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Americans exposed to harmful chemicals in drinking water

Harmful Chemicals In Drinking Water

What is the one thing no living being can live without? The answer is water. We all survive on water. However, what if there were harmful chemicals in drinking water?

What if the water we drink isn’t as safe as it looks?

Various researches have been conducted by the Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on water safety. One research concluded – ‘American tap systems are filled with poisonous and harmful chemicals in drinking water’. These taps serve almost 15 million Americans in more than 27 states.

These toxic chemicals are poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Another name for PFAS is ‘forever chemicals’. This is because:

  • The environment cannot break them down
  • The human body cannot digest them
  •  Various manufactured products are made of PFAS. These include- non-stick pans, fire retardants, and stain repellent products.

The health problems linked to PFAS are:

  • Cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Liver damage
  • Higher cholesterol

Scary, right? However, here are some simple steps to protect yourself from PFAS:

  • Try using stainless steel or cast iron in the kitchen.
  • If your drinking water contains PFAS above the level specified by the state government, find an alternative water source.
  • Avoid using grease-resistant paper found in food items like popcorn, takeout pizza, etc.
  • Always read the ingredient labels on personal care products. If it contains fluoro ingredients in them, it’s best not to use it. Common products with fluoro ingredients are:
    • Shampoo
    • Make-up products
    • Dental floss
  • Avoid using varnish, seals, and paints. Instead, use organic paints.

The American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been trying to regulate such chemicals. The EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. They have been doing this for nearly three decades. So, your exposure only stands a slim chance. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

 

Manavi Pandey