I heard an item on the radio today about old pipes. The journalist was grilling somebody from Irish Water about their plans to put orthophosphates in the water in order to combat the effects of lead.
To be truthful with you, I wasn’t paying much attention till I heard mention of my home town, Limerick, where it seems there have been protests against introducing this chemical and that’s when my ears perked up.
Why? What? Who could possibly be for keeping lead in the drinking water? Who could be against a harmless substance coating the inside of the pipes of prevent people being poisoned?
I don’t know, but apparently some people are opposed to putting orthophosphates in the water, presumably on the basis that they contain too many syllables. On the basis presumably, that chemical names sound too sinister and you couldn’t have that, now could you?
In other words, on the basis of nothing more than a medieval suspicion of science.
On the basis of being an unlettered idiot.
Never mind that you’d get a hundred times as much orthophosphate in a single fizzy drink as you would in a glass of water. Ignore that sort of fact and instead aim for the factoids that motivate such protests. After all, what fun are facts when we can have chemtrails and vaccination conspiracies?
Naturally, Irish Water is the problem, and not the reality that 180,000 houses have lead piping inside their four walls. The same people complaining about chemicals like orthophosphates (but who have no problem drinking dihydrogen monoxide or for that matter, psychoactive substances like C2H5OH) seem to think that the public purse is responsible for fixing bad plumbing inside a private house.
If you have lead pipes inside your house, that’s a problem you have to fix yourself instead of expecting the rest of us to pay for it. It makes no difference who delivers the dihydrogen monoxide to your tap. Irish Water can do it or the local council can do it, but the fact remains that your lead pipes are your problem.
That’s a reality that the anti-paying-for-your-own-problems alliance doesn’t seem to grasp. If you have lead pipes in your house, I’m not paying to fix it, either through Irish Water or through the Council.
How about explaining to those protesting about orthophosphates that they have three choices: continue to be poisoned, pay now to replace your pipes, or in the meantime let this substance coat your pipes with a layer that will protect you from the poisonous heavy metal?
Yes, I know that’s the logical answer, but never underestimate the stupidity of rabble-rousers or the people they stir up. We’ve seen what they can do in far worse circumstances and to be truthful, I think our fools are only practising for darker times when their skills are needed to drum up irrational anger against who knows what?