Home > Environment, Our Earth > Rewind: FRONTLINE Poisoned Waters

Rewind: FRONTLINE Poisoned Waters

May 12, 2011

FRONTLINE 2009 report: POISONED WATERS

WATCH FULL PROGRAM – CLICK HERE

FRONTLINE REPORTS: More than three decades after the Clean Water Act, iconic American waterways like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound are in perilous condition and facing new sources of contamination.

With polluted runoff still flowing in from industry, agriculture and massive suburban development, scientists note that many new pollutants and toxins from modern everyday life are already being found in the drinking water of millions of people across the country and pose a threat to fish, wildlife and, potentially, human health.

In Poisoned Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith examines the growing hazards to human health and the ecosystem.

Through interviews with scientists, environmental activists, corporate executives and average citizens impacted by the burgeoning pollution problem, Smith reveals startling new evidence that today’s growing environmental threat comes not from the giant industrial polluters of old, but from chemicals in consumers’ face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners that find their way into sewers, storm drains and eventually into America’s waterways and drinking water.

“The environment has slipped off our radar screen because it’s not a hot crisis like the financial meltdown, war or terrorism,” Smith says. “But pollution is a ticking time bomb. It’s a chronic cancer that is slowly eating away the natural resources that are vital to our very lives.”

In Poisoned Waters, Smith speaks with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who report finding genetically mutated marine life in the Potomac River. In addition to finding frogs with six legs and other mutations, the researchers have found male amphibians with ovaries and female frogs with male genitalia. Scientists tell FRONTLINE that the mutations are likely caused by exposure to “endocrine disruptors,” chemical compounds that mimic the body’s natural hormones.

The USGS research on the Potomac River poses some troubling questions for the 2 million people who rely on the Washington Aqueduct for their drinking water.

Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/poisonedwaters/etc/synopsis.html#ixzz1MB6dDmfw

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: