Arsenic, Lead and Forever Chemicals in Drinking Water Endanger US Citizens

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After nine months of investigation, the Guardian and consumer reports found lead, arsenic and toxic chemicals in water samples taken across the United States. For example, at a church in North Carolina, the water had extremely high PFAS chemicals levels. Additionally, the water flowing in Texas had an alarming amount of arsenic too.

Access to safe water for all U.S. citizens has been the U.S. government goal since the clean water act passage in 1972. Even after the passage of this act, the irony is U.S. citizens continue to face water quality problems due to contamination, deteriorating infrastructure and inadequate treatment of water at the plants.

About The Study

Consumer reports and the Guardian selected 120 people out of 6000 volunteers around the U.S. to test for arsenic, lead, PFAS and other contaminants. Out of 120 samples, 118 of them had concerning levels of PFAS, arsenic above the recommended C.R. ‘s maximum or detectable amounts of lead. For example, about 8% of the samples had arsenic contamination.

Water quality in one location does not necessarily reflect water quality supplied by an entire system. Through their study, the C.R. ‘s statisticians have provided a unique view into some of the most important challenges on the drinking water crisis facing Americans.

It’s shocking how many U.S. citizens have never heard of PFAS in water. For instance, a Florida resident named Hung Ng noted he has been using water filters to remove lead but has never heard about PFAS until the Guardian and consumers report tested his water during the study. 

Solutions 

Although fixing this problem is not up to consumers, people seeking clean water have some options for reducing exposure to dangerous contaminants. According to Brian Ronholm, a C.R. director of food policy, Americans should not be forced to make significant investments to access clean tap water.

The House of Representatives passed legislation last year authorizing $2.5 billion to replace lead service lines across the United States, according to NRDC, but the bill died in the senate. 

Congress has also urged the Bien administration to address PFAS contamination, among other things. Congress also directed the EPA to phase out the use of chemicals deemed non-essential to finalize a standard PFOA and PFOS and speed up the cleanup.

A member of the congressional task force by Debbie Dingell’s name responded to the C.R. ‘s test findings, saying they show that there’s no time to waste as the American citizens battle for these toxic chemicals. She even renewed her call for PFAS to be banned and designated as hazardous.

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