Letter: Decision to filter water shows it may not be safe

Editor,

It’s been more than two years since PFAS chemicals leaking from Navy property were discovered in the Town of Coupeville’s water, the same water students and employees of the Coupeville School District drink.

School officials serving the district extending well beyond Coupeville’s borders have finally decided to provide them PFAS-free water.

This writer attended the January and February school board meetings requesting that PFAS-free water be provided and that parents be informed about the contaminated water their children are drinking.

The good news is that PFAS-free water coolers will now be placed in school halls and the gym. The bad news is that school officials won’t tell parents and students why, and that PFAS contaminated water will still be there for students to drink.

Coupeville says its water is safe, but the Navy’s decision to pay for filtering the town’s water is tacit admission that it’s not so safe after all.

In fact, poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances exceed the health advisories of an increasing number of states. PFOA, one of five PFASs in the water, is linked to a host of health harms.

Amounts are several times higher than the minimum risk levels proposed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. PFHxS, a sister chemical found in similar amounts, is linked to childhood development and learning problems.

Bringing PFAS-free water dispensers to the schools, which the district’s new superintendent made happen, will reduce exposures. However, school officials refuse to notify students and parents about the PFAS contaminated water that will still be dispensed from school water fountains. Parents won’t know to tell their children to drink from the new PFAS-free water coolers instead of the fountains.

School officials claim PFASs don’t need to be mentioned because the water fountains are hardly used. This transparent excuse to keep from embarrassing the Navy and town might avoid some political fallout, but it makes for fake news and downplays the seriousness of a nationwide contamination problem.

Worse yet, it denies parents the opportunity to make an informed choice to protect their children. As for the children, they get a bad lesson about leadership and the need to speak truth to power.

Until the town sends PFAS-filtered water to the schools, the water fountains should be turned off and people told why.

Rick Abraham

Greenbank

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Pay bumps for our school leaders are well-deserved

Editor, The purpose of this letter is to provide information to the… Continue reading

Letter: Neighbor dog is not the problem, claims are unfair

Editor, This is in response to Steve Trembley’s letter regarding a dog… Continue reading

Letter: The U.S’s world standing depends on ousting Trump

Editor, Donald J. Trump gives aid and comfort to dictators around the… Continue reading

Letter: There are many benefits to an extra hour of sun

Editor, I read with alarm the plans to go to year-round daylight… Continue reading

Letter: Navy decision is based on ‘fear mongering’

Editor, I read with 100 percent anger and horror about the Navy’s… Continue reading

Letter: WhidbeyHealth shouldn’t be turning away patients

Editor, My wife has been taking allergy shots since November of 2017.… Continue reading

Letter: South Whidbey school administration raises seem questionable

Editor, The South Whidbey Record reported on March 2 the salary increases… Continue reading

Letter: Raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21, save lives

Editor, My father started smoking at age 18, when he joined the… Continue reading

Letter: Thank you to those who hosted safety classes

Editor, I wish to thank the Oak Harbor Senior Center, Island Senior… Continue reading

Most Read