologic and toxicologic data allowed the committee to conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that the OSHA standard provides inadequate protection for DOD firing-range personnel and for any other worker populations covered by the general industry standard. Specifically, the premise that maintaining BLLs under 40 μg/dL for a working lifetime will protect workers adequately is not valid; by inference, the OSHA PEL and action level are also inadequate for protecting firing-range workers. The committee found sufficient evidence to infer causal relationships between BLLs under 40 μg/dL and adverse neurologic, hematopoietic, renal, reproductive, and cardio-vascular effects. The committee also found compelling evidence of developmental effects in offspring exposed to lead in utero and during breastfeeding, and this raises additional concerns about exposures of women of childbearing age….

Despite changes in military tactics and technology, proficiency in the handling of weapons remains a cornerstone in the training of the modern combat soldier. Modern military forces are trained on one or more small arms, including handguns, shotguns, rifles, and machine guns. Many of the projectiles used in military small arms contain lead. Exposure to lead during weapons training on firing ranges therefore is an important occupational-health concern.

Lead is a ubiquitous metal in the environment, and its adverse effects on human health are well documented. The nervous system is an important target of lead toxicity, which causes adverse cognitive, mood, and psychiatric effects in the central nervous system of adults; causes various peripheral nervous system effects; and has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Lead exposure also causes anemia, nephrotoxicity, a variety of adverse reproductive and developmental effects, small increases in blood pressure and an increased risk of hypertension particularly in middle-aged and older people, and various effects in other organ systems, including joint pain and gastrointestinal pain (ATSDR 2007; EPA 2012; NTP 2012).”

___________________

1After the committee completed its evaluation and released the prepublication draft of this report, the Army submitted data on BLLs for Department of the Army civilian personnel working at shoot houses. The Army’s submission can be obtained by contacting the National Research Council’s Public Access Records Office at (202) 334-3543 or paro@nas.edu.”

 

https://www.nap.edu/read/18249/chapter/2?fbclid=IwAR3hGjGU2ALCbaPK2Pb9DyNHotGcrWNf1IJqJISeCkBtAaxe_lzMamqz7B4#4

It’s not only ethylene tree based synthetics that destroy the brain but also heavy metals. All metals hijack the way the body processes calcium in our biological machines.

PBS Nova’s Poisoned Water explains…

“NARRATOR: Dr. Kim Cecil is an investigator for the Cincinnati Lead Study.

DR. KIM CECIL: So, lead tricks the body into thinking it’s calcium. Whenever lead has got into your body, primarily through ingestion, it goes and hides where calcium should be, in the bones and in the cells of the brain.

Visualize a neuron. There’s the neuron that’s sending the signal and then another that’s receiving the signal, and, typically, calcium is in that gap.

NARRATOR: Calcium is essential for neurons to communicate, but when a child is exposed to lead, lead gets in that gap and blocks the flow of calcium. Without calcium, synapses get weaker and brain function suffers.
Understanding how we evolved with calcium helps you understand how destructive heavy metals are to our biological machines. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution by Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan provides much understanding.

“Crucial to their transfer onto land was what animals did with the element calcium. Calcium is a raw material in the making of many of the most magnificent biological structures, such as the human skull or the White Cliffs of Dover. The amount of calcium in solution in the cytoplasm of a nucleated cell must always be kept around one part in ten million. Yet calcium in seawater can be 10,000 times or more higher than this. Calcium tends to rush into cells, causing them to be continually ridding themselves of it. As all cells with nuclei do now, the first animal cells had to continuously export calcium outside their cells in order to stay healthy. Today, calcium carbonate is made by special cells inside membraneous sacs. The chalky substance is transferred in precrystaline form via channels–along which run the ubiquitous microtubules–to the outside of the cell.

Calcium plays a central part in the metabolism of all nucleated cells. It plays an indispensable role in amoeboid cell movement, cell secretion, microtubule formation, and cell adhesion. Dissolved calcium must be continually removed from the surrounding solution for microtubules to function in mitosis, meiotic sex, and brain activity. Because the “chemo-” part of chemoelectric messages sent by the nerve cells in the brain has largely to do with calcium, the neuron-firing communication networks of the brain depend as much on calcium as telephone communication does on copper telephone wire. By 620 million years ago the first tiny animal brains had evolved.

