Chemist urges state to approve soil fumigant

The chemist who developed what environmentalists insist is a dangerous poison for use on California crops urged the state last week to approve his concoction so that farmers can produce the kind of disease- and bug-free fruit that consumers expect.

Jim Sims, the organic chemist who owns the patent for methyl iodide, says that California growers have to use the fumigant if they are going to continue feeding the nation.

“It is absolutely necessary to continue agriculture in this state, and that is what is at stake,” said Sims, who worked in the plant pathology department at UC Riverside for 40 years until his retirement in 2004. “I think methyl iodide can be used safely.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/04/BA6I1E8BEA.DTL#ixzz0srCwlz85

How Drug Manufacturing Facilities Are Threatening Our Drinking Water

A five-year study conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers has found that pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are a “significant source” of pharmaceuticals that enter the local environment.
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Arsenic in water: A global problem

Lancet, The British medical journal had revealed shocking news stating that in Bangladesh there are high concentrations of Arsenic in drinking water and as result of that millions of people are suffering from arsenic poisoning.

More shocking is the fact that it is not limited to Bangladesh only, it may be expanding in other countries of the world. Thinking of the effect of arsenic on human body, it would be a gross understatement to say that if people are exposed to arsenic poisoning at this rate there can emerge an epidemic.

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State samples air, water near Calif. toxic dump

KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. — Grieving parents testified Thursday before California legislators about a rash of infant deaths and birth defects in an impoverished farm town next to the biggest hazardous waste landfill in the West.

“How many more children will have to be born with these conditions for them to listen to us?” asked Magdalena Romero, whose daughter, America, died a few months after she was born with a cleft palate and other health problems. “Our children are dying, and we don’t know why. For such a small town, it’s just too big of a coincidence.”

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West-side farmers clear water hurdle

Despite activist opposition, west Valley farmers have cleared a key hurdle for a decadelong extension on the deadline to clean up tainted irrigation drainage going into the San Joaquin River.

The extension for the Grassland Bypass Project, which prevents the bad water from passing through 100 miles of sensitive wetlands channels, was approved Thursday by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The California Sport Fishing Alliance and the California Water Impact Network argued the contamination will jeopardize the revival of long-dead salmon runs in early 2013. Re-establishing the salmon is part of a San Joaquin River restoration program that began last year.

Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/05/28/1950835/west-side-farmers-clear-water.html#ixzz0peGeZc8U

Tulare Co. towns can’t tap funds for clean water

Federal officials used more than $20 billion in stimulus money to jump-start all kinds of projects in California over the last year — everything from filling potholes to monitoring volcanoes.

But the spending spree never reached some of the state’s poorest residents, who often get contaminated water when they turn on the taps in at least 10 small Tulare County communities.

Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/05/31/1953231/tulare-co-towns-cant-tap-fed-funds.html#ixzz0pcSbAoKW

Investigation: Nitrates contaminate California’s water

The wells that supply more than 2 million Californians with drinking water have been found to contain harmful levels of nitrates over the past 15 years — a time marked by lax regulatory efforts to control the colorless and odorless contaminant.

Nitrates, a byproduct of farm fertilizer and some wastewater treatment systems, are now the most common groundwater contaminant in California and across the country.

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