Chemical contamination of water routine and hazardous

Posted by Trish Riley, December 17, 2009

“…more than 62 million Americans have been exposed since 2004 to drinking water that did not meet at least one commonly used government health guideline intended to help protect people from cancer or serious disease…

Some federal regulators have tried to help officials like Dr. Parekh by pushing to tighten drinking water standards for chemicals like industrial solvents, as well as a rocket fuel additive that has polluted drinking water sources in Southern California and elsewhere. But those efforts have often been blocked by industry lobbying.

…the drinking water standard for arsenic, a naturally occurring chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing and treated wood, is at a level where a community could drink perfectly legal water, and roughly one in every 600 residents would likely develop bladder cancer over their lifetimes…”

Dr. Parekh estimates that arsenic poses more of a risk to Los Angeles residents than any other contaminant in drinking water.

A decade’s worth of evidence also indicates that the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water have often been smaller than initially estimated.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/us/17water.html?_r=1&sudsredirect=true