Perhaps more important for these early animals was the use of calcium in the operation of muscles. Muscles contract when dissolved calcium and ATP are released in precise quantities around them. The calcium must be scrupulously kept in quantities far lower than those of seawater or chemistry takes over and the calcium phosphate comes out of the solution in a solid form. (This is why athletes overworking their muscles tend to develop calcium deposits.) Muscle tissue, and the actinomyosin proteins comprising it, tends to be the same in all animals. The origin of actin is an evolutionary mystery; an actinlike protein has been reported in the putative ancestor to our cells, Thermoplasma. If confirmed we have still another case of an invention that originated in the bacterial microcosm.

The soft bodied underwater worms and blobs of Ediacaran times swam using muscles. To do so they controlled their calcium metabolism. Since muscle contraction responds to calcium release, it is extremely probable that the early Cambrian sea creatures, even the earliest squiggling annelid worms, must surely have had muscles under calcium control. Like Greek and Roman breastplates and helmets, some of these early animals must have secreted bits and pieces of calcareous armor and protective films that were not yet full skeletons.

It is rather remarkable that in otherwise very closely related species, one will calcify while the other will not. For instance, the only difference between certain closely related species of coralline red algae is that one is covered by stony calcium carbonate plates while the other is totally soft. Stephen Weiner of the Weizmann Research Institute in Israel believes that the calcifying species makes enough of the proteins having a regular spacing to fit the calcium carbonate crystals in the proteins’ framework. The other species, however, makes too little or an altered form of the protein with inappropriate spacing. On the other hand, since in some cases separate species of organisms which branched apart millions of years ago will both produce calcium carbonate today, it is probable that the ability to precipitate calcium compounds in a regular manner has successfully evolved many times in many different species for many distinct purposes.

Always used by nucleated cells, excess calcium must be excreted or harmlessly stockpiled out of solution. Since Cambrian times organisms have been stockpiling their reserves as calcium phosphate, which takes such forms as teeth and bones, or as calcium carbonate, as in chalky shells.

Skeletons did not appear out of nowhere during the Cambrian: Ediacaran muscles preceded Cambrian skeletons. The need to continuously respond to calcium surpluses in the cell made it easy for some animals to stockpile calcium salts inside or outside their bodies in dump heaps that eventually became skeletons and body armor. Just as termite nests are largely constructed of insect excrement and saliva, so skeletons and teeth are made of compounds that originally had to be excreted as waste.

Most animal shells and outer coats today are composed of calcium carbonate. Tiny ocean protists such as foraminifera and coccolithophorids extruded so much calcium into the water over such long periods of time that they made the famous piece of English real estate, the White Cliffs of Dover, a towering deposit of limestone and chalk. (Like coal or oil, such organic carbon reserves are not wasted but held in biospheric storage until life discovers new ways of recycling them.)

The new organs that supplanted the old, waterlogged ones were forced to be successful. Gills, expert at culling oxygen from water, were useless in the air. Over the millennia they became relics, like the gill slits that look like tiny scars under the ears of human fetuses. Lungs which could deliver air to the circulatory system evolved in some chordates, such as the amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. An analogous system of air channels called trachea evolved in land-adapted arthropods such as spiders and insects.

When facing frightening environmental perils, organisms warded off the need for radical change by incorporating the new into the tried-an-true old. The assembly of bones that had evolved in swimming fish served later to support amphibians on land, and to aerodynamically support birds in the air. Calcium waste near muscles became basic construction materials. Early vertebrates evolved into fish–bilaterally symmetrical beings that were essentially escape artists and speedsters, darting away from predators and rapidly pursuing their prey.

Competition among vicious predators along with desiccation in shallow waters forced early animals to live on land. But the scorching earth was no happy alternative to the warring seas. The land was in some ways an Edenic paradise, a sanctuary originally free of dangerous predators. But it was also a separate hell–an environment of torturous sun, biting wind, and decreased buoyancy. Calcified structures such as snail shells began as dumps for excess calcium but wound up as a combination of gravitational support structures, shields against sunlight and predators, and organic “aquariums” protecting against the dangers of desiccation.”

