Coast Guard Sailing In Poisoned Water

Every single military base tested to date in Michigan and around the United States that used so called AFFF, which is a foam used for firefighting has tested positive for massive contamination from PFC’s and PFOA’s. These are chemicals that have been shown to cause testicular cancer, prostate cancer, birth defects, and a variety other devastating health issues. Many of these bases are located near critical waterways including the Great Lakes.

With this in mind, it is clear the United States Coast Guard may have inadvertently poisoned untold numbers of lakes, rivers, and water supplies. Because the family of chemicals involved is almost indestructible they can remain in the environment for years or decades. In West Virginia, DuPont, the company that made many products using the PFC’s including Scotchguard, are paying out tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits arising from contaminated drinking water supplies.

Studies conducted in 2010 and 2011 by the Michigan Department of Environmental Health tested for PFC and PFOA concentration levels in populations of Tree Swallows, the highest readings from those studies were located in close proximity to Coast Guard stations in Duluth, Minnesota and St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In fact, the entire Detroit River appears to be contaminated based on the study of Tree Swallows. Several military facilities that line the waterway used the firefighting foam.

It is remarkable to note that of the 900 Superfund cleanup sites in America the majority of them are directly associated with the military. The reason is simple. The military has had a casual disregard for the environment and have, almost as a pattern of practice, ignored proper disposal protocols when it came to toxic chemicals. They are among the most polluted places in America.

Ironically, the Coast Guard has eluded much scrutiny for its actions and environmental concerns but that is changing. Because the foam used to fight fires was also prevalent in all branches of the military those conducting training or exercises directly in contact with water are the most concerning. These sites are located across Michigan and around the nation.

Another hot spot appears to correlate with the Ford Motor Company plant at the mouth of the River Raisin in Monroe County. This will need additional testing and investigation, but with the chemicals used in heavy manufacturing it would make sense.

It seems we may have just popped open Pandora’s box of fluorine chemical chains we do not understand. The question now is where it all leads and can we clean up the mess we are just now beginning to understand.