Unregulated Contaminants in Your Drinking Water
They found low concentrations of 18 chemicals not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act in over 1/3 of the samples, including 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal, and antidepressant. Perfluorinated compounds, which were found most frequently, are used in a variety of industrial processes, including the manufacture of nonstick and stain-resistant food packaging, fabrics, and cookware.
While little is known of the potential health effects of long-term low-level exposure to these unregulated chemicals, research has shown that higher levels of exposure can lead to serious health issues, including ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and cancer.
Edward Furlong, a scientist with the USGS who participated in the study, remarked “We’re hoping through this work the EPA will do a much more intensive contaminant candidate list and develop new methods and requirements for drinking water plants.” Regardless, switching to a bottleless water cooler with state-of-the-art filtration and purification technology might be the best decision yet!