Lead and Copper in Eastham Water

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out
[Abuse] [Eastham Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 49]

Lead and Copper in Eastham Water

I received the Texas Grievance Pack you sent to me, and I am able to assist other Texas prisoners here on this unit in some issues which we are facing. Though none is as serious as the fact that a few months ago we prisoners on Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas, were and still are having to drink contaminated water which is tainted with at least lead and copper! The Officers here on this unit do not drink the water but we prisoners are forced to as we are trapped here like rats in a wet box. At least the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) put up a public notice concerning this. So now we know and are aware that we are slowly being poisoned. This is the most pressing issue we are facing here. It is one thing to pay for your wrongs or crimes by doing time, but to also have to be poisoned by the state erstwhile is something else entirely.

MIM(Prisons) adds: From the projects to reservations to prisons to indigenous peoples in rainforests, poisoning oppressed people slowly through contaminating an essential nutrient to humyn life — water — has long been a tactic of national oppression. In the pages of ULK we have long been reporting on contaminated water at various prisons across the country.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on lead:

"Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body... Lead can accumulate in our bodies over time, where it is stored in bones along with calcium. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from:
Cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension
Decreased kidney function
Reproductive problems (in both men and women)"(1)

Below is information from the Minnesota Department of Health on Copper in drinking water:

"Copper is a reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. It has many practical uses in our society and is commonly found in coins, electrical wiring, and pipes. It is an essential element for living organisms, including humans, and-in small amounts-necessary in our diet to ensure good health. However, too much copper can cause adverse health effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. It has also been associated with liver damage and kidney disease."(2)

The EPA enacted the Lead and Copper Rule in 1991,

"The treatment technique for the rule requires systems to monitor drinking water at customer taps. If lead concentrations exceed an action level of 15 ppb or copper concentrations exceed an action level of 1.3 ppm in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion [of pipes]."(3)

If possible, find out the level of lead and copper in your pipes and if it exceeds the amount recommended by the EPA you may be able to start a campaign in your facility around this shared problem. The EPA is a notoriously bureaucratic organization (and part of the U.$. government that perpetuates the destruction of oppressed nations) so finding relief from them is unlikely. In the fight for survival pending revolution, avoiding known poisons might be a campaign to take on and use to build unity.

1. http://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#effects
2. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/water/factsheet/com/copper.html
3. http://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule
This article referenced in: