EDITORIAL: Legislators Must Stop Ignoring Maywood’s Water Issues

By EGP Editorial

In this week’s edition, Eastern Group Publications is publishing the last of a three-part series on the impact environmental contamination has had on one of the thousands of families living in the part of Los Angeles County known as the Southeast cities.

The series, Living In Industry’s Shadow, authored by Janet Wilson for California Watch and the USC Annenberg Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, focuses on the Martin family who live in the City of Maywood, one of the most densely populated urban areas in the county, where the majority of the people are low-income and Latino.

The Martin family has lived in Maywood for 15 years, making them good subjects for a study on the harm caused by continuous exposure to contaminants.

While we are disturbed by the results of the study, what bothers us most is the fact that despite the turbidity of the water in Maywood, municipal agencies, be they federal, state or county, have not found it necessary to study the environmental contamination in a comprehensive manner.

In fact, when informed of the high level of contaminants such as heavy metals, they failed to initiate any action, preferring to see at least one of the toxins as cosmetic, rather than potentially unhealthy or toxic.

We believe that if these same water quality issues existed in more affluent areas of the county rather than in the low-income area where thousands of people just like the Martins live, all hell would break loose.

Our hope is that this series will induce legislators who represent the area where the Martins live, as well as the surrounding cities that are mostly likely equally at risk, will be moved to fully investigate, and the sooner the better.

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November 17, 2011  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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