Pages 184 – 187

Lead, Fluoride, Cadmium, Aluminum, Cobalt and more are all metals that destroy our biological machines. The Bleeding Edge documentary examined the dementia symptoms of those who received cobalt hip replacements. Understand that there’s little thought being applied to consumer health when they profit from selling you the products that destroy your health and they also profit from treating you.
“I was unaware that my particular implant, like most hip implants available in the United States, had only a cursory pre-market review by the FDA… Dr. Tower and DBEC were the first to recognize that excessive wear of metal-on-metal hips (a chrome-cobalt ball rubbing on a chrome-cobalt socket) could not only result in failure of the replacement because of damage to the tissues about the hip, but they also might result in cobalt poisoning (cobaltism).”
Heavy metals and synthetic chemical manufacturing are also why mot synthetics are contaminated with heavy metals. It’s why PVC frequently contains high levels of lead. That has not stopped manufacturers from manufacturing and selling infant baby products made with PVC.

 

 

Green Chemistry: Theory & Practice explains the use of heavy metals in synthetic chemical manufacturing.

3.1 Alternative feedstocks/starting materials

Currently, 98% of all organic chemicals synthesized in the United Sates are made from petroleum feedstocks. Petroleum refining takes up 15% of the total energy used in the US, and its energy usage is rising because the low quality raw petroleum available now requires more energy for refinement. During conversion to useful organic chemicals, petroleum undergoes oxidation, the addition of oxygen or an equivalent; this oxidation step has historically been one of the most environmentally polluting steps in chemical synthesis. As a result of these consideration, it is important to reduce our use of petroleum-based products by using alternative feedstocks….

The exploration of biological sources of alternative feedstocks need not be limited to agricultural products: agricultural waste or biomass, and non-food-related bioproducts, which are often made up of a variety of lignocellulosic materials, may provide important alternative feedstocks.

Other classes of alternative feedstocks are also emerging, such as light. For example, heavy metals, which are often used in petroleum oxidation processes, are also quite toxic and are carcinogens or cause damage to neurological systems. Recently discovered alternative syntheses replace the heavy metal reagents with the use of visible light to carry out the required chemical transformations.”

Chasing Molecules – The Polycarbonate Problem. BPA, Benzene, Phenols, & Carbonyl Chloride (also known as Phosgene)Chasing Molecules by Elizabeth Grossman
An excerpt from the chapter, “The Polycarbonate Problem.”BPA, Benzene, Phenols, & Carbonyl Chloride (also known as Phosgene)

“Phenols are commonly made by oxidizing benzene, which essentially means adding oxygen to benzene.”

Public Health Implications of Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC)

Great Lakes Report

Today’s important history and science lesson is on Diethylstilbestrol (DES), the first synthetic hormone technology created from petroleum on the branch of the eythlene tree that was marketed and put in widespread use. (I’ll cover other benzene/phenol-based hormone technology markets next)

The Devil’s Chemists: 24 Conspirators of the International Farben Cartel Who Manufacture War by Josiah E. DuBose (Prosecutor of IG Farben Directors at the Nuremberg Trials) explains the ethylene tree during the testimony of Otto Ambros who was IG Farben’s Director of Chemical Operations and Hitler’s Director of Chemical Weapons.

“Ambros bowed as he took oath, exhibiting his sketch in all directions. He waved his counsel aside for the moment. He explained: “This tree of many branches I choose to call the Ethylene Tree to symbolize the Good and Evil in nature.”

Ethylene oxide, he went on, was the trunk which bore many branches “green with peaceful uses” and a few that were rotten with potential destruction. He pointed to lines he had drawn to cut off the rotten branches. Green branches had been his sole interest: soap for dirty soldiers, paint and cleaning agents for vehicles. “I still do not understand why I am here. The collapse promised everything but that I would be arrested.”

