Browsing Tag

Environmental Disaster

Trouble in the Water: The Poisonous Price of Fiscal Conservatism in Flint, Michigan

By January 25, 2016 2 Comments
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As a single parent to two teenage girls, I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to protect them from every conceivable injury, or hurt that I can. I never thought what I might have to protect them from was as essential for survival as water, and as ubiquitous as a municipal water supply. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Flint, Michigan, where I grew up and where I still have family.

The residents of Flint are currently involved in what can best described as a catastrophic failure of leadership, and at worst environmental racism. The residents of Flint, my hometown, have been drinking water contaminated with lead for nearly two years. This includes children and infants (through formula made with contaminated water or through high doses in contaminated breast milk.)

There is nothing worse than watching your child in pain, and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. That is exactly what the parents of Flint, Michigan are faced with every single day.

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Categories: Chronic Illnesses + Conditions, Policy, Politics, + Pop Health

“My Kids Aren’t Guinea Pigs,” Says Parent Affected By Porter Ranch Gas Leak

By January 4, 2016 4 Comments
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A brave parent stepped forward to talk to The Scientific Parent about the Porter Ranch gas leak, and asked that he remain anonymous, for fear of retaliation against his family. Here is his story.

I am part of one of the 3,000 families displaced by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) leak in Porter Ranch, but I consider my family lucky, because we’re finally safe. The latest reports say that an additional 3,000 more families are waiting to leave the area, and are still living in a zone that’s being called the biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill. Notice I say leave, not evacuate. I’ll get back to that.

On Oct 23, 2015, SoCalGas announced that their Aliso Canyon Storage Facility was leaking a combination of methane and mercaptan gases into my community, which is in Los Angeles, California. Methane is a natural gas. Mercaptan is the chemical the gas companies add to make it smell so people are warned when there’s a gas leak in their home.

At the time, they said the leak shouldn’t affect us, and at that point we didn’t know that symptoms of exposure to those gases are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of coordination. If we had, we would have realized that my family had been experiencing these symptoms for some time.

For weeks, our 3-and-a-half-year-old son, was lethargic and didn’t have his usual energy to do things. What normal three year old isn’t constantly running around and into things? My wife was complaining about nausea, and that her breathing was short and challenging. I had headaches every day when I came home from work. We never thought any of those things were related.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Policy, Politics, + Pop Health