Think there's nothing wrong with drinking from the tap? This sobering study will erase all doubts related to the cleanliness of tap water in the US: an environmental group found 267 toxins in tap water.
And get this, bottled water is no better alternative. Researchers found that manufacturers do not provide information about the water’s specific geographic source as well as the purification methods and the results of purity testing to consumers. Why? Because the government does not require bottled water makers to disclose what toxins are present in their products. It seems using a filter is a much better alternative to bottled water.
Environmental Group Finds 267 Toxins in Tap Water Across the U.S.
Research conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that hundreds of contaminants are present in U.S. tap water. To be exact, EWG revealed that 267 out of 500 contaminants were detected during tests conducted by more than 48,000 utilities companies across 50 states. This shows that no matter where you live in the U.S., your tap water is very likely contaminated.
Of the 267 contaminants found:
- 93 were linked to an increased risk of cancer,
- 78 were associated with brain and nervous system damage,
- 63 were connected to developmental harm in children or fetuses,
- 38 were contaminants that could cause fertility issues; and
- 45 were endocrine disruptors.
Here are a couple more important details about EWG’s findings:
- Over 80% of water systems had known or likely carcinogens at levels that exceeded health guidelines
- More than 19,000 public water system had lead levels considered potentially-harmful for formula-fed babies, at above 3.8 parts per billion
EWG publishes a public database where you can enter your ZIP code to see what’s in your tap water. Just follow this link. You can gather information about which contaminants were detected, which are present in levels above health guidelines, and what to do to filter them out.
In the U.S., the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 sets the national standards for drinking water. However, it’s been more than 20 years since the Environmental Protection Agency added any new contaminants or chemicals to the list of regulated pollutants defined under the act. Nneka Leiba, director of the Healthy Living Science Program for the EWG, stated:
“Most people turn on their tap water and think: It’s clear, I live in America, we have these laws, I’m being protected. What people don’t realize is that there have been no additions to the list of regulated chemicals for drinking water since 1996.”
The main concern isn’t so much that you’ll get sick when drinking tap water. What the EWG worries about is the effect of long-term exposure, such as drinking eight glasses per day over a lifetime.
“Legal doesn’t necessarily mean safe when it comes to drinking water,” added Leiba.
Image courtesy of: danielventuramartin