Monday March 19, 2018

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 It has been a long time since the EPA has included another drinking water contaminant to the outdated Safe Drinking Water Act.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
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Plastic Found in 83% Drinking Water on Five Continents, Nobody is Safe

While the health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, it is not something you would want to consume

A shelf full of various kinds of bottled water is pictured at a supermarket in Beijing. (VOA)
  • Tiny particles of degraded plastic called microplastics found in drinking water
  • Consumption of microplastics by fishes are known to stunt growth, inhibit hatching of eggs and increase mortality rates
  • The tiny pieces of plastic have been found in both, public taps and bottled water

London, September 7, 2017 : Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in drinking water on five continents – from Trump Tower in New York to a public tap on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda – posing a potential risk to people’s health, researchers said on Wednesday.

Plastic degrades over time into tiny particles known as microplastics, which were found in 83 percent of samples from Germany to Cuba to Lebanon analyzed by U.S.-based digital news organization Orb Media.

“If you ask people whether they want to be eating or drinking plastic, they just say, ‘No, that’s a dumb question,’ ” said Sherri Mason, one of study’s authors and a chemistry professor at the State University of New York.

“It’s probably not something that we want to be ingesting, but we are, whether through our drinking water, through beer, juice. It’s in our food, sea salt, mussels. Nobody is safe,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Microplastics of up to 5 millimeters are also in bottled water, she said.

The health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, but studies on fish have shown they inhibit hatching of fertilized eggs, stunt growth and make them more susceptible to predators, increasing mortality rates.

Microplastics absorb toxic chemicals from the marine environment, which are released into the bodies of fish and mammals who consume them, Orb Media’s chief executive, Molly Bingham, said in a statement.

While many studies have shown the prevalence of microplastics in the world’s oceans, where more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating, it is the first time research has been conducted into drinking water. (VOA)

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