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"Poisoned Waters” Video Questions

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“Poisoned Waters” Video Questions

1. What is a dead zone, and what causes one to form? (9) - an area in coastal waters where there’s no oxygen -- fertilizers from farmland end up in coastal waters; grow algae up which sucks up the oxygen when they die; areas are growing; Gulf of Mexico has one size of state of Massachusetts
2. What was the largest public demonstration in American history? -- Earth Day; ~10% of country’s population participated (20 million)
3. When was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formed? What events prompted its formation? -- 1970; in response to concerns raised at Earth Day and congressional pressure.
(skip to 23:00)-- industrial waste flowing into the Chesapeake Bay (could be pig farms in NC)
4. Why does the investigator say “these rivers are delivery systems” to the bay? -- waste seeps into ground or routed by pipes into local streams/rivers and goes right into the bay
5. How do Perdue and other large chicken producers arrange to grow chickens for consumers? (~33) Why don't they raise the chickens themselves? -- contract with farmers; Purdue owns the chickens and feed and everything EXCEPT the waste
6. What is the difference in opinion about chicken manure between Perdue and other large chicken producers and the chicken farmers (represented in the film by Carole Morison)? -- Carole Morison = "a mess" -- it’s a negative, purdue should take responsibility; Purdue = “a resource” -- farmers should consider it a valuable resource
7. Do you agree with Perdue or Carole Morison? Why?
8. What’s the difference between industrial/urban sewage (people poop) and agricultural waste? -- urban sewage is treated, agricultural waste is released straight into waterway
9. What does “voluntary compliance” mean? Why do many businesses favor voluntary compliance over regulations? stop at ~39, continue at 41:45, ends at 53:42 – voluntary means they can decide to do it or not, so they tend to like it better
10. What are endocrine disruptors? -- chemical pollutants that imitate natural hormones in body
11. What do you understand to be the effect of endocrine disruptors? -- eggs in the testes (feminization of male fish) interrupt normal body functions, such as thyroid, hormones, sex characteristics, multiple (or missing) legs on frogs
12. Based on the information in the documentary, do you believe that the effects of endocrine disruptors on fish relate to humans? Why or why not? -- animals are the "canaries in the coal mine;" hormone systems in fish are very similar to human systems
13. The D.C. wastewater treatment manager explains that people downstream drink the (treated) wastewater from people upstream. Why is that a concern for new chemicals like endocrine disruptors? – chemicals not pulled out of the water, so we're drinking them! 49:35 Old filters aren't designed to filter out the new chemicals; new ones coming on all the time; sometimes the combinations are even more hazardous
14. How do you think we or our government should address the causes and effects of endocrine disruptors?
15. Which part of the segment on endocrine disruptors did you find most interesting or disturbing? Why? (Cite details.)
16. what are PCBs? -- Cancer causing chemicals banned 30 years ago; persist and build up in food web
17. Why does what happen to orcas have significance for humans? -- We’re eating the same fish they are; they’re top of the food chain just like us; Human body is smaller already a problem showing up in arctic human populations.

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