Thursday, June 12, 2008

How Many More Chemicals in Our Water?

I wrote recently about the tap water and bottled water. While it is up for everyone to decide which one is best to use, I continue to be concerned myself about the quality of each. Currently, I use filtered tap water and mineral water in glass bottles. Now, I came across of the results of an analysis conducted by Environmental Working Group (EWG) which shows that in 42 states over the country, the water is contaminated with 260 chemicals, of which 166 are industrial pollutants (solvents, propellants, plasticizers, pharmaceutical production ingredients). Moreover, drugs used to treat depression and epilepsy, sex hormones, and antibiotics represent another category of substances found in our daily “fresh” water. Of course, it is the pollution of the waters that contributes to the load of chemicals in tap water. The problem is that many of these ingredients are not regulated at all, so people, especially those who are vulnerable (children, pregnant women, elderly) are not protected at all against these particular chemicals.

The biggest concern of the EWG is represented by the presence of perfluorochemicals found in the environment and in people. These chemicals are used in the production of non-stick cookware, food packaging, and stain-resistant fabrics (carpet, waterproof clothing). This chemical has been found to lead to liver damage, thyroid problems, high cholesterol in children, inability to fight infection. Well, I was relived when I did not find California on the list with the states contaminated with perfluorochemicals, but what about the other chemicals? The states contaminated with the perfluorochemicals are listed as follows:

Location Details


drinking water serving city of Belpre, Little Hocking Water Association, Tuppers Plains, Village of Pomeroy

West Virginia

drinking water serving Lubeck Public Service district, Mason county

New Jersey

78% of 23 drinking-water systems tested


cities of Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Cottage Grove


Decatur/Tennessee river; Mobile River


Conasauga River; streams and ponds near Dalton, GA; city of Dalton drinking water supply; city of Columbus drinking water

North Carolina

ground water in Bladen County


Chicago tap water


ground and surface water

New York

rivers and lakes


Port St. Lucie, surface water

Lakes Erie and Ontario

Check the quality of your water here, although it seems that many of the chemicals found in the water are not listed because they are not regulated.

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