Dangerous chemicals have been found in US drinking water at alarmingly high ratesbusiness insider
PFAS stands for polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of chemicals made in industries. They are mainly used in apparel, food wrappings, metal plating, and firefighting foam. PFAS is considered toxic to the human body, and many types of research suggest they can cause many health issues, including cancer. It was brought to light that tap water sources across the U.S are contaminated with a considerably high amount of PFAS. In fact, more than 30 communities are affected by this.
If you were one of those people who trusted the purification process of tap water, you might want to think again. Researchers also found that highly populated cities’, like New York, Michigan, Colorado, and North Carolina, drinking water systems are heavily contaminated by these toxic chemicals.
Detectable levels of PFASs areas near industrial sites, military sites, wastewater treatment plants and airports . Image by Hu XC et al., Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 2016.
Since the study revealed the presence of these harmful chemicals in water, a bipartisan group of senators filed two bills to remove any chemicals from tap water around the United States.
What do the two bills say?
One bill concentrates on improving the technologies to detect the presence of these harmful chemicals in drinking/tap water. It would fund $45 million for US Geological surveys for the next 5 years to improve the technology. The second bill is mainly focused on the water coming from the federal lands. The water from federal lands, especially around the military base, is often contaminated with PFAS because of the use of firefighting foams. The second bill aims to help purify any water coming from the federal lands.
According to the standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, anything that is contaminated with more than 70 ppt of PFAS is not suitable for human use. But the studies revealed that the contaminated tap water in the U.S contains PFAS higher than the suggested amount.