In light of the New York Timess findings, should we be scared?
James Workman: A lot of it depends on where we live. If you’re living on a Midwestern farm and drinking well water, yes, you should be scared. If you’re living 50 miles downstream from a coal mine, yes. In other [urban and suburban] areas, like San Francisco where I live, we don’t have the same threats. Still, when the Clean Water Act was passed [in 1972], you had sludge and rivers of fire, so you could see the aesthetic and environmental impact. Today, violations are more subtle. We have invisible, tasteless, odorless threats coming not just from big bad industry but from our lawns and worksheds and medicine cabinets. AOL Health: The report discussed industrial threats, but you’re bringing up dangers we create in our daily lives. Workman: Yes. We tend to say the water polluters are out there: That huge power plant, that factory, the hospital dumping medical waste. It’s true, and significant. But we also have to look closer to home. We fertilize our lawns and say, “Good, no snails.” Bu