Responding to the devastation caused by contaminated tap water in Flint, Michigan, an Austin-based natural health and food safety publication has partnered with a former NASA contract scientist to conduct nationwide water sampling. Interestingly enough, the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t seem too thrilled about it.
Earlier this month, Natural News announced its decision to test tap water from various cities around the nation for excess levels of heavy metals in an effort to prevent another occurrence of widespread poisoning.
The water crisis in Flint is so severe that an estimated 8,000–12,000 children are believed to have been exposed to high levels of lead, which will likely result in irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system, according to The New York Times.
An activist turned citizen scientist, Mike Adams of Natural News is hell-bent on protecting children, as well as the general public, from public water supplies contaminated with lead and other heavy metals.
Water tests will be conducted in their Central Texas non-profit food and water laboratory via ICP-MS using an Agilent 7700x instrument and EPA methodology 200.8, said Adams.
The mission is certainly an honorable one, though our reporters began to wonder how government regulatory agencies, such as the EPA, feel about citizen-led water testing initiatives.
“We’ll get you good info no matter what”
Upon contacting Robert Daguillard, Office of Media Relations with the EPA, our inquiries were met with a surprisingly cheery and promising response, considering the tense public relations nightmare it’s recently suffered.
Our Austin Sentinel reporters asked Daguillard if the EPA was aware of the citizen-scientist-led effort to test the nation’s water supply for heavy metals. We also asked for their general thoughts on the initiative.
After thanking us for our inquiry, Daguillard requested more information about the effort and said he’d be “happy” to pass our questions on to the EPA’s water office.
“Also and since we have lots of media inquiries to respond to at the moment, it might take us a while to respond to you. What’s the very latest we can get back to you with a response?” he asked. “Please advise. We’ll get you good info no matter what.”
However, “good info” is not what we received. Instead, Daguillard questioned us about our identity and asked if we were a local high school newspaper.
We replied “no” and sent our URL. About 24 hours later he gave us a canned response and declined to comment.
Outperformed by citizen scientists
Considering that Daguillard’s salary is funded by taxpayers, and our job as reporters is to disseminate truthful information to the public, we felt his response was less than satisfactory and, quite frankly, unacceptable – particularly following the EPA’s substandard response to the Flint water crisis.
Tasked with protecting human health and the environment, the EPA found itself entangled in a brigade of criticism after failing to respond in a timely manner to excess lead levels in Flint’s water supply, resulting in unprecedented injuries among the city’s residents.
When news of the Flint catastrophe began to spread, the so-called “environmental” agency hadn’t yet recovered from the embarrassment of polluting the Animas River with millions of gallons of toxic mine wastewater.
One would assume that the EPA would be willing to do almost anything in order to save face following its recent and widely publicized string of mistakes. Endorsing, or even better celebrating, a citizen-led effort to test water safety seems like a good place to start.
Is the EPA simply indifferent about the health of Americans? Or are they afraid of what the results might yield? Hopefully it’s not the latter, because that could suggest the EPA is more incompetent than we predicted, or worse, engaged in yet another cover-up.
If you’re a certified practitioner in the healing arts, such as chiropractic, massage or acupuncture, and are interesting in helping with the water testing, click here.