Contaminated US drinking water – A new study has revealed that at least six million people in America are supplied with water that contains deadly toxins.
A chemical which is used for insulating pipes and making stain proof furniture has been found in large quantities in US drinking water and public water tanks across the country. The same man-made chemical is also used by firefighters.
The study revealed that the states of North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania were the getting the most contaminated water.
The study published by the Harvard University also made it clear that the figures were not actual and only presented an underestimated picture of the problem. Accuracy was impossible because the data maintained by the government did not cover the entire country and thus, left out a hundred million people.
The report comes at a crucial time when there is already a crisis brewing in Flint, Michigan over poisoned US drinking water.
The scandal started in more than two years ago in April 2014. The whole nation was horrified when it was known that thousands of children had been exposed to lead-poisoned water. The recent study, however, revealed that the water crisis may have exponentially larger dimensions.
One of the students at Harvard Chan School of Public health said that for the past many years, a chemical whose toxic component wasn’t known was allowed to be released to the environment. The consequences of this irresponsible decision are now being reaped by the general public.
Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances are found in the water supply. They are also known as PFASs and are extremely toxic. PFASs are being used for the past six decades in many commercial products including food wrappers and clothing.
These toxic substances are responsible for very harmful diseases in human beings. The Harvard report was conducted after analyzing samples that had been collected from every part of the US.
The researchers also visited the sites where PFASs are used for manufacturing products. There is no way the PFASs can be separated from the wastewater through treatment. That is why they are so easily able to contaminate US drinking water. Even the sludge generated by the plants can contaminated water sources.
Drinking contaminated water is the simplest way through which human beings can be exposed to this toxic waste. In April 2014, the city of Flint switched to the Flint River for obtaining its water.
The move was supposed to save money. Since then, thousands of children have been exposed to lead poisoning in the area. More diseases have also surfaced in the Flint community.