Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Plastic pipes heated by fires are polluting drinking water

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

The last thing I want to do is stoke unjustified fears of “toxins” and the generally bullshit alternative medicine concept of “detoxification.” And yet somehow I have to balance that with the ugly truth that, in fact, the modern world has many genuine contamination hazards. There are several prominent examples, and they just keep coming. Poisons leaching out of plastic pipes into the water supply is one of the most disturbing examples I have yet come across. Ars Technica:

When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s drinking water standard.

Our testing has now confirmed a source of these chemicals, and it’s clear that wildfires aren’t the only blazes that put drinking water systems at risk.

I cannot help but wonder: how many of these poisons in our environment undermine our health in ways that contribute to chronic pain?