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How Contaminated Is US Tap Water?

The Wilmington Chemical Exposure Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Families with Unsafe Tap Water.

Millions of Americans may be shocked to know that the water they are drinking is not very safe, according to a two-year-long analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In this study, the EWG had detected over 320 contaminants in the nation’s drinking water systems, meaning there is contaminated water. These toxins, many of which are not regulated by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), are linked to adverse health effects such as cancer or neurological disorders.

The EWG analyzed over 50,000 water systems spread out across the country, creating the Tap Water Database. With this database, users can enter their ZIP code to see their local water’s report, complete with what type and the amount of chemicals found in their drinking water. Furthermore, the database offers users to view what kind of health effects they are in danger of with the toxins they are exposed to.

What Types of Contaminants are in Tap Water?

Over the course of two years, the EWG database looked for over 500 different contaminants in the nation’s water systems and found over 300. These contaminants included:

  • Arsenic
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Benzene
  • Uranium

Most of the contaminants found are called “forever chemicals”, referring to the seemingly endless lifecycle of certain chemical compounds that can take thousands of years to break down. There are more than 600 PFAS compounds used in many everyday products like cookware or cosmetics, out of more than the known 9,000 PFASs. Scientifically known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), they can cause a myriad of health problems over long term exposure.

Why is Tap Water Contaminated?

According to the EWG, there are several reasons explaining why there are so many contaminants in U.S. water systems. The use and disposal of PFAs over several decades mean they can now be found in virtually everything: our air, water, even our own bodies. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that they have found PFAs in every blood stream when they have tested for them.

The PFAs found in our drinking water and our bodies are potentially dangerous and are linked to many diseases, such as:

  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Immune disorders
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

Many of today’s drinking water come from sources that are outdated. There are many local communities using lead pipes today, even when their local water supplies are modernized and filtered. There is also the problem with nearby factories producing waste that finds its way into our streams and underground water systems, contaminating the water coming out of the reservoirs.

The EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act

In 1974, the federal government issued the Safe Drinking Water Act for the EPA to monitor the nation’s tap water. With this law, the EPA had researched and confirmed the legal maximum contaminant level (MCL) for our drinking water to be at 90 contaminants, which is far from safe and has not changed for almost 50 years. In fact, there have been no new contaminants added to the EPA’s watch list since 2000.

According to the EWG’s report, the EPA is drastically behind in keeping up with the new contaminants and microplastics, and change is needed immediately. However, even with limited EPA regulations imposed, there are far less resources to penalize the public systems, as well the lack of funding to even update the infrastructure.

The Wilmington Chemical Exposure Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Families with Unsafe Tap Water

If you suspect that your family is drinking unsafe tap water, then you must contact our Wilmington chemical exposure lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. immediately. Our skilled and experienced team has years of experience with cases of this type and will help you receive compensation. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve all communities of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.