Contaminants Found In Local Drinking Water

Contaminants Found In Local Drinking Water

Drinking Water flowing over woman's hands from the faucet
Type: 
Blog Post

Most Americans don't think twice about drinking a glass of water. A report released [in October], though, found more than 270 harmful contaminants in local drinking water across the nation, including in Levittown. The substances are linked to cancer, damage to the brain and nervous system, hormonal disruption, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group, collaborating with outside scientists, aggregated and analyzed data from almost 50,000 local water utilities in all 50 states.

The organization found a troubling discrepancy between the current legal limits for contaminants and the most recent authoritative studies of what is safe to consume. "Legal does not necessarily equal safe," Sydney Evans, a science analyst at the environmental group, told Patch.

"A lot of these legal limits are outdated and not necessarily the safe level, and the EWG really wants to fill that gap," Evans said. "The federal government has not been able to, or is not willing to, set those new regulations to protect public health. We're trying to fill the gap to let people know, based on the latest science, what the safe levels of contaminants in water are.

In Levittown, the group found two contaminants across our water supply between 2012 and 2017. Parts of Levittown are serviced by [New York American Water's Merrick District] which serves 177,000 people, according to the environmental group. The district services Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore, North Bellmore, Wantagh, North Wantagh, Seaford, and parts of Massapequa, Massapequa Park and Levittown.

The following contaminants were detected above the environmental group's own recommended health guidelines:

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Radium

  • Potential Effect: Cancer
  • 2.2 times the rate of suggested EWG guideline
  • 0.044 ppb: Rate this contaminant appears in water
  • 0.02 ppb: EWG Health Guideline
  • No legal limit
  • Potential Effect: Cancer
  • 3.8 times the rate of suggested EWG guideline
  • 0.19 pCi/L: Rate this contaminant appears in water
  • 0.05 pCi/L: EWG Health Guideline
  • 5 pCi/L: Legal limit

 


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In the case of polyfluorinated substances, or PFAs, the environmental group estimated up to 110 million Americans could have the potentially cancer-causing, immune-system damaging contaminant in their drinking water. Yet the EPA requires drinking water utilities across the country to test for only six of 14 known substances in the category.

A variety of other contaminants often found in the water of millions of Americans can profoundly impact health. They include lead, which has been linked to brain damage in small children; arsenic, which can cause cancer; and copper, which can be harmful to infants.

According to the environmental group, many of the 270-plus contaminants detected through water sampling are at levels deemed legal under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, yet are above levels that recent studies have found to pose possible health risks.
Visit the environmental group's web page for New York American Water to see the recommended ways to combat the specific substances in your drinking water and the risks that they pose. (Source: Alex Costello – Patch - 10/23/2019)

In the case of polyfluorinated substances, or PFAs, the environmental group estimated up to 110 million Americans could have the potentially cancer-causing, immune-system damaging contaminant in their drinking water. Yet the EPA requires drinking water utilities across the country to test for only six of 14 known substances in the category.

A variety of other contaminants often found in the water of millions of Americans can profoundly impact health. They include lead, which has been linked to brain damage in small children; arsenic, which can cause cancer; and copper, which can be harmful to infants.

According to the environmental group, many of the 270-plus contaminants detected through water sampling are at levels deemed legal under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, yet are above levels that recent studies have found to pose possible health risks.

Visit the environmental group’s web page for New York American Water to see the recommended ways to combat the specific substances in your drinking water and the risks that they pose.

(Source: Alex Costello – Patch - 10/23/2019)

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Nassau County Inter-League Organization