With the non-stop barrage of news, it’s easy to miss some of even the most important stories. Earlier this week, outlets at the local, state, and national level shed light on a new report on contaminated drinking water in Oscoda, Michigan.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report on a long-term study of drinking water at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, with contamination dating back to at least 1977, while the base remained operational until 1993. The report echoes that of a similar contamination site on Lake Huron, just north of Detroit. The study has not brought about a strong reaction from Congress to help cover the associated health care costs that veterans may have incurred, or will face in the future.
At this time, there is no bill in place to offer support for the veterans who were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at Wurtsmith, but that is typical of how Congress and the military have reacted to similar incidents across the country.
For many of my friends and family, stories like this are different when they’re happening in places you’ve visited. The danger of a ruined, contaminated, and toxic environment becomes real, and it’s frightening. Issues as big and as overwhelming as the environment seem too big to affect us until we remember that we are a piece of the environment, and all too often, a major influence on its state.
We’re also learning more every single day about the true scale of contamination in New Hampshire, where pediatric cancer rate has skyrocketed. Thanks to efforts like #SaveNHKids we’ve helped push legislators to prioritize cancer research and end the Coastal Cancer Cluster that the CDC has identified. It’s even been a key issue in the state’s gubernatorial race heading into this fall’s midterm elections, getting air time from both Democratic primary candidates.
This story is an important reminder of how LessCancer.org helps drive awareness and legislation to protect those exposed to chemicals and prevent businesses from causing environmental contamination in the first place. Your support can help make a difference.