Like Flint, water in California’s Central Valley unsafe, causing health problems | Fox News Latino
The population of the Central Valley, a basin surrounded by mountains that once offered hope to migrants like the fictional Joads in the “The Grapes of Wrath,” today is about 80 percent Latino, and 92 percent of the migrant farm workers in the Valley are Latino.
Much of fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. are grown here, and the soil has been decimated by agricultural activity – overuse of fertilizers and pesticides, manure from livestock. One result is a toxic soup of nitrates in the area’s drinking water.
When pumped up into people’s homes, the nitrates are so dangerous that people are known to get rashes when they shower. The presence of nitrates in the water supply also has been linked to “blue baby syndrome,” which is caused by the decreased ability of blood to carry oxygen – one of the most common causes is nitrate in drinking water.
“Generations of people who live here know not to drink the water,” Susana De Anda, a clean-water advocate and the co-executive director and co-founder of the Community Water Center NGO, told Fox News Latino.
While the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, made headlines around the country when the city’s leaders exposed residents to a tainted water supply for almost two years, families living in the Central Valley of California have been struggling without clean drinking water for decades.