Thursday, June 29, 2017
The article below is very long-winded in a typical Leftist style but the essence of it is in the opening paragraphs that I have excerpted below.
I believe the article does address a real problem. The only surprising thing is its discovery that bore water is a last resort for drinking purposes. It often has metallic and other unpleasant tastes that should warn that its use for human consumption is risky.
Depending on the contamination it can be purified at some cost but that is rare. People, black and white, just take their chances, usually. So it is not surprising that the W.A. government has not funded purification for Aborigines. Government has many calls on its funds.
Asking the government to go into a large number of black settlements with purification machinery is a big ask when it is always possible for the inhabitants to move into areas where reticulated river water is available. The W.A. government encourages that.
But the Aborigines resist that. They have a religious attachment to their traditional locations. So in a sense they have made their choices about what they are exposed to and have to bear the consequences. Is it fair for them to ask those who pay taxes (they rarely do themselves) to prop up their religious beliefs? As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared in March 2015, "what we can’t do is endlessly subsidize lifestyle choices."
When deep-well bore water arrived in Australian bush communities people thought the big thirst was over. Jeff McMullen reports that a decade long study shows unsafe water is now cutting lives short.
If a baby is fed unsafe water contaminated with chemical nitrates, the child turns blue.
The striking colouring occurs particularly around the eyes and mouth. Blue Baby Syndrome is the decrease of the oxygen carrying capacity of the haemoglobin. It is potentially fatal.
And yet, in scores of communities across Australia many people are still not aware of the growing evidence that nitrates – found naturally in the environment and compounded by mining – are a crucial factor in a devastating epidemic of chronic illness, particularly renal problems afflicting children and adults.
"I never dreamed that our water has such high levels of nitrate contamination," says Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes, paediatrician to the Goldfields region in Western Australia.
"Water flows from the Pilbara all the way south to the Great Australian Bight. The critical threat is the nitrates, combined with uranium and arsenic, to create a perfect storm."
It is this discovery – that not only is there an immediate threat of nitrate poisoning from high levels in the water but also a long-term danger caused by prolonged exposure – that will bring Dr Jeffries-Stokes and her medical team from the Western Desert Kidney Project face to face with the WA Government this week, to present their findings and lobby the government to finally take action.
Co-Chief Investigator of the decade long research project, Annette Stokes says "people are very, very sick".
"Some already had diabetes and did not know it. Others are progressing to end state renal illness without ever being aware of this water poison."
"Previously unexplained levels of chronic illness, especially kidney disease afflicting black and white people in remote regions, can now be understood," adds Dr Jeffries-Stokes. "Governments must take action urgently and it is no good talking about closing hundreds of remote communities and towns. This affects so many people Governments must clean up the water."
One of Australia’s most respected epidemiologists, Professor Fiona Stanley, has added her voice to the call for urgent action.
"This is a really important public health and human rights issue, particularly for the Aboriginal populations of the eastern Goldfields. The neglect that we have shown these populations over the years is being added to by our reluctance to clean up the water supply," Professor Stanley says.
More at: https://newmatilda.com/2017/06/28/the-poisoned-chalice-breakthrough-wa-study-shines-a-light-on-global-water-contamination/