“It’s from George Orwell’s 1984, a reminder of the doublethink Edwards encountered in DC. He still considers his work there a total failure.”

pain sculpture

Ed. Note: Check this map to see if you have lead service lines coming into your house.

“Dear PoPville,

This article is about lead in the water in Flint, but it profiles an engineer working there who also worked in DC beginning in 2003. It’s not very reassuring! I thought you might be interested if you haven’t seen it yet.”

“But he never forgot the lesson of DC. Taped to the door of Edwards’ office at Virginia Tech is a slip of paper that reads: “This, thought Winston, was the most frightening aspect of the party regime—that it could obliterate memory, turn lies into Truth and alter the Past …”

It’s from George Orwell’s 1984, a reminder of the doublethink Edwards encountered in DC. He still considers his work there a total failure. “These agencies, over every objection I made, went ahead and poisoned kids,” Edwards says. He wasn’t going to let that happen again.”

6 Comment

  • Edwards is a bit of a crazy person. Take what he says with a grain of salt. HOWEVER, yes, the problem in Flint is a problem everywhere.

    • Disagree, and I don’t understand how you make that leap. He was the main crusader for the people of Flint, and water supply transparency in general; and for that, I’ll take what he has to say with a great deal of seriousness. Also, he’s a researcher at Virginia Tech; not a federal or city employee, which was perhaps inadvertently implied in the post.

      • I agree, he’s highly credible and doing great work. I know people who have had a lot of interaction with him though, and there are a lot of good stories related to his personality…

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Oh wow, am I the last person to finally put two and two together, and realize that 1984 was really about lead poisoning???

    • Well, Winston did suffer from a certain type of acute lead poisoning at the very end of the book…

  • For anyone interested in supporting more action in DC, there’s a hearing next Wednesday on lead testing in public facilities (http://dccouncil.us/events/joint-oversight-hearing-on-lead-testing-in-public-facilities). I’m going to testify that DC needs to do more than what’s legally required to reduce exposure in schools. While they are testing schools and putting filters on water fountains that test above EPA action levels (>15ppb)… they aren’t doing anything about those that test just below (<14ppb). EPA action levels are NOT a heatlh standard. EPA has said publically that there is no safe level of lead in water. I feel strongly that families shouldn't have to worry about exposure at school and with DC's history… they can and should do better.

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