At Gerdorf, after those senseless investigations, the Americans had been kind enough to lend him a jeep and driver, to take him back home. Surely, if he had deserved arrest, the French at Ludwigshafen would have picked him up. He’d lived in Ludwigshafen since the mid-1920’s; people there thought he was just born for the place. If Heidelberg was the seat of chemical knowledge, Ludwigshafen was nature’s laboratory; and Ambros was the sort of man who liked earth running through his fingers. At Ludwigshafen, more productive than any other single Farben installation, were planted the synthetic seeds of every Farben product. Ludwigshafen put out the elementary compounds that became hormones and vitamins under Hoerlein at Elberfeld. At Ludwigshafen, the organic roots under careful cultivation grew their first ersatz offshoots. His “mother” was Ludwigshafen, said Ambros; but he owed a good deal, too, to his real father, a professor of agricultural chemistry, who had taken him into the laboratory before he could toddle. It was understandable that, at first sight of Oswiecem, he noted it was “predominantly agricultural terrain.”
When Bosch and Krauch hired Ambros, they got a young man with brains as well as feet in the soil. Bosch, recognizing a young excitable genius, turned him loose to study natural dyes and rosins and yeast breeding and sugar fermentation. Soon the Ethylene Tree was bearing synthetic twigs based on his studies.” – page 170

(Important to note that the “A” in Sarin stands for Ambros and he fails to explain the chemical weapon or “evil” branches of this synthetic tree to the court. The tree is not evil, simply biochemically toxic to biological systems from their fossil fuel or ancient dead rooted origins.)

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Information
In 1938, DES (diethylstilbestrol) was the first synthetic estrogen to be created. For a historical perspective see the DES Timeline. (The Timeline follows)

Never patented, DES was marketed using hundreds of brand names in the mistaken belief it prevented miscarriages and premature deliveries.
DES was prescribed primarily between 1938 and 1971 (but not limited to those years). It was considered the standard of care for problem pregnancies from the late 1940s well into the 1960s in the U.S. and was widely prescribed during that time. DES was sometimes even included in prenatal vitamins so there are many individuals who were not actually given DES but were exposed to it anyway. DES was given by injection, pill and vaginal suppository (sometimes called pessaries).

In April 1971 the FDA told doctors to stop using DES for their pregnant patients, however it was never banned. Specifically, the FDA said DES was contraindicated for pregnancy use. In some rare cases American doctors either didn’t hear of, or simply ignored the message and continued prescribing DES. Internationally, DES use during pregnancy continued for many subsequent years.

In the United States, an estimated 5–10 million people were exposed to DES, including women who were prescribed DES while pregnant, and the children born of those pregnancies.

Now researchers are investigating whether DES health issues are extending into the next generation, the so-called DES Grandchildren. As study results come in, there is growing evidence that this group has been adversely impacted by a drug prescribed to their grandmothers.
Interestingly, years after developing the chemical formulation for DES, its creator, Sir E. Charles Dodds was knighted for his accomplishment. It was fully expected that his synthetic estrogen would help women worldwide. At the time it was not known how dangerous this drug would be to developing fetuses.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Timeline
1938 – DES is created as first synthetic estrogen by Sir E. Charles Dodds in England.
1940 – French medical journal reports that DES caused mammary tumors in male mice.
1947 – DES formally granted FDA approval for use as a miscarriage preventative.
Harvard husband and wife team of physician and biochemist George and Olive Smith publish report extolling use of high doses of DES during pregnancy. This report launches wide-scale use of DES.
1953 – DES proven ineffective when William Dieckmann, M.D., of University of Chicago’s Lying-In Hospital conducts first controlled, randomized, double-blind study on use of DES during pregnancy. Published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the research reveals women receiving DES suffered a higher rate of miscarriages, yet DES continued to be prescribed to women until 1971. (Pharmaceutical companies heavily promoted DES use to doctors.)
1959 – U.S. Agriculture Department bans DES as a growth stimulant for chickens and lambs after high DES levels in these animals produced side effects, such as male breast growth in humans.
1971 – Arthur Herbst, M.D. et al publish report in New England Journal of Medicine linking DES exposure before birth, to a rare vaginal cancer in girls and young women – clear cell adenocarcinoma.
On the basis of this study the FDA issues a Drug Bulletin to physicians, stating that DES is contra-indicated for use in pregnant women. The FDA did not ban DES, but only urged doctors to stop prescribing it for their pregnant patients. Most, but not all, stopped.
1970s – Researchers study the effects of DES on DES Daughters and find significant abnormalities in the reproductive organs of these women, which often result in infertility or serious problems in pregnancy.
1975 – National Cancer Institute (NCI) begins DES-Adenosis (DESAD) project, the first government-sponsored study designed to “assess the magnitude and severity of the health hazard to DES-exposed female offspring.”
1978 – DES Action is founded as the national non-profit consumer group for people exposed to DES.
Secretary of the Department of Health, Education & Welfare, Joseph Califano, convenes the National DES Task Force. It was charged with reviewing all aspects of the DES problem and with making recommendations for research and health care of the exposed.
The National DES Task Force issues physician advisory, recommending doctors review their records and notify patients who were prescribed DES while pregnant. (Most doctors, however, did not).
1979 – First successful legal trial over DES injuries. Joyce Bichler, 25-year old cancer survivor, is awarded half a million dollars in case against Eli Lilly*.
1980 – DES banned in cattle feed.
1992 – After years of grassroots organizing led by DES Action, Congress passes the first federal legislation mandating a national program of research, outreach and education about DES.
1993 – National Cancer Institute (NCI) announces grants for a program of public and health care provider education about DES.
1995 – National Cancer Institute establishes committee to study non-cancer effects resulting from DES exposure; consumer education booklets published by NCI.
1997 – Congress passes legislation authorizing renewed funding for DES research and education.
2003 – CDC’s DES Update launches national education effort with website and publications to educate DES-exposed individuals and their health care providers.

