Thursday, June 21, 2007

Puebla, Mexico: Governor Marin: Don't breathe the water at Valsequillo or marry your sister!

Another six-fingered child in Valsequillo

This is the last (for awhile) in the series about the poisoning of the Valsequillo reservoir just outside Puebla, Mexico. Puebla is a city you don't hear much about because it is one of the quietest large cities in the country. It is however, the fifth largest city in the nation and is the home of the gigantic Volkswagen assembly plant.

Reforma reported on June 4 that the various and sundry state health authorities (and there are a bunch of them) had suddenly become quite mum on the subject of their poisoned water supply. A spokesman for the State Health Services said that no comments would be forthcoming until after the results were in on the water testing which had commenced the previous week.

This is a marked change from the previous months when one state health official after another has marched in front of reporters to either deny outright the presence of heavy metal contamination and the attendant birth defects and mutations, including extra appendages and dwarfism in children, or has attempted to minimize the problems.

Like so: Puebla Health Services sent out a press release quoting its director, Roberto Morales, as saying that surveys and mortality rate studies indicated that there was neither acute nor chronic lead poisoning of the Valsequillo inhabitants, and furthermore,
The cases of extra fingers and toes have no relation (to lead poisoning), in truth it is a hereditary disease principally caused by intermarriage.

However, not everyone has been able to keep a lip zipped. Manuel Beristain Gómez, the head of the Puebla office of the Comisión Nacional del Agua (Conagua), set out to prove, again, just how incompetent these political hacks in high places can be. Having already been warned by Puebla University Professor Antonio Valdez García, who has been faithfully reporting this public health disaster for 8 years, not to rely on water samples taken during the rainy season, the undaunted Conagua hack forged ahead:
. . . in testing of samples for heavy metals, it can be confirmed that there is no presence of arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead and zinc in the reservoir at Valsequillo.
Uh-huh. Professor Valdez warned the state's health officials that taking water samples during the rainy season would yield skewed results. But, IMHO, if the sample were taken from sediments or from deep water or from the poisoned water wells dug near the lake, the effect of heavy rains would be minimized on the heavy metal content.

So where did Conagua tecnicians take their samples (if any were taken at all)?
The results of the sampling, Beristain explained, taken from both the surface as well as one meter in depth (39.6 inches -- just over one yard deep) did not detect the presence of any metals.
They took their samples (again, if any were taken at all) during the season of almost daily torrential downpours, on the surface and up to 3 feet deep. Congrats!

On June 5, Pedro Rubén Rodríguez, local head of the Profepa office (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente -- Federal Environmental Protection Agency) prevailed with a cooler head. He said that the university studies should receive "respect" and not be discounted. Instead, he suggested, in depth studies should be taken by "a certified entity with legal standing," I think that was a shot at Beristain and Conagua, which lacks certified laboratories to perform tests that would have any legal standing. I think.

Rodríguez said that there are some 200 industrial plants that have certified water treatment facilities out of some 1500 that Profepa monitors. However, he lamented, most municipalities just dump the sewage into the lake.

Rodríguez also made this somewhat startling admission about the municipal sewage treatment plants that do exist and are operable: Rodríguez said that the sewage treatment plants in Puebla don't treat heavy metals.
No, not yet, because their function is not to clean heavy metals because they are plants for treating sanitary sewage.

The treatment to clean heavy metals and chemical products is a physio-chemical (I think I just now made up that term) treatment and, yes, the businesses (the certified ones) have it.
I think that is probably true of almost all sewage treatment plants in the USA as well. Municipal, state and federal authorities must monitor the treatment of heavy metal contamination at its sources, the industrial plants that create it in the first place.

Then Enrique Doger, former rector of Puebla University and now mayor of Puebla, came out speaking from both sides of his mouth, all in the same sentence, like any capable politician. He said, first,
Yes, the lake is contaminated and, yes, there are serious, toxic contaminants, some very serious and some that can have genetic consequences . . .
then, barely pausing to take a breath of polluted Puebla air, he continued,
. . . but I don't believe, and this will also be the position of the Sectretary of Health, I don't believe that if a person is found with mutations that it would necessarily be a result of the contamination of the reservoir.
Well, Puebla Governor and pedophile-enabler Mario Marin doesn't think it's the water, either.

Governor Marin denies that poisoned water causes dwarfism.

Mark in Mexico Puebla Valsequillo Pollution
Mario Marin with Paul Bunyon (l) and Wilt Chamberlain (r)

This is the Mario Marin">quote from Puebla Governor Mario Marin as published in Reforma:
Es cierto que hay contaminación de plomo en sangre por respirar (sic) las aguas negras, que ha producido casos de cáncer, de leucemia.

Translation: It is certain that there is lead contamination of blood from breathing the sewage water which causes cancer, causes leukemia. (emphasis mine)
Leukemia? From Wikipedia on chronic lead pioisoning:
The symptoms of chronic lead poisoning include neurological problems, such as reduced IQ, or nausea, abdominal pain, irritability, insomnia, metal taste in oral cavity, excess lethargy or hyperactivity, headache and, in extreme cases, seizure and coma. There are also associated gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, which are common in acute poisoning. Other associated effects are anemia, kidney problems, and reproductive problems.

In humans, lead toxicity sometimes causes the formation of a bluish line along the gums, which is known as the "Burton's line", although this is very uncommon in young children. Blood film examination may reveal "basophilic stippling" of red blood cells, as well as the changes normally associated with iron deficiency anemia (microcytosis and hypochromia).

A direct link between early lead exposure and extreme learning disability has been confirmed by multiple researchers and child advocacy groups.
I don't see leukemia listed. To be fair, I don't see mutations listed either. However:
Mercury is a mutagen (mutation-causing), teratogen, and carcinogen (cancer-causing), with toxicity and environmental effects varying with its form, dose, and route of ingestion, and with the exposed organism's species, sex, age, and general condition (Eisler, 1978a, Fimreite 1979).
So maybe everyone, including yours truly, is a bit too hung up on lead poisoning. But, according to Puebla University's Antonio Valdéz García, the heavy metals contamination in the lake includes lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, cyanide, copper and cadmium, just to name a few. Check all those out here.

Note: SpellCheck not working, again, sew your on your're own.

Note II: Lots more to come on Puebla's Governor Mario Marín. This Lidia Cacho, pedophile thing just isn't going away. Now the Gober Precioso has the nation's supreme court on his back.

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