Phosphate dangers, then a community health survey on Peace & Justice, at 9am Wednesday, August 25

Written by on August 23, 2021

This Wednesday, August 25 at 9am, our first guest will be Erik Crown, Director of the new film PHOSFATE. See below for a description of the film.

On the second half of our show our guest will be Dr. Lisa Merritt of the Multicultural Health Institute. Dr. Merritt will share the results of a new Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) health survey of Sarasota, including specifics for the Newtown and Amaryllis neighborhoods.

About the film Phosfate:

The residents of Bone Valley Florida have cancer rates 6 times higher than the national average. This region of central Florida has the largest deposits of the naturally occurring chemical phosphorous, which is mined to make fertilizer. As the chemical is processed, using over 70 million gallons of groundwater, each ton leaves behind 5 times the amount of radioactive rock.

One of the largest landholders in Florida, The Mosaic Company, owns over 300,000 acres allocated to mining. As the largest industry in the state, mining over 16 million tons of phosphate rock per year, it is self-regulated and required by the county and state government to only report on balanced Ph levels. The company dilutes its outfall by pumping it through the state’s waterways. Even though the company was fined by the EPA in 2015 for 2 billion dollars in damages for the mishandling of hazardous waste, it continues its practices and is seeking to expand operations to DeSoto County.

Crown works with the residents of Arcadia, Florida, a sleepy agricultural city that is ground zero in the battle against Mosaic.

After seeing their families and friends impacted by accelerated rates of cancer and other illnesses, the residents of these communities are fighting back by taking water samples, delving into the company’s “reclamation” programs, organizing protests, and participating in town halls.

This investigation uncovers why corporate pollution continues today and why people in communities worldwide face the same issues as those in Florida. It begs the question – what’s in your water?


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