An environmental group recently reported on the severity of contamination in U.S drinking water with man-made “forever chemicals.” Some of the country’s biggest cities are the ones most affected, including Miami, Philidelphia, and New Orleans.
The chemical called Perfluoroalkyl substances (PEAS) is resistant to breaking down in the environment. Additionally, some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight, and other health issues.
According to previous research done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) pulled from unpublished U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, an estimate that 110 million Americans could already be contaminated with PEAS, is possibly far to low.
“It’s nearly impossible to avoid contaminated drinking water from these chemicals,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG and co-author of the report.
Samples of tap water were taken from 44 sites in 31 states and Washinton D.C by the EWG. There proved to be only one location, Meridian, Mississippi, which had not been contaminated as they rely on 700 foot deep wells for their drinking water. 34 of the contaminated sites had not yet been publicly reported by the EPA or state environmental agencies.
“Everyone’s really exposed to a toxic soup of these PFAS chemicals,” Andrews said.
A draft report from an office of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services claimed the risk level of exposure to the chemicals should be 10 times lower than the current 70 PPT the EPA recommends. According to CNBC the White House and the EPA tried to impede the publication of the report.