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Organics in Water

by Baruch Gorovenko


The Canadian Water Quality Association is an excellent source for basic information about water, however the "scientific world" does not know for sure what the long term effects of organics in our water supply will have on human life, indeed upon all life forms.  "Organics" in water, is a term often used to describe both natural and man-made compounds with chemical structures based on carbon.  A person must not confuse the term "organics" with "organic" food, which of course refers to chemical free food.  In water "organics" could refer to hydrocarbons, wood, sugar, proteins, methane, plastics, petroleum compounds, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, trihalomethane (THM) and trichloroethylene (TCE).  The "scientific" world has synthesized millions of organic chemicals in combinations of carbon which did not originally exist in the natural world.  To be referred to as an "organic" in water means only that the molecules are made up of one or more carbon atoms along with other elements.

     Organics in water are generally grouped into two classes, large or small.  About 90% of the organics found in water fall into the category of being large, but these are generally not identified, they are considered to be non-volatile.  The smaller organics are usually more volatile, that is, they can evaporate relatively quickly.  Halogenated molecules are a group of chemicals that consist mostly of organics containing chlorine and, to a lesser extent, bromine.  The effect of these halogenated compounds should be of great concern to everyone, some synthetic organics that finds its way into our water supplies are extremely toxic, however the chemical industry and most governments console people by telling suggesting that low levels of toxic chemicals pose very little threat to public health.  The chemical and pharmaceutical companies are making hundreds of billions each year on new improved chemicals, so it is good business for them to lobby governments and use every form of marketing coercion possible to maintain monstrous cash cows.  When chemicals show up in our water supplies we are told they are harmless, whether that is true or not.  On the other hand many people are going to their doctors on a regular basis and hearing "we don't know the cause" of this cancer or that cancer or this or that disease.  We don't know the cause, because big business doesn't want you to know the cause of modern diseases.  With no accountability for polluting the earth the levels of "organics" in our drinking water continues to climb, year after year.  We have no moral or ethical resources within our governments that can stop the proliferation of chemicals, even within the pharmaceutical industry it is considered acceptable by governments to continue the sales of drugs that have been known to cause deaths.  Currently the FDA approves nearly 200 drugs which are being shown to have caused death, but the pharmaceutical and chemical industries are still churning out substances that are finding their way into our water supplies, and are exceedingly harmful to life on the planet.

     Organic chemicals are credited for giving mankind a higher standard of life by removing weeds from lawns, providing disposable containers for junk food, medicines, fire retardants, plastics, food cultivated with pesticides and fertilizers, all sorts of electrical gadgets, even non-wrinkle clothing.  However most people don't stop to consider that even chlorine that is put into our water to make it "safe", also combines with natural organics to generate carcinogenic organics that did not originally exist in the untreated water.  Tests are conducted on laboratory animals to estimate whether certain compounds are harmful to people, but what the tests do not reveal is who might be susceptible to these chemicals and who might not be.  Most people feel they are healthy and strong and immune to many of the chemicals, most people trust their local governments to monitor their water quality for them, most people want to believe in the good will of others, but this is rapidly becoming a foolish position to take.  Industry is continuing to routinely discharge chemical wastes into most rivers some dumping is planned and permitted, some goes in by accident, but regardless of this we are often told that unless their are "significant levels" of organics in our water there is little threat to public health.  These statements which come out of the mouths of salaried government "officials" are mere lip service to the chemical epidemic that Canadians are now facing.

     We all look at this problem differently don't we?  For example, I've never smoked cigarettes, never done drugs and I eat organic food as much as possible.  I rarely eat "junk food", when I do it's usually a Wendy's salad, and that's pretty decent food.  I don't buy pop (sugar water) for and I don't take prescriptions from my doctor for pharmaceutical drugs, because "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".  If I get sick I try to determine the cause and treat that problem first.  Now if we are to compare a person like myself with someone who smokes several times a day, voluntarily ingests toxic chemicals into their lungs, we are going to have a major difference of opinion when it comes to how healthy "organics in water" might be.  What the hell, a smoker, heavy drinker or junk food addict sees the food chain and chemical industry as one big happy family!  I don't, FOOD and CHEMICALS don't mix.  And while I'm on my soap box, let me tell you something that you might already know, SUGAR is a more harmful chemical than cigarettes.  If sugar were brought into food today, it would likely need a DN (Drug Number), go check me out on this!

     Groundwater contamination is nasty business, once contamination enters an aquifer it will remain there indefinitely.  How can mankind clean up an aquifer that has been contaminated?  We can't, all we can do is clean up the water that drink, cook with and bathe in!  Regardless of where we live, whether we are on city or well water we are gambling by not purifying our water.  The cost of living in a chemical rich world demands that we take a personal interest in our own health.  Those who have been smokers all their lives, and have breathed in a cocktail of harmful chemicals will also receive the benefit of purified water which helps flush harmful chemicals from the body.

     That's how I see it!


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