Drinking water from nearly half of U.S. faucets likely contains “forever chemicals” that may cause cancer and other health problems, according to a government study released Wednesday.
An AP report said:
The synthetic compounds known collectively as PFAS are contaminating drinking water to varying extents in large cities and small towns — and in private wells and public systems, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Researchers described the study as the first nationwide effort to test for PFAS in tap water from private sources in addition to regulated ones. It builds on previous scientific findings that the chemicals are widespread, showing up in consumer products as diverse as nonstick pans, food packaging and water-resistant clothing and making their way into water supplies.
Because the USGS is a scientific research agency, the report makes no policy recommendations. But the information “can be used to evaluate risk of exposure and inform decisions about whether or not you want to treat your drinking water, get it tested or get more information from your state” about the situation locally, said lead author Kelly Smalling, a research hydrologist.
The report said:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March proposed the first federal drinking water limits on six forms of PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, which remain in the human body for years and don’t degrade in the environment. A final decision is expected later this year or in 2024.
But the government hasn’t prohibited companies using the chemicals from dumping them into public wastewater systems, said Scott Faber, a senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.
“We should be treating this problem where it begins, instead of putting up a stoplight after the accident,” he said. “We should be requiring polluters to treat their own wastes.”
Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.
Federal and state programs typically measure exposure to pollutants such as PFAS at water treatment plants or groundwater wells that supply them, Smalling said. In contrast, the USGS report was based on samples from taps in 716 locations, including 447 that rely on public supplies and 269 using private wells.
The samples were taken between 2016 and 2021 in a range of locations — mostly residences but also a few schools and offices. They included protected lands such as national parks; residential and rural areas with no identified PFAS sources; and urban centers with industry or waste sites known to generate PFAS.
Most taps were sampled just once. Three were sampled multiple times over a three-month period, with results changing little, Smalling said.
Scientists tested for 32 PFAS compounds — most of the ones detectable through available methods. Thousands of others are believed to exist but can’t be spotted with current technology, Smalling said.
The types found most often were PFBS, PFHxS and PFOA. Also making frequent appearances was PFOS, one of the most common nationwide.
Positive samples contained as many as nine varieties, although most were closer to two. The median concentration was around seven parts per trillion for all 32 PFAS types, although for PFOA and PFOS it was about four parts per trillion — the limit EPA has proposed for those two compounds.
The heaviest exposures were in cities and near potential sources of the compounds, particularly in the Eastern Seaboard; Great Lakes and Great Plains urban centers; and Central and Southern California. Many of the tests, mostly in rural areas, found no PFAS.
Based on the data, researchers estimated that at least one form of PFAS could be found in about 45% of tap water samples nationwide.
The study underscores that private well users should have their water tested for PFAS and consider installing filters, said Faber of the Environmental Working Group. Filters containing activated carbon or reverse osmosis membranes can remove the compounds.
The USGS study is “further evidence that PFAS is incredibly pervasive and folks who rely on private wells are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by these chemicals,” Faber said.
Baseball-bat Wielding Children Attack Mothers In San Francisco As Crime Wave Intensifies
Two reports by The Telegraph and Fox News said:
Baseball bat-wielding gangs of children are mugging mothers and nannies on the school run in the latest crime wave to hit San Francisco.
Last week Noe Valley, also known as “stroller valley” because of the growing population of young families, endured 11 phone robberies that are believed to have been carried out by the same gang who are targeting women picking up children from school.
One woman was reportedly hit with a baseball bat, while another was punched in the face, before the offender ran to a getaway car and drove off.
On Thursday the police had arrested one minor in connection with the 11 robberies and were searching for the others.
Rafael Mandelman, who sits on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which is responsible for legislating, said there are a growing number of children “doing these really awful things”.
“I think, what happened with kids not being in school, I think there may be something going on with that, that we are going to be experiencing for a while”, he said.
He added: “Those couple of years where school was erratic or non-existent, where everyone was under stress, parents and caregivers were under stress. That was probably impacting vulnerable communities more anyway. Sociologically, who knows what was going on, but I would not be surprised if we are going to be experiencing the lingering impacts of that for a generation.”
The California city has slumped in recent years from one of the most desirable places to live to one crippled by opioid usage, a disproportionate rate of homelessness and rising crime.
Chesa Boudin, a former district attorney, who was ousted last year, introduced policies in office including refusing to prosecute children as adults, aggressively going after police officers who commit crime, and reducing the prison population.
There has been an 11 per cent increase in robberies for the first six months of the year when compared to the same period in 2022.
Violent robberies are being carried out in broad daylight in wealthy enclaves such as Noe Valley, a tight-knit community, where free yoga classes are held every Sunday in the town square.
