I’m convinced the Central Valley is a human test-site for unconventional chemistry. Why else would so many dangerous chemicals be found in our air, water, crops and inside of our bodies? We can thank Shell Oil and Dow Chemical for the latest toxic tap experiment gone badly —1, 2, 3-Trichlorapropane.
How convenient for Dow and Shell to pass the cost and responsibility of contamination on to an unsuspecting public. In 2016, 64 percent of California public water systems detected this carcinogen in the Central Valley. Who pays for the multi-county contamination? We do. Adding insult to injury, the City of Bakersfield water rate is jumping 41 percent over the next two years to fund TCP eradication.
We wait for the California State Water Board to establish and regulate the Maximum Contaminant Level of TCP. Current Notification Level is 0.005 parts per trillion (ppt). The Public Health Goal is 0.0007 ppt. Possible short-term health effects: Irritation of skin, nose, eyes and/or throat, drowsiness, headache, impacts concentration, memory and muscle coordination. Possible long-term effects: liver and kidney damage, cancer.
Do Central Valley residents know to protect themselves? Avoid cooking, bathing, showering, washing dishes/clothes and produce with hot water that produces steam. No singing in the shower for fear of accidental ingestion! There is no filter available to eliminate TCP from household water taps.
Dow and Shell knew the dangers of this pesticide ingredient and did nothing to safeguard the public.
Rosanna Esparza, PhD, Bakersfield