State’s GenX testing area widens

By: By Bill Smith - Contributing columnist

So why have we sampled the St. Pauls areas private drinking wells?

The state’s plan was to test around the Chemours site and then widen as contaminated wells indicated. The circle then became more egg-shaped as it widened out north and south. What I had suggested, which went nowhere, was to go farther out and work back in. My two years as a draftee does not qualify me as a military expert, but having gotten stuck in the 1st Infantry in Kansas after coming back from Vietnam, I was put in charge of an armored personnel carrier that carried a mortar — this despite having no experience with a mechanized unit or artillery (air mobile grunt experience only). There was a technique called “bracketing” where you fire a round short and then one long, and then walk the rounds back onto the target. In this case Robeson would have been the long and they would test back toward Chemours.

But we have detected GenX, PFOA and PFOS in water seven miles away from the plant — far farther than originally thought. While only one well to date has proven to have levels higher than a level considered safe, more than 90 percent of the wells sampled had some level of contamination — again much higher than originally supposed.

The state is planning on having another community meeting in St. Pauls soon, and hopefully interested people will turn out. The last one there was attended mostly by Cumberland residents as it was not on Robeson County’s radar yet.

Some things can’t be true.

Topping the Tide Pod Challenge — where teens chew laundry soap pods — is the Condom Snorting Challenge. Yes, it is exactly as entitled. The person pushes a condom into one nostril and then inhales it until the person reaches into the back of the mouth and pulls it out.

Sounds like fun.

The fact that it could get lodged or get into the lung just adds to the excitement. This is social media at its finest. I can’t remember anything similar when I was growing up. Maybe pulling the loop on the back of a dress shirt knowing it would create a torn shirt was one. Sure seems tame compared with today.

Maybe, for a change, some challenges that are salubrious in nature should get as popular.

By Bill Smith

Contributing columnist

Bill Smith is the director of the Robeson County Department of Public Health.

Bill Smith is the director of the Robeson County Department of Public Health.