Drinking Water Contamination


Due to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), America's drinking water is safer than it has been in decades, and of better quality than that of many other countries. Accordingly, many Americans believe that while people elsewhere may have reason to be concerned about getting sick from contaminated tap water, we are safe. Yet, incidents in the United States such as the outbreak of the microorganism cryptosporidium in Milwaukee's water supply in 1993 that killed more than one hundred people and sickened over 400,000, and lead and pesticide contamination while not affecting most, threaten the tap water of millions of Americans.
In truth, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ...

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such study found that as many as one in three gastrointestinal illnesses often chalked up to "stomach flu" are caused by drinking water contaminated with microorganisms.[4]
Such microbial-related outbreaks say nothing about the many other hazards borne by our nation's water supply. Researchers have shown that millions of Americans regularly drink tap water that is contaminated with toxic and cancer-causing chemicals such as lead, trihalomethanes (THMs), arsenic, radioactive materials, and pesticides. A 1994 study estimated that some 14.1 million Americans drank water contaminated with the pesticides atrazine, cyanazine, simazine, alachlor, and metolachlor.[5] The manufacturers of these agricultural herbicides have shown that these chemicals may cause cancer, birth defects, and genetic mutations.
To make matters worse, some water utilities have been less than forthcoming with information about their drinking water supplies and the efficacy of their purifying methods. While the ...

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matters, infants and children drink more than two and a half times as much water as adults as a proportion of their body weight.[9] An infant living solely on formula consumes about one-seventh of its own weight of water each day, which would correspond to approximately three gallons of water for a 155-pound adult man.[10]
The hazards posed by waterborne lead are especially pernicious. In 1991, the EPA estimated that lead in drinking water harms the health of millions of children, causing more than 560,000 children to exceed the level of concern for blood-lead levels defined by the CDC.[11] (A recent EPA rule regulating lead in drinking water may have reduced this number of children.) ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/7/2007 02:01:50 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4200
Pages: 16

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