11 Jun '12, 10am

water

water

Jessica Sanchez sits in her mother’s kitchen, hands resting on her bulging belly. Eight months pregnant, she’s excited about the imminent birth of her son. But she’s scared too. A few feet away, her mother, Bertha Dias, scrubs potatoes with water she bought from a vending machine. She won’t use the tap water because it’s contaminated with nitrates. Every day, Dias, 43, heads to the fields in California's Central Valley to pick fruit. She often skips lunch to save money for the $17.50 she needs each week to fill jugs with vending-machine water. Sanchez started speaking out about her town’s toxic water when she discovered that nitrates can cause “blue baby syndrome,” a potentially fatal blood disorder. “Now it really hits me,” she said, “because now it’s my baby.” About 500 people, nearly all Latino farm workers, live in the long-neglected town of East Orosi with no sidewalk...

Full article: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/poll...

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