How would you like to drink tap water so polluted that it should be defined as hazardous waste? That’s what the majority of people in the United States capital have been drinking—with the CDC’s complicity.
by Heidi Stevenson
Tap water in parts of Washington D.C. between 2001 and 2004 was so polluted with lead that it should have been classified as hazardous waste. The nation’s watchdog agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) knew about it—and covered it up.
Let that sink in. What do you suppose the CDC did about it? There seems to be no end to the lengths they will go— obfuscation, misplacement of data, hiding of data, circular reasoning, and outright lying—in their efforts to cover it up. This may have been the worst lead contamination ever in a city’s water supply in America, and it happened in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.
If you’ve been following Gaia Health, you know that there is no safe level of lead. In Lead Shrinks the Brain and Causes Violent Crime, the following was documented from studies of hundreds of thousands of children followed for many years:
- Lead permanently shrinks children’s brains.
- Lead reduces intelligence in children.
- Lead makes children—and the adults they become—violent.
- Lead destroys the ability of children to develop empathy.
For every 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood, the crime rate increases by 50%, starting with the first 5 mcg/dl. Yet, the CDC has set the acceptable rate of lead contamination in children at 10 mcg/dl. In adults, lead in blood leads to a host of diseases, including heart attacks and neurological disorders. It is children, though, who are most severely harmed.
Chlorine in water is noted for being carcinogenic. So, chlorine is often replaced with chloramine in water supplies. There is, though, a benefit of chlorine in the presence of lead pipes; it inhibits the ability of lead to dissolve in water. Chloramine doesn’t have this effect. So, in places where old lead pipes still exist—most commonly in poor neighborhoods—the switch to chloramine resulted in extremely high levels of lead in drinking water. It is understood that this is a serious risk, especially for developing children and pregnant women.
In a 2004 report(1), the CDC stated that heightened water lead levels in D.C. “might have contributed a small increase in blood lead levels.” This report noted that the majority of D.C. households tested had higher than accepted amounts of lead in their water. In spite of this stunning revelation, the report went on to cover up the severity of effects of lead poisoning.
Don’t Look Here. Move On. Everything’s Okay.
How did it happen? Thousands of blood test results were “lost”. The CDC apparently knew it. How could they not? Their response was to pretend that nothing was awry. They published their report with nearly half the data missing, and didn’t even make a note of it.
When caught—after another group of scientists studied lead contamination for the same time period in Washington D.C. in 2007 and found dramatically different results(2)—the CDC dissembled. The head of the CDC study, Mary Jean Brown, admitted that much of the data was missing, but said it really didn’t matter, that only less important data was lost.
The CDC might as well have said, “Don’t look here. We have it all under control. Don’t worry, just move on.”
In a letter to Salon, Brown acknowledged that they were aware of the missing data in 2004, the year the report came out, and said nothing. She blamed the lab for the missing data, but apparently she and her colleagues didn’t go back to the lab and ask for it.
In other words, “It’s not my fault! They did it. So what if we knew it and pretended the data wasn’t missing!”
One scientist for another agency, who wishes to remain anonymous (for fear of losing his job because he’s not allowed to speak to the press) stated, “This is just a circular argument, and it doesn’t wash. When CDC learned the data was missing, someone could have called the lab and asked for it. If it was the lab’s mistake, they would have sent the data.”
Marc Edwards, an environmental engineer, and Dana Best, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center, were two of the scientists who did the 2007 study. They found that, at a minimum, hundreds, possibly thousands, of children were adversely affected by the substitution of chlorine with chloramine, and were even more concerned about another 40,000 children whose mothers were exposed to lead during their pregnancies.
Edwards, who has examined the CDC’s report, claims that not only less significant data went missing, but that high results were gone, too. In a message to the CDC’s associate science director, he stated, “Why is it that every child I have personal knowledge of, who had a strong chance of having elevated blood lead from water, is either deleted or otherwise misrepresented in the data that CDC has and used for this publication?” The only answer he received was a claim of no misconduct.
So how can this possibly indicate anything other than that the CDC intentionally hid the high levels of lead in the national capital’s drinking water?
The State of America’s Healthcare
This is the state of America’s health care system. Its watchdogs—CDC, FDA, USDA, NIH—are clearly working for someone other than the citizens they’re supposed to serve. Trust their reports and judgments at your own risk. These agencies have allowed the most important aspects of our health to be sold to the highest bidder. The results are already epidemic. It’s not widely known yet because of masterful techniques for suppressing and twisting information. Reports like this are either not covered in mainstream media or pushed to the back pages. Slowly, though, it’s getting out.
Isn’t it nice to know that the CDC has done such a brilliant job of protecting the people who don’t want to be bothered with replacing lead pipes? Or is it the chloramine manufacturers? Whoever they’re covering for, they’re clearly far more important than the children who will never develop their full intelligence and who will go to prison for committing crimes because their brains couldn’t develop properly—or for their victims. Nice sense of priorities.
- (1)Centers for Disease Control, Blood Lead Levels in Residents of Homes with Elevated Lead in Tap Water — District of Columbia, 2004
- (2)Environmental Science & Technology, Elevated Blood Lead in Young Children Due to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water: Washington, DC, 2001−2004, Marc Edwards, Simoni Triantafyllidou, Dana Best
- Lead Causes Violent Crime and Shrinks the Brain
- Salon.com, Health agency covered up lead harm, by Rebecca Renner
- Politics, Policy & Public Health, Association between lead poisoning among children less than six years old and lead service pipes in Washington DC, Jaime Raymond, MPH, et al
More at GaiaHealth.com