Wednesday April 24, 2019

Environmental Working Group: Drinking Water in US is Contaminated with a Toxic Compound called PFC

Even small concentration of toxic chemical in drinking water is risky to general wellbeing

Drinking Water
Drinking Water for 15 million Americas is contaminated with toxic chemicals. Pixabay
  • Potable water for 15 million Americans in 27 states is polluted with a toxic compound
  • The toxic chemicals are called PFCs and are connected to cancer, thyroid disease, and weak immune system

June 11, 2017: According to a report released by a non-profit Environmental Working Group on Thursday, 15 million Americans living in 27 states may be consuming unsafe drinking water tainted with a toxic compound.

The toxic chemical, Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) is so deadly that it may cause cancer, thyroid disease, and weak immune system. Even a small concentration of this toxic substance in drinking water is viewed as a risk to general wellbeing, as indicated by the report by EWG and Northeastern University.

EWG reported that PFCs have waterproof and nonstick properties. They were formerly utilized as a part of many purchase items, including cookware, outdoor clothing, food packaging and firefighting foam.

Bill Walker, managing director of EWG stated in a press release, “It’s remarkable that the richest country on Earth can’t guarantee its citizens that their drinking water is completely safe and has no long-term health implications.”

Also Read: Low-cost paper-based method to purify potable water

The EWG and Northeastern University made an interactive map consolidating information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and publicly recorded cases of PFC contamination originating from assembling plants, military airbases, civilian airports and fire training sites.

It is clear that America is likely to have drinking water crises in future. In spite of the evident proofs of the health dangers of PFCs, there are no controls executed by the government against these chemicals.

The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 is one of the underpinning environmental laws, consisting of rules that regulate about 100 contaminants found in drinking water. It has been a long time since the EPA has included another drinking water contaminant to the outdated Safe Drinking Water Act.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94

Next Story

Thousand Of Rohingya Refugees Get Clean Drinking Water, Thanks To Green Technology

The UNHCR along with its partner agencies are hoping to install nine more solar-powered water networks across the refugee camp in the coming year.

Rohingya, Drinking water, amnesty
Formin Akter applies makeup before heading to Chittagong to attend school at the Asian University for Women in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Aug. 24, 2018. VOA

Thousands of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, now have safe drinking water thanks to a combination of green technology and sunlight.

Cox’s Bazar has plenty of refugees. More than 900,000. Most have arrived in Bangladesh since August 2017, when violence and persecution by the Myanmar military triggered a mass exodus of Rohingya refugees.

The refugees are living in squalid conditions across 36 different locations in Cox’s Bazar. Water is scarce in most locations. But sunshine is plentiful. Over the past six months, the U.N. refugee agency and partners have been putting into operation solar-powered safe water systems.

Rohingya, Violence. drinking water
Rohingya refugees carry a hume pipe in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The UNHCR reports the first five systems are now running at full capacity. It says the new safe water systems run entirely on electricity generated through solar panels. UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says this new network is providing safe water to more than 40,000 refugees.

Rohingya, Violence. drinking water
A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

“Using the solar energy has allowed the humanitarian community to reduce the energy costs and emissions,” said Mahecic. “So, there is a clear environmental impact of this. Chlorination is also a life-saver in refugee sites of this scale. The recent tests revealed that most contamination of drinking water occurs during collection, transport and storage at the household level.”

Mahecic notes chlorinated water is safe for drinking and also eliminates the risk of the spread of disease.

Also Read: Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

The UNHCR along with its partner agencies are hoping to install nine more solar-powered water networks across the refugee camp in the coming year. The project, which is funded by the agency, will cost $10 million. It will benefit an additional 55,000 Rohingya refugees.

The UNHCR says its ultimate aim is to provide 20 liters of safe water to every single refugee on a daily basis. It says this will be done by piping in the solar powered water to collective taps strategically installed throughout the Kutupalog-Balukhali refugee site. (VOA)