Drinking Water Supplies Contain Harmful Chemicals

Sep 5, 2009 by

Drinking Water Supplies Contain Harmful Chemicals

There is little or no doubt that synthetic chemicals harm our health. Part of attaining good health thus entails minimizing our exposure to and consumption of such chemicals.

The bad news is that our potable water supplies which come right through to our taps at home have been found to contain these harmful substances, even after treatment. This makes it all the more crucial that we filter our drinking water before consumption. The following article reveals more.

Many Man-Made Chemicals Detected in Drinking Water Supplies

by Reuben Chow

For most of us who live in developed nations, the taps in our homes bring potable water right to our cups. But if you or your family has the habit of drinking water direct from the tap without additional filtering, then there is mounting evidence to make you reconsider such a routine. In a United States Geological Survey (USGS) study conducted last year, it was revealed that low levels of certain man-made chemicals remain in drinking water supplies even after the necessary treatment processes.

Details and Findings of Study

For the study, water samples were examined for the presence of about 260 commonly used chemicals. To obtain a nationally representative sample of water systems across the US, water from nine sites in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas were tested.

Some 130 different chemicals, which include pesticides, gasoline hydrocarbons, household-use products and solvents, were found in rivers and streams before cleanup at public water treatment plants.

The assumption many of us would have is that the water treatment process would remove most, if not all, of these chemicals. That, however, as found by the study, is quite far from the truth, as about two out of every three of the 130 chemicals remained in the water post-treatment. According to the study team, many of these substances were concentrated at levels roughly equal to one thimble of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Impact on Human Health

The study report said that most of the detected concentrations of the various chemicals were below levels which would harm humans. But that is hardly a reassuring assertion, considering that these chemicals have not been proven to be safe, but are instead assumed to be not that dangerous due to lack of information.

“We are concerned that they have been detected, but at this point there is insufficient information to really judge anything. Because there are no standards set for most of the compounds, there isn`t a basis for whether there is a health effect,” said Tom Schrempp, director of production at Water District No. 1 of Johnson County.

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