A Healthy Baby Girl Documentary by Judith Helfand

A Healthy Baby Girl is an autobiographical documentary which explores the full complexity and impact of DES exposure. (DES or Diethylstilbestrol is a drug, an orally active synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen that was first synthesized in 1938. In 1971 it was found to be a teratogen when given to pregnant women.) Helfand’s mother was one of five million American women to whom DES was prescribed between 1947 and 1971, after being told by their doctors that the drug would prevent miscarriage. Florence Helfand was a typical DES mother: white, middle-class, and confident she was receiving the best prenatal care money could buy.

DES was not only proven to be completely ineffective in preventing miscarriage but for more than thirty years, pharmaceutical companies sold DES to millions of pregnant women knowing that the drug was toxic and carcinogenic. Only in 1971, when doctors discovered the link between DES and vaginal cancer in some young women exposed in utero, was the drug taken off the U.S. market for use during pregnancy. It continued to be sold overseas. Today there is no definitive estimate of how many millions of mothers and children have been exposed to DES worldwide.

Of the two and a half million DES daughters in the U.S., roughly half have malformed reproductive organs and suffer with infertility, high risk pregnancies, and multiple miscarriages. There are 2.5 million DES sons. They have not been as closely monitored but there are reports of male infertility, and links to testicular abnormalities and cancer. Researchers continue to uncover frightening facts about the life-long effect of exposure to DES, including higher rates of breast cancer in DES mothers and daughters, and damage to the endocrine and immune systems. Effects on the third generation – DES grandchildren – are as yet unknown.
Like its infamous contemporary DDT, DES is an estrogen-mimicking synthetic chemical, wreaking havoc on the hormonal system. These chemicals have been termed “hand-me-down-poisons” by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers, the authors of Our Stolen Future, because their toxic effects are not only experienced by those who are directly exposed, but also show up in their children as birth defects, cancer, or infertility. Such chemicals are in widespread use today in pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and manufacturing. The facilities simply do not exist to detect, test, and regulate more than a tiny fraction. The very nature of their toxicity – to our reproductive abilities – bears a potent threat for our future.

Here are additional links for more information regarding DES (Diethylstilbestrol)
National Cancer Institute – DES: Questions and Answers
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/DES
The CDC – DES Update Homepage
http://www.cdc.gov/DES/
Our Stolen Future: Excerpts from Chapter 4. Hormone Havoc
http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Basics/chapter_excerpt..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diethylstilbestrol

Our media and all our institutions work for the ruling class. I really wish the working class would wake up and see how they are being destroyed instead of fighting each other….

