Contaminants in drinking water may cause cancer, pregnancy problems and other risks
A new study shows that 16 cancer-causing chemical contaminants are filling California's water supply.
According to a Patch.com article by Autumn Johnson, hundreds of harmful contaminants have been found across the American water supply that also can cause "developmental issues in children, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions."
The subhead of the website piece warns, "What's legal isn't necessarily safe when it comes to your drinking water."
In California as well as other states, it says, the following contaminants have been detected above health limits or guidelines in some water districts:
Chromium (hexavalent), which is linked to cancer and liver damage; total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), which are connected with bladder and skin cancers plus fetal development issues; bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane, both of which are linked to cancer and harm to fetuses; chloroform, connected to cancer risks and fetal development issues; dicloroacetic and trichloroacetic acids, both of which are linked to cancer as well as reproductive or pregnancy difficulties; uranium, arsenic and radium-228, all of which have cancer links; nitrate and nitrite, which are linked to cancer and fetal development issues; haloacetic acids (HAA5) and fluoride, which may cause cancer; selenium, which can decrease thyroid hormone production; 1,2-dibromo-3-chlororopane (DBCP), which can cause sterility in men and well as cancer; and tetrachloroethylene (perchlorothylene), which can cause cancer and pollute soil and groundwater.
Laws often permit utilities "to allow these dangerous chemicals to pollute our waters," Johnson's story continues.
The story quotes Leiba as saying that about 160 contaminants out of the 250 in the nation's drinking water are unregulated, "a big concern because…that means [they] can be present in our water at any level — and be legal."
In many cases, however, a simple water filter — although not 100 percent effective — can help protect consumers.
More information on cancer-causing chemicals can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.