Wikipedia – A Guide to Horrors

Every now and then we have a customer who asks pointed questions about the performance of Seagull IV and First Need XL water purifiers.  We generally send them in the direction of our Product Data Sheet to see the list of chemicals that the Seagull IV water purifiers can remove.

Recently while helping a customer, I realized that the Product Data Sheet assumes that the customer is sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to understand and interpret the data but in this instance the data just added to the confusion that the customer had.

To simplify, I sorted the chemicals into a couple of categories; commonly found in municipal water supply, herbicide, pesticides, solvents and organic compounds. To do this I used Wikipedia.

I realized that I having been using the stock and trade answer of “removes chemicals, herbicides, pesticides…..” without giving it much thought.  The Wikipedia entries for these chemicals jolted my consciousness back to a time when these chemicals had names.  Fearful names.

Rachel Carson’s 1962 landmark book “Silent Spring” not only rallied people to fight the use of DDT but became the rallying call for environmental activism and consciousness. By the seventies; Asbestos, Dixons, DDT, PCB, Mercury and Lead had all become household words. The Love Canal  and the Grassy Narrows fiascoes were nightly news.  Mom, Dad and I would watch these newscasts and wonder what was under our house, what was Dad breathing in at work, what was in our water…

As I read the Wikipedia entries for the chemicals listed in the Seagull IV Product Data Sheet I realized that I had the table of contents for a new book, “Wikipedia –  A Guide to Horrors”.  Read it if you dare……….

Wikipedia – A Guide to Horrors
Common
in Municipal Water Supplies
Notes Wikipedia Reference
Chlorine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine
Trihalomethane (THMs) Chlorination byproduct http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trihalomethane
Chloramine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramine
Herbicide
2,4-D (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic_acid
2,4,5-TP (Silvex, Fenoprop) Banned in USA, 1985 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenoprop
Pesticide
Methoxychlor Banned in USA, 2003 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methoxychlor
Chlordane Banned in USA, 1988 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlordane
Aldicarb (Temik) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldicarb
1,2-Dibromomethane (EDB) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,2-Dibromoethane
1,4-Dichlorobenzene http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,4-Dichlorobenzene
Solvent
1,1 Dichloroethane http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1-Dichloroethane
1,1,2-Trichloroethane http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1,2-Trichloroethane
Dichlorethane http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichloroethane
Diisopropyl ether http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diisopropyl_ether
Tetrachlorethylene (PCE) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachloroethylene
Trichloroethylene (TCE) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichloroethylene
P-chlorobenzene http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorobenzene
Organic Compounds
Carbon Tetrachloride Chlorination byproduct http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_Tetrachloride
Chloroform Chlorination byproduct http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroform
Hexachlorobenzene Banned in USA, 1966 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexachlorobenzene
PCB Banned in USA, 1979 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlorinated_biphenyl
MTBE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTBE