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Letter to the Editor – Spraying herbicides near our water supply?

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.
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Spraying herbicides near our water supply?

I’m a Naturopathic Physician, practicing in Newport for over 15 years and am very concerned about both short and long term effects of herbicides proposed to be used near Newport’s water shed and reservoir.

Water is precious.  We use it to drink, cook, bathe and shower, do our laundry, water our gardens. We depend on that water being pure, for our health and well-being. We need to be able to trust the water is safe.

Looking at how the human body processes toxins, it becomes obvious that every toxin has the potential to cause harm.  Our livers produce thousands of enzymes to speed up the processing of our food, our waste, and the toxins that enter our system. But there is a limited time and a limited capacity for the liver to do all of its work.  There is a lot of competition for the liver processing time. Things like processed food additives, medications, stress and emotional metabolites, take up a significant amount of liver time. So even without adding herbicides to our water supply, our livers are busy enough.
 
What happens to the toxins that don’t get excreted out through the urine or stool? They might end up stored in the fatty layer. Or the toxins may continue to circulate causing inflammation, nerve damage, endocrine disruption, autoimmune disease, mental health disorders, and other chronic disease.
 
Every item we add to our toxic load increases the risk of a disease being the outcome. For those who already have diseases, it can exacerbate the illness.  Delicately balanced systems are thrown off.  Endocrine systems, including sex and fertility hormones, stress hormones, glucose regulation, and thyroid hormones can be altered, setting the scene up for disease. Neurotransmitters that help control our emotions can be thrown off. Nerves can be altered and damaged. The gut microbiome can be altered causing digestive disorders. Drug interactions are possible. The list goes on and on. Cancer is another outcome we don’t want to overlook.  Breast tissue is particularly vulnerable to pesticides and herbicides.

Some people will be affected, more than others, due to their genetic and epigenetic makeup.  Not everyone has the ability to make the enzymes needed to clear these toxins. And it is discrimination against those persons without that specific genetic makeup, or due to other exposure have had their epigenetics altered.  They will pay the ultimate costs with more illnesses, more chronic diseases, less functional lives, lower incomes due to disease, and shorter lives. For some even the smallest amount, even less than detectable by the standards set by the producers, will have significant effects on people’s lives.

Studies are only as good as the neutrality of the funding.  Industry funded studies that show the potential for harm don’t get published; no one will ever see them.  Industry funded studies are frequently designed to hide the facts. The EPA has had a rotating door with the industries it regulates for years. EPA set Industry Standards are frequently designed to further obfuscate to maximize profits rather than protect the public. Despite what the forestry industry may say, 2,4-D with choline, oxyfluorfen and penoxsulam, sulfometuron methyl Chemical Carrier(s): water is NOT without risk.

There is another option. They can “hand release” the brush, which is easier on the forest and does not leave us vulnerable to having herbicides in our water supply. The City of Depoe Bay worked out such a deal with Hancock to hand release. The Bull Run watershed, which supplies drinking water for the city of Portland, has been “off limits” to loggers since the 1990s.

Allowing a forestry company to spray herbicides near our water supply to raise their profits contradicts the mandate of the city to protect its citizens.
Newport should choose People over Profits.

Thank You!

L. Susan Andersen, ND

 

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