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弗林特水危机 – 译学馆
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弗林特水危机

Chemistry and the Flint Water Crisis - Speaking of Chemistry

Many of us use tap water all the time.
大多数人一直都用自来水
We drink it, cook with it, use it to make baby formula.
用来饮用 炒菜 制作婴儿食物
We trust our tap water.
我们信任自来水
But you won’t find that trust in Flint Michigan,
但在密歇根州的弗林特市不是这样
because failure at every level of government
由于各级政府的无能
allowed lead, a toxic metal,into the water supply.
允许铅 一种有毒金属出现在自来水中
But concerned citizens and scientists
担忧的市民和科学家们
were able to turn the chemistry to bring the truth to light
将水中的化学成分公之于众
to better protect their water, and hopefully, taps across the country.
希望更好的保护饮水及该地区的水龙头
When Flint started getting its water from the Flint River in 2014,
2014年 弗林特市将弗林特河作为水源
city officials could have tailored the chemistry of that water
官员们本可以改善水质
to prevent it from becoming a problem.
来避免这个问题
They didn’t.
但他们没有
We won’t get into all those details here,
这里我们不会纠结所有的细节
but you can read about them in Michael Torrice’s in-depth report for C&EN.
但你可以在迈克尔·托里斯的深度报告中获悉
Here’s a link to that.
这是文章链接
Without corrosion-limiting chemicals like orthophosphate
因为没有限制磷酸盐一类的腐蚀性化学物质
Flint’s plumbing lost a protective mineral layer that naturally builds up in its pipes.
弗林特市的水管内自然形成的保护层被腐蚀
Once that was gone, the water began attacking the pipes themselves,
一旦保护层消失 自来水就会腐蚀管道
some of which contained lead or were just made of lead.
而部分管道成分中含铅 或者就是铅做的
The U.S. stopped using lead in plumbing decades ago,
尽管美国几十年前就禁止使用含铅水管
but we never got rid of the old stuff.
但我们一直没解决这个问题
How much lead plumbing is out there?
这里有多少含铅水管?
We asked Marc Edwards,
在近期的记者会上
one of the key figures in uncovering the Flint water crisis,
我们问马克·爱德华斯这个问题
at a recent press conference.
他是揭露弗林特水危机的关键人物
Marc: Anywhere from 3 to 13 million lead pipes.
马克:含铅水管数量在三百至一千三百万之间
And you know that’s obviously a wide range.
这显然是一个很大的范围
But no one knows. No one knows the number.
但是没人知道 没有人知道确切数字
Most people don’t even know
大多数人甚至不知道
if they have a lead pipe in front of their house,
自家的水管是否含铅
because,frankly, the water utility doesn’t know.
坦白说 水厂也不清楚这些
We don’t know where these lead pipes are.
我们不知道含铅水管都在哪里
And now people feel that
现在人们觉得
as long as those lead pipes are there,
只要含铅水管存在
and they’re right, it’s a ticking time bomb.
那它们就是个定时炸弹
Matt: That bomb went off in Flint.
马修:这个炸弹在弗林特市爆炸了
Here’s Jeff Parks, a research scientist in Marc Edwards’ group,
这是杰夫·帕克斯 是马克·爱德华斯团队里的一名科学家
telling us what the team found in one sample
他告诉我们样本检测结果
of Flint resident Lee-Anne Walters’ home.
样本来自李·安·沃尔特斯家
Jeff: One of her samples was over 13,000 ppb.
杰夫:样本之一超过了13,000ppb
Matt: That’s 13,000 parts per billion,
马修:十亿分之一万三千
which would be 13 mg of lead in 1 liter of water.
就是一升水中含铅达十三毫克
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control
环保组织和疾控中心
both say that no level of lead is safe for children.
都认为对儿童来说 不含铅才安全
But EPA also has a so-called action level for lead at 15 ppb.
但是环保组织也有一个所谓的干预水平 即含铅量15ppb
That’s nearly one one-thousandth of what Jeff found in Lee-Anne’s home.
这几乎是杰夫取得李·安家水样含铅量的千分之一
We recently visited Jeff to learn how the team measured lead in Flint’s water.
最近我们前去拜访了杰夫 了解他们的检测方法
Here he is with water from Lee-Anne’s house.
这是他从李·安家取得水
That rust color you see actually comes from iron pipes.
你所看到的铁锈色事实上来自于铁制水管
Lead is a lot tougher to detect with your eyes.
铅用眼睛很难看到颜色
That’s why Jeff uses an instrument called
因此杰夫使用
an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, or ICP-MS.
电感耦合等离子体质谱仪 即ICP-MS
The machine sucks up a bit of water and
仪器吸少量水样
spritzes it into a chamber with a plasma.
滴入有等离子体的试管里
It rips electrons away from atoms within the sample.
它把样本里的电子和原子分开
The ionized atoms are then separated by
接着 电离的原子
what’s called a quadrupole mass spectrometer
被四极质谱仪分离
that generates an electric field to sort atoms
质谱仪产生一个电场
by how massive they are relative to their charge.
根据电荷量的大小把原子分类
