Frontline: Poisoned Waters
After years of reporting from Washington, Wall Street, and overseas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith focuses his investigation on a matter that affects every American - pollution in our nation's waterways. Despite three decades of environmental regulation, the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound are getting increasingly polluted as a result of PCBs, factory farm waste, and fall-out from rampant suburban sprawl. The result is frogs with six legs, male amphibians with ovaries, and so-called "dead zones" completely devoid of flora or fauna. The mutations in particular are especially disturbing due to the fact that endocrine disruptors, chemical compounds that mimic the hormones in the human body, cause them. These contaminants are frequently found in common household cleaners, and have a way of finding their way into the surrounding environment. Just because the issue of environmental pollution isn't as prominent as war or the economy doesn't mean it should be considered any less of a threat to our future; with five million people being exposed to endocrine disruptors in the Mid-Atlantic region alone, the potential for disaster is certainly something worth considering. By bringing his investigation close to home, Smith attempts to discern what can be done to keep our environment clean for generations to come.