The Toxies made a special guest appearance in Baldwin Park on March 22nd. The event was hosted by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano to discuss the status of the Baldwin Park Superfund site, as well as drinking water quality issues in the San Gabriel Valley.
Decades of industrial activity and improper handling of chemicals has left the valley highly contaminated with chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), perchlorate, NDMA, 14 Dioxin, and nitrates. While special water treatment systems have been put into place, the remediation is ongoing.
After discussing the contaminants impacting the San Gabriel Valley and the industry attempts to disprove the harm caused by toxic chemicals, PSR-LA Executive Martha Dina Argüello introduced the Toxies, “I wonder if my friends are here,” she began. “They’re like a really bad friend that you can never get rid of –” but before she could finish her sentence, Toxies TCE, PCE, and Perchlorate stormed into the room and began boasting about their toxic effects.
TCE boldly took over the microphone. “I’ve been linked to Jennifer Lopez – just kidding,” he said. “I’ve been linked to impaired immune system, liver, and kidney damage and even cancer. I am VERY popular here in the San Gabriel valley.”
PCE let everyone know that he, too, was a “slick solvent” that hangs around dry cleaners a lot. “Get it, hang around?” he joked. “The reason I’m so widespread in the San Gabriel Valley is I’m really tight with those industries that need someone to, you know, break it all down.” PCE said that he too, can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and reproductive system.
Perchlorate, an oxidizer used in rocket fuel, explosives, air bags and fireworks, made light of her harmful properties. “Sure, there’s a price for my rocket-boosting powers…I can interfere with iodide uptake into the thyroid gland, so I can cause hypothyroidism in mothers and put a little bit of a dent into childhood development and make it harder for kids to learn,” she said, beaming.
But the Toxies exuberance was short-lived. “Thank you for explaining your properties,” said Adan Ortega, Commissioner with the California State Water Commission. “Now good riddance!”
The Toxies, indignant, stomped out to audience applause. Of course, for most communities it’s not that easy to get rid of toxic chemicals. But the more that we learn and take action together, the closer we can get to a day when we are confident that current and future generations are protected from their harmful effects.
See photos of the event below. Click image to enlarge photo.