a glass of water, hydrated in hot weather, water-only fasting

Your drinking water might be contaminated without your knowledge.

Harvard researchers have identified dangerous compounds in the PFAS class in the drinking water of 6 million Americans. These chemicals, including polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, have been used in clothing, nonstick cookware and food wrappers for six decades. Even those that are no longer being used in industrial processes persist in the environment and find their way into groundwater.

What Did the Chemists Find?

The scientists analyzed 36,000 water samples collected by the EPA between 2013 and 2015, looking for six different kinds of PFAS. This is not a comprehensive study of American drinking water, since many wells were not included.

High Levels of PFAS:

In 66 of the public water supplies in the study (each represented by a number of water samples), PFAS levels were at or above 70 parts per trillion. That is considered the safe upper limit for exposure.

In most cases, the drinking water is drawn from sources near military bases, industrial sites or wastewater treatment plants. These may be where the PFAS compounds came from when they got into the water. These agents have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, immune disorders, high cholesterol and hormone disruption.

Environmental Science & Technology Letters, online Aug 9, 2016

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  1. Cindy M. Black

    I have always used a faucet-mounted water filter because I DO NOT TRUST that the pipes in my (older) house are totally safe. I also don’t trust the city water supply. I also hate the taste of chlorine! I simply cannot understand why people are so STINKIN’ LAZY that they have to buy water in plastic bottles — which is SO bad for both their health and the environment. They can’t fill a bottle, carry it with them, and then bring it home to use again? When global warming has displaced most humans and animals, and when the oceans and soils are full of plastic, we’ll have the lazy, stupid people who buy water in plastic bottles to thank for a big piece of that.

  2. Judy

    All very interesting, but you did not comment on whether using water filters in the home would catch these toxins!

  3. Larry M.
    North Carolina

    First you wrote, “This is not a comprehensive study of American drinking water, since many wells were not included.”

    Then you wrote, “…drinking water is drawn from sources near military bases, industrial sites or wastewater treatment plants,” which implies surface water.

    Which is contaminated? Surface water or well water? Uncritical research like this seems to pervade much of the hysterical environmentalism we see today.

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