According to a new study by the Environmental Working Group, the presence of 22 carcinogens in tap water could lead to over 100,000 cancer cases across a lifetime.
While most tap water complies with legal standards set by the federal government, EEC researchers have found that contaminants in tap water create a measurable risk of cancer.
“The vast majority of the community’s water systems meet legal standards,” said Olga Nidenko, vice president of scientific research at the EEC, in a statement. “However, recent research shows that pollutants in water at these concentrations – legally can still be harmful to human health.”
PFAS: EPA plans to regulate carcinogenic chemicals found and heavy metals found in US drinking water
An earlier EEC study found that cumulative analysis of pollutants in California’s tap water found pfas chemicals that can increase risk of cancer for 15,000.
The risk of these carcinogens has been discussed for decades. The EPA’s standards for community water systems are complex and require a delicate balance between cost and safety, warn officials.
The study, funded by the Park Foundation, compiled a list of 22 carcinogenic pollutants found in 48,363 community water systems in the United States.
According to the EEC serve about 86% of the United States population. Based on a cumulative risk assessment, the EEC has found that for every 10,000 people, four will develop cancer during their lifetime because of contaminants in the water.
Most water systems, they add, meet EPA standards. In a statement to USA TODAY, the EPA said that legal limits have been set for over 90 contaminants in drinking water.
The EEC said that 87% of the cancer risk found in tap water comes from arsenic and typical disinfectant by-products.
According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to arsenic can cause skin, bladder and lung cancer. Meanwhile, by-products of disinfectants have been classified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the EPA as known carcinogens and can cause liver and bladder cancer.
This study does not account for contaminants from private wells found in groundwater. It does not consider the increased risk of carcinogens in vulnerable populations, such as infants and children.
Clean water is complicated
Crises in recent years have unveiled issues in managing public water systems, from the various water sources used by communities, to the pipes that water is supplied in. These problems have been seen in places such as Morristown, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan. Supply public water. System House.
The EPA regulates public drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which went into effect in 1974. The EPA must set standards for pollutants through national primary drinking water regulations to reduce exposure to contaminants.
An EPA spokesperson told USA TODAY that water regulations focus primarily on pollutants that could pose the most significant risk to public health.
Source water is the key to ensuring safe water. It is important to understand what your water source is, and what steps have been taken to ensure a safe supply.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal government’s primary law for regulating drinking water. It is divided into two categories: the less stringent maximum pollutant level (MCL), and the top pollutant level target (MCLG) which is only a guideline for public health.
The MCLG is typically lower than the MCL because it’s merely a benchmark. The EPA regulates contaminants like arsenic, radon, fluoride, lead and asbestos based on the MCLG.
Many states set these standards further, but not every state has an MCLG for each contaminant. The only way to know for certain if you are drinking contaminated water is to test your water for free at home. You can check out our website @https://www.aquachillnewjersey.com
For example, the MCLG federal mandate for arsenic is 0 micrograms per liter; However, the MCL is 10 micrograms per liter. Meanwhile, the EWG recommends introducing only four tens of thousands of micrograms (0.0004 micrograms) of arsenic into water.
David Sedleck, an expert in environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, says that American drinking water regulations consider a variety of different health concerns. Risks of potential carcinogens and the cost of implementing new water purification systems.
Sedlak, who is not affiliated with the EEC study, told US TODAY that arsenic and carcinogenic radionuclides, such as radium, are naturally found in water systems. Determining the level of regulation of these carcinogens is a particular challenge.
“For sanitizers,” he said, “they’ve been researched for decades and are why many gates have switched from chlorine to ozone.”
The Center for Water Research says using water treatment with ozone instead of chlorine reduces the risk of chemicals entering water supplies.
What will be the solution?
Experts suggest solutions to reduce the level of contaminants in tap water by using reverse osmosis systems.
“The safety of reverse osmosis with a water cooler must be a priority to ensure that these pollutants do not enter the drinking water supply,” Naidenko said in a statement.
Sedlak told USA Today that technology exists to remove carcinogens from water. However, the biggest hurdle in its implementation is that it can be costly.
“Typically,” he told USA TODAY, “consumers pay for these additional treatment processes — and most times, citizens are reluctant to see large increases in water bills.”
The EPA agrees. The Safe Drinking Water Act is an important law that helps to ensure the safety of water in the United States. In a brochure on the EPA website, it explains that water systems rely on community members to maintain their water safety in New Jersey. This is an important way for people to protect themselves and their families from potential dangers.
“The state’s responsibility is to oversee local water reserves priorities, improve funding decisions and systems, and establish programs to protect drinking water resources,” the EPA wrote.
“If they are aware of the health effects (of the water sensor), they would like to pay more for water treatment,” Sadalk said. “However, EPA has made its decision.”
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