Jeff finds lead by looking for one of its signature isotopes,
杰夫因为找到铅的特征同位素而发现了铅
but he usually sees lead at levels much lower than 13,000 parts per billion.
但他通常看到的铅浓度比十亿分之一万三千低得多
Jeff: I don’t calibrate the instrument that high
杰夫:我没有校准仪器提高上限
because we don’t see lead that high.
因为检测出的含铅量从没有那么高
I talked to Marc about it and he said,
我告诉了马克 他说
“Well, dilute the sample and run it again
“稀释样本 再测一次
to see is it really that high or has something happened to your instrument.”
看看是不是真的那么高 还是你的设备出了问题”
We took 1 ml of her sample
我们取了1毫升水样
and put 99 ml of distilled water
加99毫升蒸馏水
and ran it again and we got 130.
再次进行测量 结果是130
So it was 13,000.
所以样本铅含量就是13,000
Matt: Jeff used the ICP-MS to analyze more than 270 Flint water samples last fall.
马修:去年秋天 杰夫用ICP-MS分析了270多份弗林特水样
Although Lee-Anne’s house was the worst he saw,
尽管李·安家的样本是杰夫见过最糟糕的
Jeff still found that about 10% of the water samples he tested
但他仍发现约10%测试的样本
had 27 ppb lead or higher.
铅含量达27ppb或更高
That’s roughly twice the EPA action level.
这几乎是环保组织干预水平的两倍
But action level doesn’t mean what you probably think it does.
但是干预水平并不是你认为的那样
The action level comes from what’s called the Lead and Copper Rule,
干预水平源于所谓的铅铜标准
which Jeff calls “weirdly worded.”
杰夫认为该标准措辞怪异
Marc has some stronger opinions.
马克有更激烈的看法
Marc: The Lead and Copper Rule is a lousy law to start with.
马克:铅铜标准是一项糟糕的法律的开始
So even if you’re meeting the law,
即使你符合法律
you get many homes that have over 150 even 1,000 parts per billion lead.
许多家庭用水铅含量仍超标准量十亿分之150甚至1000
That’s not illegal in existing law.
在现有的法律里 这并不违法
You can have hazardous waste levels of lead
来自该地区幼儿园的水样
coming out of a kindergarten classroom in this country.
铅含量都在有害的水平
There’s no law. People don’t realize.
没有法律 人们不会意识到
There’s no maximum amount of lead law
没有法律来限制
that applies to any tap in the United States anywhere.
美国各地水龙头的最大含铅量
Matt: A water system meets the Lead and Copper Rule
马修:要想水源质量能符合铅铜标准
when at least 90% of the households it serves
至少90%用户的自来水铅含量
have lead levels below the action level.
得低于干预水平才行
But that’s kind of like saying a city is not on fire,
这相当于说 一座城市没有着火
even when 10% of its buildings are burning.
尽管有1/10的建筑物正在燃烧
So it’s a pretty lenient rule and Flint still broke it.
所以说 这是相当宽松的标准 而弗林特市没能遵守
But so have other cities in the past, including our nation’s capital.
但过去其他城市也是这样 包括首都
Marc’s hoping for stricter laws in the future,
马克希望将来有更严格的法律
but it’s up to legislators and regulators
但这取决于立法者和监管者
to change the rules designed to protect the nation’s drinking water.
修改规章来保护国家的饮用水
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech researchers and EPA are now helping Flint residents
同时 弗吉尼亚科研人员及环保组织帮弗林特市居民
re-test the same Flint homes Jeff and the team examined last fall.
重新检测之前杰夫检验过的相同居民家中的水样
Both Marc and Jeff believe they’re going to see much lower lead levels
马克和杰夫都认为 此次含铅量会大大降低
because the city switched back to less corrosive water
因为弗林特市将低侵蚀性的河流作为水源
and because Flint’s doing a much better job of controlling water chemistry.
并在水质监管上努力做得更好
The new data will be posted at flintwaterstudy.org soon,
最新数据将公布在flintwaterstudy.org网站上
so be sure to keep an eye on that.
务必留意看一下
The water should get better,
水质可以改善
but there are things that cannot be repaired.
但有些事情是无法挽回的
One Flint doctor estimates that as many as 8,000 children
一名弗林特市医生估计有8,000名儿童
were exposed to lead during this disaster.
在这次灾难中遭受铅的毒害
And remember, America’s official stance
记住 美国官方看法是
is that no amount of lead is safe for kids.
对孩子来说 不含铅才是安全的
Something like that makes it hard for people
这类事情使得人们很难
to believe in the safety of their tap water.
再相信自来水的安全性
Marc: Once you’ve been betrayed in this way,
马克:一旦被这样欺骗过
you might never get those people to trust water again.
你很难使人们再相信自来水
And who can blame them?
谁能怪他们呢?

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视频概述

2014年美国密歇根州弗林特市饮水安全问题的调查

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

鸡丸尼

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k18vbGwPxz4

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