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Sunday, August 21, 2016

America's Hopelessly Polluted Drinking Water

Despite admitting that I cannot recall last night's bedtime, I know that it succeeded midnight ─ but probably by not very much.

That first major break in sleep that merited a bathroom break was around 6:00 a.m. ─ initially I thought it was a weekday.

Sleep was uneasy thereafter, but I remained in its pursuit until after 8:30 a.m. ─ an unusually late start to my day when it doesn't involve my wife Jack keeping me up excessively late.

My youngest step-son Pote had already gone to work.

I had a hike to the government liquor store lined up, but first I got to work at trying to complete the post I began last Monday at my Lawless Spirit website, and I actually completed and published it:  Holistic Elements II.


I was feeling unusually good.  In fact, I was quite eager to get to work at my next post, but then I took note that the time was approaching 11:00 a.m.

I needed to get myself ready and away before my eldest step-son Tho had gotten up; or the homecoming of either my wife Jack, or my younger brother Mark.

It was in fact 11:37 a.m. when I set forth.

At that time of the day, it was mostly sunny out there.

I first wanted to pick up a few things at Save-On Foods here in Whalley ─ the store would be just over half-way in the two-mile walk to the government liquor store at 108th Avenue & King George Boulevard. 

I never expected to spend as much as I did while doing that shopping.

By the time I visited the liquor store for the bottle of rum that I was after ─ plus a half-dozen cans of beer ─ I had parted with $100.10.

That has put my chequing account into a bit of jeopardy.

The $1,600 monthly mortgage will probably get debited tomorrow, but I also have a $200 credit card payment in the mail.

This morning I had transferred over to that chequing account $300 of $500 that I had stashed away from a June RRSP redemption, but my extravagance today in Whalley means that if both of those transactions happen tomorrow, I will have well less than $5 remaining in my chequing account.

But I have no idea if some other transaction might get applied to the account ─ I have so many automatic debits happening on it each month that it is impossible for me to recall all of them.

Consequently, I feel that I must put some further money into the account before I retire tonight.

As I said yesterday, I hate living this month-by-month worry over finances.

Anyway, by the time I had gotten back home, the sky had clouded right up, and my brother Mark was vacuuming out his van ─ he had been away to the Squamish area camping with his girlfriend Bev and some other couple since Friday.

I spoke with him for a short time, during which Tho also came outside and was soon to leave for the afternoon.  

Mark went upstairs to shower, and I took my half-dozen cans of beer out into the backyard, and sat in a chair facing towards where the overcast Sun was.

I cracked open one can of beer, but by the time I had completed drinking it, I found myself too unpleasantly cool ─ in fact, I had felt a few light drops of rain.  

So back into the house I brought myself and the remaining five cans of beer, and decided that I would instead prepare my day's second hot beverage and begin work upon this post.

While I was awaiting the boiling of my beverage's water, Mark came back downstairs from his shower and was soon to also leave for the afternoon.

I was home alone.

Upon coming here to my computer, a check of my AdSense account revealed that yesterday was a total bust ─ not one cent had been accumulated.

And thus far today, the situation was the same.

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The quality of drinking water in the U.S. is something Americans need to be very concerned about.

A recent study has found that six million people are drinking water with unsafe levels of a class of chemicals knows as PFASs ─ polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances.

These toxic substances are broadly used in products ranging from cleaners, textiles, leather, paper and paints, fire-fighting foams, wire insulation, food packaging and wrappers, non-stick coatings on pans, and water-repellent clothing. 

The harm these things can do to us include ─ among other things ─ kidney cancer, thyroid problems, high cholesterol, hormone disruption, and reduced immune function. 

Now, although the study found that six million Americans were found to be drinking water with unsafe levels of PFASs, the drinking water of just about 100 million other Americans was not even tested ─ and it is not tested.  

And even worse:
“Virtually all Americans are exposed to these compounds,” said Xindi Hu, the study’s lead author. “They never break down. Once they are released into the environment, they are there.”
And worst of all:
Even at low levels, exposure to PFASs can be potentially harmful, Olsen added. "All the evidence suggests that very low levels of exposure can be problematic, especially for pregnant moms and developing children," he said.

Even if you know your water is contaminated with PFASs, there is little you can do, he said. "Your choices are to use a different source for drinking water, like bottled water, but there are no standards for these compounds in bottled water, either," Olsen said.

Common water filters you buy at the supermarket won't remove PFASs from water either, he said.

"You can get a filter that removes everything, but those are very expensive to buy and maintain, so you're kind of stuck," Olsen said. "The best solution is to prevent the pollution from getting into the water supply."
The responsible government agencies have given up trying to protect Americans from these things, and the Big Businesses manufacturing and making use of them have no intention of stopping.

So you're screwed if you cannot afford a whole house water filtration system if you happen to live in a house ─ and I'm not versed enough in these products to know what the option would be for someone living in an apartment.  Would a charcoal filtering device suffice?

And who wants bottled water?  The plastic leaches out its own problems, even if the water did come from a quality source.  

Here are some articles on that PFAS study:





Dr. Joseph Mercola published an extensive article back on January 16 that dealt with drinking water contaminants and water filtration systems:

 
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My wife Jack did come home ─ she had said yesterday that she would be by today.

