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Nashua;65.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-07-24 23:38:37
Monday, July 15, 2013

Pollution once changed the color of our rivers - it still does in Bangladesh

Any time I write a historical piece about the Nashua or Merrimack rivers, an old-timer mentions how those rivers used to change color depending on dyes being used in the mills that day - back when heaving your pollution into the nearest body of water was standard industry practice.

Both rivers have been cleaned up amazingly in recent years (as have other New England rivers, including the "love that dirty water" Charles River, which opened for public swimming last weekend for the first time in a half century).

But we have to realize that part of the cleanup occurred because dirty industries moved away, to where they could still be dirty - first in the U.S. South, now overseas.

As a reminder, the NY Times has a story today about how rivers in Bangladesh change color due to pollution from that country's garment industry: Read it here, then be nostalgic if you wish.