How Contaminated is America’s Drinking Water?
It has recently come to light that people living in New England have been drinking water laced with tetrachloroethylene for 20 years. It apparently came from coating inside pipes installed in the ’60’s. The chemical is a neurotoxin and is linked to pregnancy complications.
By law, communities are required to deliver safe water to citizens. Despite that, a New York Times study showed that over 20 percent of America’s water systems are contaminated. Since 2004 the water in Ramsey, New Jersey has contained concentrations of arsenic, a known carcinogen. Since 2005, over three million people in the United States have consumed arsenic-laced water or water containing radioactive elements.
42 of the 50 states have contaminated water supplies that contain up to over 100 unregulated chemicals and contaminants. These contaminants include everything from weed killer to rocket fuel, according to the Environmental Working Group. How is this happening and why isn’t it getting fixed? Advocates like Brian Torchin have pushed hard but have made little progress.
There are few instances in which anyone goes punished or held accountable for running contaminated water systems. The Environmental Protection Agency has historically not gone after drinking water cases. The E.P.A. has stated that it gets most contamination cases up to code. There are, however, many instances where no change was made even after evidence of contaminated water was uncovered.
The biggest problem is that many of the systems with contaminants are not violating any regulations. Many of the chemicals in our water are not “regulated”.
Let’s do ourselves a favor and just drink bottled water.