Damning Analysis Discovers US Tap Water Is A ‘Cocktail Of Chemicals’
Tap water across the US is riddled with chemical contaminants and even radioactive material, a new study has shown, with the situation complicated by outdated safety standards.
The worrying state of American tap water was highlighted in recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that has maintained a database of drinking-water contaminants across the country since 2014.
Hazardous chemicals, including pesticides and radioactive materials, are “often found in drinking water at potentially unsafe levels, particularly in low-income and underserved communities,” it said in a press release.
“When some Americans drink a glass of tap water, they’re also potentially getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, fertility problems, hormone disruption, and other health harms.”
“For too many Americans, turning on their faucets for a glass of water is like pouring a cocktail of chemicals.“
More than 50 new pollutants have been identified in water supplies, with the main culprits behind the increase being perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. This class of substances, commonly referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ due to their stability and slow breakdown process, are widely used across multiple industries.
“It speaks to the fact that we don’t have nearly strong enough regulations in place to protect drinking water, and the regulation process is much too slow,” EWG senior scientist Tasha Stoiber told The Guardian.
Nitrate pollution is also a major concern, affecting some 60 million people. While the cancer-causing chemical is commonly associated with rural areas and their fertilizer use, it has also made its way into the water supply of major cities. At least 22.7 million of those affected live in California, with Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey the next most affected.