This story is a few days old, but it is relevant to both Americans and Barbadians.

CBS4 - May 20, 2010 - Government Warning: Don’t Drink The Water (Falls Area Wells Contaminated With Pesticide)

THE FALLS (CBS4) ? In a neighborhood of nice homes in The Falls area of Southwest Miami-Dade, beneath the blooming Poinciana trees, poison lurks. It is spewing from the kitchen spigots of houses that draw their drinking water from wells

“Six hundred and fifty percent, our water is 650 percent more poisonous than normal water!” cried homeowner Martha Correa, pointing to a county report on results of tests on her well.

Miami Dade Environmental Health Director Dr. Samir Elmir said there is little possibility that the pesticide levels in the affected wells pose a serious risk of increased cancer. Elmir said there is an “almost immeasurable” link between long-term exposure to Dieldrin and elevated cancer cases.

Who is Affected

Many homes in Miami draw their drinking water from a hole drilled into the ground. The municipal water supply is not affected, so if you pay a water bill you are safe. We have municipal water, but we use activated charcoal filters on both our drinking and shower water.

Years ago we were friendly with a couple who drank water from a contaminated well in Miami. The lady died from cancer, and the gentleman had early onset Alzheimer’s. The cancer was thought to be linked to the water, as at that time the area had a high incidence of that devastating disease.

Showering in Contaminated Water May be More Dangerous than Drinking It

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? When you drink a glass of contaminated, the stomach has a shot at neutralizing the poisons. When you are showering, volatile pesticides can become an airbourne vapour. Once this vapour enters the lungs, it is a short step to the blood stream. A bonus of the shower filter is that it removes chlorine, a known carcinogen.  (”The EPA has raised skin absorption of chlorine to its top 10 carcinogen Watch List.” - The Washington Post, June 1994)

WebMD: Healthy Begins Here

In fact, according to the American Chemical Society, “we could receive from 6 to 100 times more chlorine by breathing the air around showers and baths than we could by drinking water.”

How Do You Know if Your Water is Polluted?

In Miami, you can go online to an official government site where you can see the results of testing. The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) has this page showing test results for 2003-2009.


Should Barbadians be Worried?

Every place that has agriculture has a pesticide problem. In addition, Barbados has a very high population density. Barbados water may be good today and bad tomorrow. read this article if you live in St. James: Richard Goddard finds no Thrill on Lonesome Hill

Without regular government testing and reporting, there is not much the average Bajan can do. You can ask your MP to institute regular testing and reporting in your area, or you can blindly trust the authorities to protect your health.