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot – 2015 (The whole book should be read but here’s some important excerpts…)

“From their earliest days on Wall Street–where they ran Sullivan and Cromwell, the most powerful corporate law firm in the nation–their overriding commitment was always to the circle of accomplished, privileged men whom they saw as the true seat of power in America… The Dulles brothers were not intimidated by mere presidents. When President Franklin Roosevelt pushed through New Deal legislation to restrain the rampant greed and speculation that had brought the country economic ruin, John Foster Dulles simply gathered his corporate clients in his Wall Street law office and urged them to defy the president. “Do not comply,” he told them. “Resist the law with all your might, and soon everything will be alright.” – Prologue

“In early April 1945, Henry Morgenthau went down to the presidential retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia, where FDR was convalescing, to urge him to directly confront the State Department cabal that seemed hell-bent on appeasing the country’s German enemies and antagonizing its Soviet allies. Sitting down for cocktails with the president, Morgenthau was shaken by the President’s “very haggard” appearance. “His hands shook so that he started to knock the glasses over… I found his memory bad and he was constantly confusing names.”.. “We’ve been moving that spectrum and we need to continue moving that spectrum. After drinks and dinner, Roosevelt seemed to rally and he asked Morgenthau what he had in mind. The Treasury secretary told him it was time “to break the State Department” and replace the old guard with loyal New Dealers. FDR assured Morgenthau he was with him “100 percent.” The next afternoon, April 12, Roosevelt died after suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage. ” page 66

“We cannot forget [for example] that one of the big war factories in Germany was the Opel Company which was owned and financed by the General Motors Corporation, a company in which Secretary Stettinius had a great interest. The biggest electric company in Germany was owned and financed by the General Electric Company of New York. We have here very potent reasons why a large and important group in this country is trying to pipe down on the serious investigations of [corporate Germany’s collaboration with the Nazis].” pages 66 – 67

“he boarded a ship for Alexandria, Egypt–the next stop in the Nazi exterminator’s long and winding ratline. Rauff would cap his bloody career in Chile, where he became a top advisor to DINA, military dictator Augusto Pinochet’s own Gestapo.” – page 106

“De Gaulle’s foreign ministry was the source of the most provocative charges in the press, including the allegation that CIA agents sought funding for the De Gaulle coup from multinational corporations, such as Belgian mining companies operation in the Congo. Ministry officials also alleged that Americans with ties to extremist groups had surfaced in Paris during the coup drama, including one identified as a “political counselor for the Luce [media] group,” who was heard to say, “An operation is being prepared in Algiers to put a stop to communism, and we will not fail as we did in Cuba…. After de Gaulle was elected president in 1958, he sought to purge the French government of its CIA-connected elements.” page 415 – 416

“Suspicions of a conspiracy were particularly strong in France, where President de Gaulle himself had been the target of CIA machinations and had survived a barrage of gunfire to his own limousine. After returning from Kennedy’s November 24 funeral in Washington, de Gaulle gave a remarkably candid assessment of the assassination to his information minister, Alain Peyrefitte. “What happened to Kennedy is what nearly happened to me,” confided the French president. “His story is the same as mine… It looks like a cowboy story. The security forces were in cahoots with the extremists.”…. page 566 – 567

“These were some of James Jesus Angleton’s dying words… “Fundamentally, the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars,” Angleton told Trento in an emotionless voice. “The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted… Outside of their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things that, in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it.
He invoked the names of the high eminences who had run the CIA in is day—Dulles, Helms, Wisner. These men were “the grand masters,” he said. “If you were in a room with them, you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell.”
Angleton took another slow sip from his steaming cup. “I guess I will see them there soon.”…

When Angleton’s successors cracked open his legendary safes and vaults, out spilled the sordid secrets of a lifetime of service to Allen Dulles…
The safecracking team was also horrified to find files relating to both Kennedy assassinations and stomach-turning photos of Robert Kennedy’s autopsy, which were promptly burned. These, too, were mommentos of Angleton’s years of faithful service to Allen Dulles.” – page 620