Wow. Just… wow.
You know it’s bad when the people in charge have decided the “answer” to keeping the water from evaporating in the drought and turning carcinogenic due to toxic chemical reactions is to spend millions of dollars to pour millions of black plastic balls into reservoirs to block sunlight from hitting the water.
Because we all know that hormone disrupting chemicals never leach into liquids from hot plastic…
See for yourself:
Via Boing Boing yesterday:
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is buying 80 million 4-inch black polyethylene balls to cover the surfaces of three Los Angeles reservoirs that serve 4 million residents. At a cost of 33 cents each, the hollow spheres are designed to block sunlight from turning bromide and chlorine in the water into bromate, a suspected carcinogen.
Do the math. That’s twenty-six million four hundred thousand dollars the LA Water Dept. is spending on plastic balls to fill the reservoirs with. Actually, NPR is reporting the total cost of the project at $34.5 million. Other outlets say 96 million “shade balls” have now been deployed in California to save the water from becoming carcinogenic.
But wait, others say its just to save water from evaporation.
Fox News is claiming this entire thing is just to stop the water from evaporating to help amid the drought. The article just up today on Fox makes zero mention of bromide or other toxic chemical reactions in the water. The whole thing is about praise for a creative, low-tech, cheap solution to save water. (In the comments someone wrote, “So I’m no bio scientist, but doesn’t dark, wet conditions avoiding ultra violet lights, breed bacteria?”)
News Channel 4 began with “On Tuesday, officials released thousands of “shade balls” to protect the water from dust, chemicals, wildlife and — most importantly — evaporation.”
“Most importantly” evaporation?
Either way, Bloomberg reported:
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has now dumped 96 million balls into local reservoirs to reduce evaporation and block sunlight from encouraging algae growth and toxic chemical reactions.
“Toxic chemical reactions.”
That’s just sad in-and-of itself that the water is in such a deplorable condition that sunlight, which is normally a cleansing agent, could transform said water — a basic resource most living things on this planet need to live — (along with the chemicals they purposefully add to it) into a deadly carcinogen.
The balls are coated with a chemical that blocks ultraviolet light and helps the spheres last as long as 25 years. Las Virgenes, north of L.A., now uses shade balls, too.
So that’s wonderful. While the measure is expected to save 300 million gallons of water a year, just how contaminated with chemicals, especially those of the hormone-disrupting/mimicking variety, will be in that water?
First of all, what is the chemical coating these plastic balls that blocks ultraviolet light comprised of exactly? Does that leach over time? Are they sure it doesn’t? No mention in the press, so I guess someone somewhere deemed it’s “safe” (a word that means less and less these days in the modern American corporatocracy and its bought-and-paid-for bureaucratic circles…).
Going back to elementary school, doesn’t black absorb heat faster than lighter colors? Wouldn’t that hasten evaporation?
BEYOND even all of that though…
Even though the FDA has declared that polyethylene is “BPA-free,” we’ve reported before that being deemed BPA-free does not automatically mean a plastic formulation does not leach other hormone mimickers anyway:
Studies suggest that many alternatives to BPA sold in stores may still be dangerous estrogen mimickers and/or endocrine disruptors – particularly when used with hot foods or liquids.
In fact, most every plastic does leach these hormone mimickers and/or endocrine disruptors, especially when heated.
From the blog “My Plastic Free Life”:
Which plastics are safe? I get that question all the time…
My response: we can’t be sure any plastic is safe as long as we don’t know what chemicals are in the plastic and as long as those chemicals have not been tested. I’ve said this over and over again. And I’ve pointed out chemical additives that have been found to leach from “safe” plastics like polypropylene.
Now, a University of Texas study published last month in Environmental Health Perspectives confirms that hormone-disrupting chemicals leach from almost all plastics, even BPA-free plastics…
Their finding? Almost all of the plastic products tested leached EA [Estrogen Activity] chemicals.
The very least that most of us attempt to do is avoid plastic when it is coming in contact with our food and drink, so that we won’t be directly ingesting these chemicals when we dine. If we can’t for one reason or another, we definitely avoid using plastic in combination with hot food and drink.
Why? Because hormone mimickers and endocrine disruptors can cause a multitude of health problems including cancer!!!
Now California has purposefully dumped 96 million pieces of plastic into the drinking water to float on the water’s surface all day long every single day and bake in the sun.
Who knows what the long-term effects of this seemingly short-sighted, quick fix is going to be down the road. Don’t worry though. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said it’s safe on Facebook, so…
And you can clearly see the way this is being portrayed as utterly brilliant in the mainstream media: “YAY! We’re saving the water!”
Uh… Am I the only one here who feels like this is an insanely stupid?
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