If you are following my blog, or have read other articles I have written here, then you know that I follow drinking water contamination issues around the U.S. as much as I can.
My previous articles chronicle many different and dangerous contaminants from chemicals to microbes, from natural disasters to accidental to deliberate sabotaging our water systems.
I truly enjoy researching and learning about water related contamination issues. I wish I did not have to, but unfortunately that is the way it is in the modern world.
Even more, I enjoy and am passionate about informing as many people, in as many ways as I can about the state of our drinking water.
I have often said that the more than 50,000 water treatment and supply systems in the U.S., for the most part, are doing an excellent job in providing quality drinking water to us, the consumers.
I have also often pointed out that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and our state agencies work hard to keep up with the many new contaminants introduced into the environment each year. Not an easy job sometimes.
It may take some time to even determine there is a problem at a particular location. It may take more time to determine to what extent a contaminant effects human health.
Once it is determined that a substance is, or may be harmful, the EPA then needs to determine how harmful and what acceptable levels (if any) can be permitted in drinking water. The EPA and state protection agencies will control the amount of any substance permitted in drinking water once health effects are understood.
Of course there are “watchdog” groups and organizations that also monitor contaminants. They also monitor the EPA and state agencies, and challenge them when they believe standards should be higher.
It is pretty obvious when a city or area is hit by a drinking water contamination crisis, such as happened recently at Flint, Michigan.
Citizens of Flint were obviously very much aware of the water contamination crisis after people began being affected and investigation discovered there was lead coming into homes, schools, hospitals and businesses by way of their drinking water.
Flint consumers know about the contamination issue first hand. Others through news outlets, even nationally, in this case.
Most of us become aware of issues in our area, or if it is substantial enough to earn national publicity. Otherwise, I scour the internet and follow organizations that monitor contamination issues. I have reported some recently.
Another I recently came across that I felt others might appreciate being informed of was reported by CNN online.
A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, warns that millions of Americans may be drinking water containing unsafe levels of industrial chemicals known as (are you ready for this?) polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs. (whew!).
These substances have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression–and even cancer.
It is really not as bad as one might think because some users in industry have stopped using one of the most produced and studied chemicals within this group.
I will tell you more in my next article.