She arrived mid-afternoon or 3:30 p.m. or so, bringing some food ─ she had attended the Thai temple in Burnaby.  Officially, it's the Buddapnayanuntarama Buddhist Monastery, and is presently at 4796 Canada Way.

It was some sort of special occasion, so there were numerous people there, and she had spent a fair amount of time at the event.

Incidentally, the sky hereabouts was pretty much cloud-free when Jack got home ─ I don't know what was going on with all the cloud earlier this afternoon.

Depending upon when I finish this post, I just might go back outside and sit for awhile.

Jack never stayed long, and was gone again by around 4:00 p.m., saying that she might be around again tomorrow.

I am going to close now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting the room at was located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.
THURSDAY, August 21, 1975

I got up at 7:40 a.m.

So far the day is cloudy.

I planned to go to mom's, but just past 10:00 a.m. while washing out a pot, knocking came; I figured on David, but it was Mark.

He was on his way to Vancouver to apply somewhere, but will stop on his way back to take me canoeing.

He came, and we went to his place.  Then we all went to mom's to leave the kids.

I weighed myself in shoes, and registered 190!

For mail I had a Good News and Plain Truth, a second Olympic ticket from Montreal (it should have been from Toronto, or my first one anyway), Weirdbook Nine, and most exciting of all, my 6 Frazetta Conan posters.

We left, got a canoe on lower Scott, then returned for Mark's fishing rod.

I gave him $4 toward a bucket of delicious Brownies chicken.  Cathy, while Mark was getting the chicken, bought a long john for each of us.  We also had pop and cole slaw.

We ended at Pitt Lake; I set off at the fore with alarm paddling a while; but I let Mark take over for the duration.

We went a fair distance, picnicked on a shore, explored another section, and then returned.

A pithy description, as usual, but I do want to get to bed.  

Coming home, Mark bought us 6 beers in the Wild Duck Inn; then we went to the Commercial and had 9 more.

Then we went to their place.

I accompanied Cathy to collect the kids and pick up my stuff; we stayed awhile; Alex came home from town, feeling a few beer.

After getting back to Mark's, I soon left.  

From the top of the hill by Ruby's Drive-in I jogged leisurely home; the outside of my right knee is seizing upon me again.

Home, I fast exercised (I did leave the "no smorgasbord Saturday" note on Bill's car).

Bed by 12:40 a.m.
It's unfortunate that I didn't feel more like detailing the canoe venture on Pitt Lake ─ I honestly remember nothing of it.  

When my younger brother Mark first knocked at my room, I had believed that it was likely my old friend Philip David Prince.

Back at this time, Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were renting a home together that was located on Bentley Road in Whalley ─ the house wasn't too far from 108th Avenue & King George Highway.

Jeanette had two beautiful little girls.

My mother Irene Dorosh's home was in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey ─ the house was roughly 4¼ miles from where Mark and Jeanette were living.

Although my mother's home no longer exists, its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.  It was my main mailing address.

She and her husband Alex loved Jeanette and the two little girls, so it was never a problem having them babysit the kids. 

Apparently the mail awaiting me included my latest free issues of The Good News and The Plain Truth

Weirdbook Nine was the latest issue of a fantasy fiction periodical ─ a briefest of synopses of that specific issue is here, while the entire series is given similar treatment here.   

I wish that I had been able to retain all of the various publications like this that I had acquired back then.  Heck, I don't even remember those Frank Frazetta posters of Robert E. Howard's Conan, let alone whatever became of them.

Also in the mail for me was an Olympic Lottery ticket.

Upon dropping off the kids, we next rented a canoe somewhere on "lower" Scott Road (120th Street).  That doesn't really help me remember where we got it.

Then it was back to the house in Whalley so Mark could get his fishing rod.  We also bought the Brownie's fried chicken and some extras ─ Brownie's was very similar to Kentucky Fried Chicken, for anyone unfamiliar with the product. 

Once at Pitt Lake, I suspect that this was my first time in a canoe ─ that would be why I said I was in some alarm seated at the front.  Besides, I had no idea where to be guiding the darned thing.

A little research reveals that the Wild Duck Inn was demolished in 2008 (see here).  The Commercial Hotel never even lasted that long ─ it was apparently demolished in February 1998 (see here and here).

I rather suspect that those beer figures I quoted were for the table, and not what Mark and I each had.

Anyway, ultimately I was to hoof it back to my room from their home in Whalley ─ it had to have been well into the evening

I don't now recall where Ruby's Drive-In was, and I bet it's long-gone by now.  But it suffices to know that it had to have been fairly near to where Mark and Jeanette lived, since I said that it was at the top of the hill.

The note I left on my old friend William Alan Gill's car in New Westminster was one explaining to him that I wanted to forego our usual weekend visit to a smorgasbord ─ I could never control myself and always ate far too much, essentially incapacitating myself afterwards.

I generally had to return to my room and lie down until I eventually recovered.    

Generally my bodyweight throughout my adult life has been in the lower 180s in poundage, although there were times when it was into the 190s, and even as low as the lower 170s.

But I wouldn't have been exactly pleased to register at 190 pounds at my mother's home ─ even if I was fully dressed and wearing shoes.

By the way, it is too late for me to take the time to go back outside and sit in the sunshine.
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