Reminder – Don’t Drink the Water!
TEFLON BYPRODUCT POLLUTING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
A government scientist has been forced to resign, after discovering dangerous levels of a toxic chemical in the Mississippi River. The toxins, specifically known as perfluoronated chemicals (PFCs), are a byproduct of the manufacture of a number of products including Teflon and Scotchgard. In late 2005, Dr. Oliaei Fardin found dangerous levels of PFC’s in the Mississippi River downstream from a 3M Corporation’s dumping site in Minnesota. 3M had been dumping 50,000 pounds of the toxic chemical in the river every year, in a heavily populated metropolitan area, where the river serves as the main drinking water source for Minneapolis and St. Paul. PFCs have caused birth defects and deaths in animal studies and are considered a likely human carcinogen. Fardin, a scientist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, found levels of PFCs in the area’s fish that were the highest ever discovered in the world. Following her discovery, she was unable to get the state to issue a public health advisory, as would normally be required by law. After she filed a federal whistleblower’s lawsuit against the agency, Fardin was forced to resign by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Commissioner, a former Executive of 3M. Her research, which has now been halted, would have helped assess how far downstream the chemical contamination had traveled in the Mississippi River, one of the nation’s largest waterways and municipal water sources.