Category Archive: Water

Biden Administration Announces Changes to PFAS Regulation in Tap Water

The “forever chemicals” that have been turning up in drinking water throughout the country will soon be the target of new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of chemicals common in non-stick coating, fire retardants, and other waterproof materials, may soon be regulated as a group rather than as individual chemicals in drinking water. This announcement comes just as a study published in the journal Hypertension revealed that PFAS causes high blood pressure in women — along with other potentially serious health consequences including thyroid diseases and testicular and kidney cancers. Currently, a few “forever...

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EPA Declines to Limit Tap Water Chemical Known To Cause Developmental Delays

The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would not be taking steps to further regulate the chemical perchlorate in American drinking water. Perchlorate is a tap water contaminant that has been linked to brain damage in infants and developmental delays in young children. The chemical has been known to interfere with the thyroid gland’s ability to uptake iodide which can stunt the production of many hormones needed for proper brain development. Despite being known to cause a measurable decrease in I.Q. points in newborns, the EPA declined to regulate the chemical because it does not appear in drinking water “with a frequency...

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Reusable Water Bottles Leach Potentially Harmful Chemicals: New Study

A study from the University of Copenhagen revealed that there may be a lot more in your reusable water bottle than just tap water.  The researchers found that reusable water bottles can shed “several hundred different chemical substances” into the water. The study specifically analyzed water that had been left in squeezable, soft-sided water bottles commonly used by athletes for more than 24 hours. Jan H. Christensen, Professor of Environmental Analytical Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, said he was shocked to find that at least 400 different substances had leached into the water from the...

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Exposure to Lead-Contaminated Tap Water Increases Teen Delinquency: Study

It has been known for generations that over-exposure to lead can lead to bad health consequences, but a new study has shown that it can also lead to bad behaviors, too.  A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that consumption of lead-contaminated tap water by a child before age six resulted in a 21 percent higher likelihood that the teen will be reported for delinquent behavior after age 14. The chances that a teen would participate in serious crimes, such as misdemeanor assault or felony property or weapons offenses, increased by 38 percent.  The study focused...

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Families Suffer After Military Bases Pollute Drinking Water in 3 States

American families put a lot of trust in the government to keep their drinking water pure. But in at least three states, the government has been directly responsible for polluting the tap water. Within the past few weeks, military bases in Iowa, Florida, and Hawaii have all had chemical spills that resulted in contaminated drinking water for military members and families living near the base.  In Sioux City, Iowa, an investigation revealed that an Iowa Air National Guard base was the source of the PFAS contamination. Sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals,” PFAS are chemicals commonly found in the production of non-stick...

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Toilet to Tap? 5 Things To Know About Recycled Tap Water

Public utility officials are turning to some unlikely sources to address tap water problems: the gutter and the toilet.  While the idea of drinking sewer water is enough to make one's stomach churn, some experts believe reclaiming used water may be vital to keep a growing population hydrated. Here are five things you need to know about recycled water. What is recycled water? Recycled water -- sometimes referred to as reclaimed water, effluent water, or treated sewage water -- is used water from domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, and stormwater runoff that is collected, purified, and returned to consumers as tap water. Currently, the average...

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What Are PFAS?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been slowly working to address the presence of PFAS, sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals,” in America’s tap water supply.  Some are arguing that action on PFAS is long overdue while others may be hearing about this issue for the first time. For those in the latter category, here is everything you need to know to understand the issue and what may be to come.  What are forever chemicals? PFAS (which is short for polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been dubbed forever chemicals because they do not break down in the environment. They are resistant to grease, oil, water...

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Disparities in Drinking Water

America’s tap water infrastructure is crumbling--and predominantly black communities are suffering the most.  Nowhere is this more clear than in the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, a city that is 85 percent black. After years of discolored water that smelled of sewage and poured out of the tap “sizzling like Alka-Seltzer,” local officials announced in 2018 that Benton Harbor’s water has a lead rating of 22 parts per billion.  That may sound low, but it isn’t when it comes to toxic lead. The federal government deems any lead rating over 15 parts per billion as a problem that must be addressed. The...

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Over 90% of Pennsylvania Schools Failed to Remove Lead Pipes

Fewer than one in 10 Pennsylvania schools took action after finding out that their drinking water supply had unsafe levels of lead. The shocking statistic is part of a larger study by the Pittsburgh-based health advocacy nonprofit Women for a Healthy Environment. The study analyzed how schools addressed health concerns after being notified of their presence. The nonprofit asked 65 random schools if they had addressed increased levels of lead in the drinking water as well as high levels of radon, mold, and lead paint.  The study revealed that 89 percent of schools even tested their water for lead contamination within the...

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EPA Acts on Tap Water Contaminants

Earlier this year, IsTapWaterSafe.com, a project of the Center for Accountability in Science, took out an ad in the L.A. Times and launched a petition demanding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release its plans for Contaminant Candidate List 5.  The Contaminant Candidate List, or CCL, is a list of contaminants that are not currently subject to any drinking water regulations. The process of building CCL’s asks for public nomination of chemicals or other materials for consideration. Once received, the EPA will review and determine if the contaminants should be chosen for regulation. The EPA has previously published four CCL’s containing hundreds...

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