A while back I discussed the topic of water shortages in America. There is certainly no lack of media coverage of this topic in California and other Western states, as well as in the Southwest. The combination of drought and record-setting heat waves has produced a frightening scenario for farmers and ranchers, not to mention ordinary citizens.
But there is another significant water problem affecting a growing number of people all over the country. Whether it’s dangerous levels of lead, iron, uranium, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or any of a large number of contaminants, people in many different states are discovering that their drinking water is not nearly as safe as they thought it was.
The worst example we’ve heard about in recent months comes out of Flint, Michigan, where the levels of lead in the drinking water have been so high that officials are convinced there will be long-term health problems for the children who have been drinking it.
Side note: I’m proud to say that our company 4Patriots donated 5 water purification systems to day care centers in Flint, Michigan. This came at the request of our employees and will provide thousands of gallons of safe water to that struggling community.
Yet, there are many more instances of water contamination plaguing communities across the U.S. Unsafe levels of uranium have been found in the drinking systems in the West and Midwest, while dangerously high levels of PFOA are being found in New York and New Jersey.
Brown and yellow water is coming out of people’s faucets in St. Joseph, Louisiana, causing some people to drive considerable distances to wash their clothes and others to buy bottled water in which to bathe. Even a Louisiana state health official contradicted himself by claiming St. Joseph city water is safe to drink, while admitting he wouldn’t drink it. This kind of mixed message is confusing to citizens, and does little to foster public trust.
And that brings me to another important point. When government officials tell us that certain levels of contaminants are safe for people to drink, should we believe them?
The Environmental Protection Agency tells us that .04 parts per billion of PFOA is safe, but researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell say that the drinking water standard should be as low as 0.001 parts per billion. That’s 40 times lower than the New Jersey standard.
And it’s not like these contaminants are merely annoyances. Lead poisoning can kill, and at the very least it can result in children having learning disabilities, shortening of attention spans and anti-social behavior.
Uranium is used in nuclear fuel for power plants and atom bombs. Even government authorities admit that long-term exposure to uranium can damage kidneys and raise cancer risk.
Iron can increase the hazard of pathogenic organisms. Zinc can cause asthma-related symptoms, blood disorders and changes in thyroid function. Copper is dangerous for people with certain metabolic disorders.
And the list goes on.
4Patriots LLC, the company I founded in 2008, has responded to this crisis by selling the Alexapure Pro, which eliminates 99.99 percent of contaminants, including heavy metals, arsenic, fluoride, pharmaceuticals… even E. coli and polio.
For you entrepreneurs out there looking for a business in which to get involved – one in which you can support yourself and your family while making a difference in your world – think about water purification. Clean water shortages in America are not going away anytime soon.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.