In a report from indystar.com, Indiana was the state that allowed the most pollutants in its waterways for 2011.

More than 27 million pounds of toxins were dumped by industries in the Hoosier state in this past year. The company AK Steel was the largest single contributor of this water pollution. In 2010, the company dumped about 24 million pounds of pollutants in the Ohio River in that year alone. This plant uses nitric acid to clean its stainless steel products. This toxin then gets released into waterways as wastewater that contains nitrates.
polluted Indiana water
Not surprisingly, those that are in charge of speaking on behalf of these industrial (or should I say industrious?) polluters completely downplay the vast chemical discharges. The director of government and public relations for AK Steel basically claims that the companys discharge is well within government regulations and poses no threat to the environment. Even the spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said that the pollution that the company is responsible for cannot be used to draw conclusions to human health or the environment.

Really? Well, based on the responses by these two individuals, it is fairly easy to draw conclusions about who signs their paychecks. It is unbelievably audacious to defend a company whose waste has made its states waterways the most polluted in the country. Its typically not a crime to finish in last place, but in this case it should be. No amount of pollution should be considered safe and acceptable, so there is absolutely no reasonable defense for a company who pollutes the most.

It can be an easy argument to say that this company provides a much needed and valuable product for our country. However, there seems to be no attempt at discovering a better way to deal with the waste that is created from its business operations. Sure, this would mean an extra expense for the company. It could even be quite expensive. However, sustainable and long term operations should not be considered without making this change.

Hopefully the residents of Indiana are doing all that they can to protect themselves from their highly polluted water. Obviously, fishing should be out of the question since fish are the first to fall victim of the poisons in rivers. Many will start looking for the best water filter that they can find. This ultimately follows the awareness that bottled water is not the best choice for many reasons. Tap water is definitely out of the question here as well.

I guess the silver lining here is.well, not silver but a strong steel industry. At least Indiana can be proud of that. Who needs potable water?

A recent article from americanrivers.org explains exactly how water pollution can have devastating effects on wildlife.

A brown trout with two heads has been found in the polluted creeks in southern Idaho. Large quantities of the metal Selenium has been found to be the culprit here. This toxic substance can enter our waterways from numerous actions; phosphate mining, coal burning, and mountain top removal. Selenium is one of the toxic parts of coal ash, which is quite pervasive due to the extensive number of coal power plants still in existence.
mutated trout
While water pollution invariably will effect fish first, the effects of large amounts of substances like Selenium can be easily damaging to people as well. It has been linked to circulation problems, hair loss, increased risk of cancer, walking issues, and reduced reflexes, to name a few dangers. It is not difficult to determine that large quantities of any given metal in our waterways can have extremely detrimental effects on life in general.

Unfortunately, the EPA has found that quite a few states have dangerous levels of toxins in many of their rivers and creeks. Polluters need to wake up to the fact that this is not just a problem for fish and other wildlife. This affects all life.

Can we get the energy that we need and the products that we want without polluting our water supplies? Yes, we can. It is obvious that business cannot continue as usual. We need a major shift in how we think about our interactions with our environment and ultimately a concerted effort in putting those ideas into action. This will definitely disrupt many parts of our antiquated energy industry. This needs to happen.

In the meantime, it is best to assume that the water that you come into contact with is not as pure as it should be. If you are lucky enough to live in a major city in the U.S. or other first world nation that has been able to provide safe water to its residents, then good for you. The question remains, however, is it good enough? Many people decide not to take any chances. They have installed the best water filter that they can find in their homes to make sure that they are getting the cleanest water possible. After all, we cannot all live next to pristine mountain springs.

I am hopeful for the future. Corporate polluters will eventually be held accountable. They will either be forced to change operations or they will finally realize that it is in their best interest, along with the rest of the planet.

Wishing You The Best In This New Year

Wow, 2012 is already here. It seemed like 2011 was not around for that long.

Although this might be a few days late, Im wishing you the best of health this year and every one that follows.

2011 saw quite a few negative stories concerning the state of our drinking water. However, there is always a silver lining. I believe that we are on the right track as far as protecting and improving our clean water sources are concerned. Social environmental responsibility is starting to become the norm. Corporations and individuals that continue to ignore these responsibilities are finding it more difficult to do so.

