During a late November meeting with members of the House of Delegates and state Senate rule making committees, member Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, questioned the necessity of lowering the amounts of harmful pollutants in the state’s waters saying, they (WV Manufacturers Association) wanted the DEP to consider that West Virginians drink less water, eat less fish, and are heavier than the national average.
Ironically, several peer reviewed studies similar to one published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, have found that exposure to toxic chemicals (such as C-8) in water has been shown to affect obesity.
These compounds, known as obesogens, can accumulate in body fat where they compromise fertility, affect the endocrine system, and promote reactive weight gain and obesity.
West Virginians are caught in a positive feedback loop. Exposure to more and more toxins from contaminated water increases weight and increases the toxins levels in their bodies.
Fetal exposure can result in epigenetic toxicity, resulting in reproductive issues as well as higher obesity rates as adults.
Peer reviewed scientific studies should be used when defining water quality criteria to protect West Virginia’s citizens, not unsubstantiated biased opinions spoken by industry representatives.
Dr. Randi Pokladnik