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You’re Helping Communities Navigate a Water Contamination Crisis: Fighting for clean water for everyone!
This spring and summer, thousands of residents across the Northeast were told that the water coming out of their tap is unsafe to drink—and likely has been for years. Toxic fluorinated chemicals, associated with the manufacture of stick- and stain- resistant materials, are now appearing in drinking water supplies. Deepening the crisis, fluorinated chemicals are unregulated in drinking water and have been linked to cancers, thyroid disease and more.
When Carol DiPirro of Merrimack, N.H., described what it was like to find out her family was among those exposed, she was remarkably pragmatic. “We had just found out that the water we used for cooking, bathing, drinking and cleaning for our kids’ whole lives is contaminated with a chemical we’d never heard of and causing health effects that were kept secret. Obviously we had a lot of questions,” she said. “We needed not only scientific and medical experts to help us understand what we were dealing with, but also lawyers to help us understand how to deal with it.”
That’s where you come in. With your support, Shaina Kasper, Toxics Action Center’s State Director in Vermont and New Hampshire, has provided rapid emergency assistance to people like Carol. Those affected are navigating the logistics of life without tap water, the emotional fallout from the crisis, the complexity of medical testing, and an extraordinary number of calls from lawyers and reporters. Shaina committed early on to making sure exposed communities can carefully evaluate all of their options. She partnered with the Vermont Law School’s Environment and Natural Resources Law Clinic to compile interview questions for residents to use to screen lawyers. She also helped community members win necessary blood testing accommodations from the state, and arranged for law professors to answer questions at community group meetings.
Communities experiencing fluorinated chemical contamination have a long road in front of them. With your support, we’ll continue to do everything we can to help them advocate for themselves and their families and give them access to the resources they need to build a path forward.
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