We owe it to future generations to keep spreading messages of sustainability. This should not be thought of as the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. Those that believe that you must be the change that you want to see in the world know how powerful and important that idea is. As more people do the right thing, others will follow suit.

There is no longer any doubt about the negative effects of pollution. Whether it be land, air, water, or noise pollution, all forms can affect your health. If you currently live in a large city, there may not be much that you can do about most of these forms of pollution, without moving. It should be at least somewhat comforting to know that you can do something about being affected by water pollution. A home water filter and a shower filter can go a long way to protect your body from water borne toxins. You owe it to yourself to find the best water filter that you can to protect your health.

Ultimately, it is up to the larger institutions and corporations to be the best stewards of our planet as they can be. They simply have the ability to make the largest impacts. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe that the proper intentions are beginning to take hold.

I see a brighter future for the resources that we all need.

Corporate polluters have been getting away with poisoning our drinking water sources for many years now. Residents of Washington County in Minnesota know all about the dangers of water pollution.
In a recent article from the South Washington County Bulletin (swcbulletin.com), findings show levels of PFCs in citizens of Cottage Grove have been declining. PFC is short for perfluorochemicals. While there does not seem to be any documented studies that has linked this chemical to any human diseases or illnesses, you can be sure that they can and will damage your health.

This chemical is used by many companies to make fluropolymer coatings and other products that resist oil, stains, water, grease, and heat. This chemical does not break down in nature. It eventually can show up in food products and drinking water.

The company that has been responsible for dumping this toxic chemical is 3M. The company has been lawfully dumping this chemical waste in sites nearby Cottage Grove for decades. Unfortunately, all of those years have passed before there was enough awareness of the consequences of this action. Apparently there was not enough concern or knowledge of the impact that this pollution would have on drinking water sources.

Although there has been a decline in the amount of this chemical found in individuals that have been tested in 2010 than those tested in 2008, the fact that there is any amount in their blood streams is obviously a cause for concern. While there may not be any direct link between this chemical and any specific illness, it wont be surprising when it happens.

As part of the Minnesota Department Of Healths remediation efforts, new carbon filters have been placed at nearby water treatment plants. Those who had relied on their well water were either given carbon filtration units, or were connected to the citys treated water.

This story is a shining example of how it pays to be proactive when trying to protect your health. Instead of just assuming that the water that you are currently drinking is safe, why not make sure. One of the only ways that you can do this is to filter it right at the point of use. Again, this is where a good home water filtration comes in. Had residents of Cottage Grove and nearby towns assumed that their public drinking water and tap water was not safe to drink, they could have drastically limited their exposure to this toxin by installing a home water filtration system. Its the best water filter for preventative health measures.

Universities like the College Of Dupage, in Naperville Illinois, are making strides against disposable bottled water.

The college has installed a total of five water bottle filling stations throughout the campus. Students that are concerned about bottled water waste can now use these water filtration systems to do their part to help reduce the amount of bottles that end up in landfills.
bottled water filling stations
Whats unique about these systems is that they showcase a green ticker that displays how many water bottles have been spared from use and therefore needless waste. Since the filters inception in the college in 2010, more than 40,000 16 ounce bottles have been saved. This is obviously a major step taken to combat this source of environmental pollution.

The systems are set to fill 16 ounce reusable bottles. No buttons need pushing as the system detects the presence of a bottle and automatically fills it up.

It wont be long before word of these great systems spreads to other institutions. While the upfront costs associated with these systems range in the thousands, the waste saved from landfills is priceless. This is the kind of leadership that must take place for real change to happen. Organizations should not always need a monetary return for every investment that is made.

As more universities, corporate office spaces, and organizations of all kinds get word of these great systems, we will see some major headway in the prevention of bottled water use and waste. Major change can also come from the home. Obviously, a good amount of time of the average person is spent away from school and work. Having a good water filter at home will ensure that you will have access to clean water no matter where you are. Definitely do some research to get the best water filter that you can find.

We can all do our part to spread the word about this. Tell everyone you know that using a water filter is less expensive, more convenient, and less wasteful than bottled water.

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