One victim of the string of recent attacks, who only wished to be identified as CW, said the police appeared to have “zero interest” in investigating her attack.
She was thrown to the ground by a boy who stole her phone last Monday when she was on the way to collect her daughter from the nursery.
A neighbor’s security system caught the car on video and she was able to track her phone for 18 hours after the attack. But after she reported the crime, no investigator responded to the developments.
When she emailed a police officer to ask who she could contact to help “improve how these things get tackled”, she was told to “do some research yourself”.
The next day she was driving to the police station to complain about the response, when she saw a patrol car on the street where she had been robbed.
Punched In The Face
It transpired another mother had been attacked, with the same getaway car, but this time she was punched in the face.
“For 24 hours, I had been trying desperately to get the police to engage with me to stop these guys. Zero response. And then it happened again in the same location,” she said.
Mr. Mandelman said the city’s soft approach on crime has been good at “dismantling the systems” without fixing the underlying problems.
“I do not think that our interventions for people who are committing petty crimes are particularly effective. I mean, fine, you do not put people in jail, but what are you doing? Well, if you are doing nothing, then what’s the outcome going to be? Not great.”
The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.
“Crime is worse than the data shows,” Charles “Cully” Stimson, Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow and former prosecutor in San Francisco, told Fox News Digital earlier this year.
“People do not report these crimes because when you have a DA who is pro criminal and not going to enforce the law, the cops are not going to go out and arrest somebody when they know the case is going to be no papered,” Stimson said.
The White House Cocaine Controversy
Former U.S. President Donald Trump has roasted U.S. President Joe Biden and his son over the discovery of cocaine in the White House, suggesting it may have belonged to them.
According to U.S. officials, none of the Bidens were present at the time the stash was found.
On Sunday, Secret Service agents found a “small, zippered bag” containing white powder inside the West Wing, prompting an evacuation of the White House. Later, a Secret Service official confirmed to CNN that the powder was indeed cocaine.
Commenting on the matter, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration is confident the investigation will “get to the bottom” of the incident, noting that the substance was found in a “heavily travelled area” which regularly sees many visitors.
However, former U.S. President Donald Trump offered a different take on the incident.
“Does anybody really believe that the COCAINE found in the West Wing of the White House, very close to the Oval Office, is for the use of anyone other than Hunter & Joe Biden,” Trump wrote on his page on TruthSocial on Wednesday.
He also predicted that “the Fake NEWS Media will soon start saying that the amount found was ‘very small,’ & it was not really COCAINE,” but an approved drug like Aspirin, and “the story will vanish.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another contender in the 2024 presidential race, said on Wednesday: “I think a lot of us have believed that the Biden administration has been blowing it on a lot of fronts. But I guess it is a little bit more literal than even I had thought.”
On Wednesday, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told Politico that the chances of finding the culprit are slim. He suggested that “even if there were surveillance cameras,” it would have been difficult to identify the owner of cocaine unless he was “waving it around.”
“It is a bit of a thoroughfare. People walk by there all the time,”
An earlier report said:
A US laboratory test on Wednesday confirmed the initial findings that the powder found at the White House over the weekend was in fact cocaine. The Secret Service and the FBI are investigating how the drug got into the West Wing, but some officials are saying it may never be known.
The white powder inside prompted the evacuation of the White House, until the field test showed it to be cocaine. A subsequent lab test confirmed the result, an “official with knowledge of the investigation” told NBC News.
Politico also quoted an official familiar with the probe, who said it will be “very difficult” to find the bag’s owner, given that it “may not have been caught” by any surveillance cameras, and that the locker was in an area frequented by White House staff as well as visitors.
President Joe Biden and his family were at Camp David over the weekend, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
Biden has been briefed about the incident, which is being investigated by the Secret Service and the FBI.
Cocaine is a Schedule II narcotic in the U.S., illegal to possess without a doctor’s prescription. It has also been the drug of choice of Biden’s son Hunter, who admitted to his addiction in a recent memoir, after video evidence of it was found on the laptop he abandoned at a Delaware repair shop.
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany threw cold water on the suggestion that cocaine found at The White House over the holiday weekend could have belonged to Hunter Biden.
“For it to be Hunter Biden, he left on Friday, he was at Camp David. There is no way, it is inconceivable to think cocaine could sit for a 72 hour period (at The White House), so I would rule him out at this point.” McEnany, who is now a Fox News host, said Thursday on the network’s flagship morning talk program.
McEnany once worked for Trump.
Trump has attacked McEnany directly in recent weeks, criticizing her for her commentary on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), his chief rival in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race.