Insane World

Decaying infrastructure and pollution from toxic “forever chemicals” contaminate US tap water: Report

Decaying infrastructure and pollution from toxic “forever chemicals” are causing tens of millions of United States residents to drink contaminated water, increasing the risk of cancer and other ailments, according to a new report.

Fifty-six new contaminants, including pesticides and radioactive materials, have been discovered in US tap water over the past two years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported on Wednesday.

Researchers from the Washington, DC-based non-profit analysed data from nearly 50,000 water systems from across the US to draw their conclusions.

National US regulations for water, for example, do not include standards for a newer class of chemicals known as PFAS, which are used in the manufacturing of non-stick coatings, Teflon, firefighting film and other products.

Dubbed “forever chemicals” because they build up in human bodies and don’t break down in the environment, small doses of PFAS have been linked to kidney, liver and pancreatic cancer, weaker immune system responses and other serious health problems, the EWG reported.

Currently there are no federal drinking water standard to test PFAS chemicals. The administration of US President Joe Biden announced a strategy to regulate PFAS chemicals earlier this month, but it has yet to be implemented.

Contaminated water in the US made headlines in recent years following revelations that more than 25,000 people in Flint, Michigan were harmed through exposure to lead and other toxins in their drinking water. Last year, the state agreed to pay about $600 million in compensation to residents, including more than 5,000 children, who were harmed by the polluted water in the working-class city just north of Detroit.