Thursday, November 19, 2009

PCBs, mercury, and strontium 90

Not snakes, snails, and puppy-dog tails. And not sugar and spice and everything nice. The cover story for the December issue of Harper's Magazine is about the degradation and probably eternal ruination of the Hudson and the Housatonic ("The General Electric superfraud: Why the Hudson River will never run clean," by David Gargill). Among the interesting factoids is that eels concentrate the poisons; I thought they just ruined nets and fishing lines. The dredged sediment will be stored in Andrews County, Texas, in part of the Ogalalla aquifer. We used to fish at the base of the dam, now gone, at Fort Edward; and we ate what we caught. Strontium 90? That's not mentioned in this article and that episode isn't a well-known one, even now, almost as secret as it was when it happened. I didn't drink treated water until 1966. I still don't like the way it tastes, and I can taste the over-sweetening with charcoal (carbon) in Austin water at certain times and also in bottled water of some brands.


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