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Problems Involving Lead and Tap Water Growing in New Jersey; Experts Aim to Add New Rules Concerning Chomolungma; 103 Year Old Take Record Skydive

Aired August 19, 2019 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: This is CNN 10. A 10 minute down the middle explanation of international news and features. I`m Carl Azuz, welcome to

everyone watching around the world. We`re starting off the week in the largest city of New Jersey. A place where 14,000 households are now being

offered bottled water because what`s coming out of their taps might have been contaminated with lead. This is a heavy metal. Exposure over time

has been linked to heart and kidney problems, high blood pressure, and irreversible brain damage to children which makes it particularly dangerous

for them and pregnant mothers.

Doctors say lead is unsafe in drinking water at any level though the U.S. government allows small amounts of it before requiring action to be taken.

Earlier this year in the tap water of part of Newark, New Jersey, lead levels were found to be more than five times the government`s limit. An

environmental advocacy group said the lead levels here are among the highest in the United States. City and state officials say they`re taking

steps to address the problem but residents of Newark say for years, their leaders have denied there was one. The city has two water treatment

plants. It says the water that leaves those plants is lead free and that the pipes that transport it are too.

But Newark says lead can get into the water when it goes through the service pipes that connect water mains to homes. The city says those are

owned by individual property owners and the long term solution is to replace the service pipes. That would come at a cost of about $1,000 or

less per homeowner. In the short term, the city`s been giving tens of thousands of lead safe water filters to those who are affected but some

tests have shown that the water still has higher lead levels than the government allows. Legal action has been taken against Newark and while

all this plays out in New Jersey, the effects are still rippling from a water crisis in Flint, Michigan years after it was acknowledged.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every morning when I get ready to take my shower, still today and it`s been five years. When I cut this water on, it comes out

brown at the beginning. Did you see that? Overnight it would be much more but it`s still a little brown and this is what I have to take a shower in

every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is our normal Thursday. Hey sugar, what time did you get here this morning? Four o`clock in the morning?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? When we tell people we still need, they`re like oh I thought everything was fine. No, everything is not fine. If it

was fine these people would not be lined up for two miles just to get four cases of water. Come on, so we can get you in and get you out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, let`s be straight up. No one wants to believe that a city could still be in crisis in the United States of


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We test their water on a regular basis. We`re working with the local city as well as the state. We`re still providing bottled

drinking water to people if - - if they need it but at this point the water quality in Flint, Michigan is safe to drink.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How could it be fine to drink if you`re still telling me I need to run my water for five minutes every morning?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, when I take showers I have to - - once I get out of the shower I have to rub down in alcohol before I can do anything

because you`re still itching


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That water`s got us itching so bad over there it`s a shame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On my left, they have already picked up their water and their food with the line on my right is we`re servicing. There`s so

many. We have a school that`s come in volunteering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has affected me. I can`t bring my family here and my grandchildren. We have to spend extra money to do the things that we

want to do like a simple bath, you know, for the babies. And that`s the thing you - - when you get used to something it`s - - it`s kind of like

well I`m immune to it now and so it doesn`t bother people on a physical level but mentally this is what we go through.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these landmarks is also known as Chomolungma? Mount Everest, The Great Wall of China, Ayers Rock, or Lake

Nakuru. Chomolungma which translates to "Goddess Mother of the World" is the Tibetan name for Mount Everest.

Hundreds of climbers have died trying to reach the summit or getting back down from the world`s highest peak. And the 2019 climbing season which

wrapped up in May was the deadliest one in four years. There were 11 deaths on the mountain this spring. In addition to difficult weather,

inexperienced climbers, inexperienced companies that brought them in and overcrowding on the mountain were all widely blamed for the deaths. In

fact, some climbers criticized Nepal for allowing anyone who paid $11,000 to get a climbing permit although the cost swells to tens of thousands more

once you factor in guides and equipment.

Nepal is among the poorest county`s in the world and tourism, including those who travel there to attempt Everest is a major industry. After this

year though, a panel was assembled to discuss the deaths on the mountain. It was made up of government officials, expert climbers and climbing

agencies and it just recently gave its list of recommendations. Among them are requiring the climbers themselves to have training and experience at

high altitudes. They wouldn`t be able to get an Everest permit before that.

They`d also have to send in a certificate that says they`re in good health and good shape and they`d have to bring a trained Nepali guide with them.

The panel also suggests raising the fee to climb Chomolungma to $35,000. There`d be additional rules concerning the tour companies that offer trips

to the summit and a Nepalese tourism official who was interviewed by the Reuters News Agency says the government will make the new rules the law of

the land.


ADRIAN BALLINGER: We got inexperienced climbers with inexperienced leaders.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Adrian Ballinger has summated Mount Everest eight times and spent 12 years on the mountain. He says the number

of people there has steadily increased over time. Particularly as tour companies have few requirements for climbers.

BALLINGER: There used to be somewhere in the vicinity of about 10 to 12 companies guiding the mountain and most had years and years of experience.

And today I would guess in Nepal, there`s 40 to 50 companies guiding on the mountain and many of them have come out of nowhere with no experienced

leader but seeing the opportunity of financial gain. There`s no barriers to entry to start up companies.

NOBILO: The proposed changes suggest requiring minimum qualifications to get a climbing permit, including basic and high altitude training,

experienced climbing at least one other Nepali peak over 21,000 feet or 6,500 meters high. And tour companies would need at least three years

experience organizing high altitude expeditions. For expert climbers like Ballinger, who himself owns a tour company that takes climbers to the

summit, the proposals may not go nearly far enough but he says they`re a step in the right direction. That is if they can be executed.

BALLINGER: I want to believe it`s possible and I want to find ways to support Nepal and the Ministry of Tourism and the (inaudible) in these

roles but I think it is going to be very, very difficult. And the companies are the ones who are going to have to actually make these changes and thus

far we haven`t seen the companies that interested in making the mountain safer.

NOBILO: Ultimately, Ballinger says the onus may still fall to climbers to ensure their own safety, a risky proposition on one of the most dangerous

assents in the world. Bianca Nobilo, CNN.


AZUZ: At age 103, Kathryn "Kitty" Hodges said she was not nervous to jump out of a plane.


KATHRYN HODGES: I`m all set.




AZUZ: Yes she was. Three generation of her family were there to take the dive with her and it looks like Kitty Hodges has set a new World Record for

Oldest Tandem Skydiver. Part of her reason for doing this, she told KING TV (ph) quote, "It`s fun. So why not have some fun. Hallelujah."

Evidence of the jump has been submitted to Guinness Book of World Records so they can verify that this is the record.

Don`t see how anyone could be "contrarian" to the centenarian. Some maybe weighed down by the "gravity" of the idea but Kitty seemed pretty "well

grounded" and after 103 years we`ve all seen "ups and downs", why not take another to new "heights". The very idea strikes a "ripcord" with a lot of

people who wouldn`t "bale" on "baling" out to "air out" their "soaring" desire to fly. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.