Dangerous ‘forever chemicals’ contaminate US faucet water: Report

Water consumed by hundreds of thousands accommodates chemical substances linked to most cancers, mind harm and extra, in keeping with new report.

Decaying infrastructure and air pollution from poisonous “forever chemicals” are inflicting tens of hundreds of thousands of United States residents to drink contaminated water, rising the danger of most cancers and different illnesses, in keeping with a brand new report.

Fifty-six new contaminants, together with pesticides and radioactive supplies, have been found in US faucet water over the previous two years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported on Wednesday.

Researchers from the Washington, DC-based non-profit analysed knowledge from nearly 50,000 water techniques from throughout the US to attract their conclusions.

“It’s striking and frustrating how little is being done to improve water quality across the country,” David Andrews, a senior scientist with the EWG informed Al Jazeera. “Our scientific understanding of health has progressed, but our drinking water standards are not being updated with the most modern science.”

National US laws for water, for instance, don’t embody requirements for a more moderen class of chemical substances generally known as PFAS, that are used within the manufacturing of non-stick coatings, Teflon, firefighting movie and different merchandise, Andrews mentioned.

Dubbed “forever chemicals” as a result of they construct up in human our bodies and don’t break down within the setting, small doses of PFAS have been linked to kidney, liver and pancreatic most cancers, weaker immune system responses and different critical well being issues, the EWG reported.

“There is no federal drinking water standard to test for these PFAS chemicals,” Andrews mentioned.

The administration of US President Joe Biden introduced a method to control PFAS chemical substances earlier this month, nevertheless it has but to be carried out.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US authorities physique chargeable for creating and implementing requirements for chemical publicity, didn’t instantly reply to cellphone calls or emails from Al Jazeera requesting remark.

Contaminated water within the US made headlines in recent times following revelations that greater than 25,000 folks in Flint, Michigan have been harmed by way of publicity to steer and different toxins of their ingesting water. Last yr, the state agreed to pay about $600m in compensation to residents, together with greater than 5,000 youngsters, who have been harmed by the polluted water within the working-class metropolis simply north of Detroit.

The issues outlined within the newest EWG report are barely completely different to what occurred in Flint, Andrews mentioned, as contamination in that metropolis was linked to steer pipes by way of which water travelled after it handed by way of a remedy plant.

The EWG, in distinction, analysed knowledge from water remedy crops to seek for traces of various chemical substances.

Their report features a search perform the place US residents can enter their postal code to see the uncooked knowledge on chemical publicity from their native water remedy plant.

Andrews believes official regulators just like the EPA needs to be amassing, monitoring and publishing that knowledge, fairly than his group and particular person water utilities.

Across the US, there may be vital variation in water high quality ranges by municipality, Andrews mentioned. Unsurprisingly, municipalities with the very best contamination ranges are sometimes situated near chemical manufacturing services or farms the place pesticide use is excessive, he added.

Despite higher scientific knowledge linking chemical substances like PFAS to most cancers and immune system issues, laws haven’t saved tempo, the EWG mentioned.

The Water Quality Association (WQA), a US-based association representing the water remedy trade, didn’t instantly reply to cellphone calls or emails requesting remark.