Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Household chemicals contaminate U.S. drinking water, testing shows

You see the household products that we use are high chemical compound, So it certainly would containminate the ground water then...We need to encourage the use of organic..Natural household products.....

Household chemicals contaminate U.S. drinking water, testing shows

Knight Ridder Newspapers

PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Scientists are finding trace amounts of drugs, herbicides and fragrances - from birth-control hormones to weed killers - in the nation's drinking water.

Where once experts thought the water-filtration process would eliminate the chemicals, new studies have discovered otherwise. One water industry investigation into 18 drinking-water plants nationwide found the compounds in 14 of them.

"Initially it was a surprise," said Joseph Bella, executive director for the Passaic Valley Water Commission, whose plant was the basis of a New Jersey study. "We've completely changed the way we treat water. And if that doesn't work, we'll find other technologies."

The amounts being found are infinitesimal - in parts per billion or trillion. A part per billion can be thought of as one grain of salt in a swimming pool, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

But studies on fish living in streams show that male and female fish can develop the other sex's proteins and organs when there are endocrine disrupters - from some flame retardants, birth control pills or steroids - in the water in parts per billion. What is unclear is the effect this has on humans, if any.

"We need to expand the task there," said Christian Daughton, who heads the environmental chemistry branch at the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory. "But the point is that no organism is exposed to one toxicant at a time. What's happening here involves multiple chemicals at a time, and naturally occurring toxic chemicals as well."

There were no studies being done on the health effects of chronic exposure to the compound cocktail, according to officials from the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They say they need to figure out which chemicals are appearing, and where, before deciding what to focus on.

However, the American Water Works Research Association in Denver, which funded the nationwide drinking-water-plant survey, is conducting a two-year study on the health effects of the chemicals.Read More....
Household chemicals contaminate U.S. drinking water, testing shows

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