Nation's Drinking Water Increasingly Unsafe
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by Causes | 4.30.18
- Newark, New Jersey has become the latest city to face challenges associated with its water quality.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council intends to file a lawsuit over its findings of elevated lead levels in Newark’s drinking water. At least 10 percent of its samples were well in excess of federal action levels.
- Earlier this month, an analysis of Chicago tap water found lead in nearly 70 percent of homes. Thirty percent had levels above FDA limits for bottled water.
- Also in April, residents in Flint protested Michigan’s decision to end a free bottled water program amid the ongoing water crisis there. The governor declared the city’s water quality “well within the standards,” but Flint’s mayor says not all the city’s lead pipes have been replaced.
- On April 2, despite overwhelming public opposition, Michigan granted food giant Nestlé a permit to extract 200,000 gallons of water a day to bottle and sell. The source well is less than two hours from Flint.
Why does it matter?
- Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body, and no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.
- Estimates show anywhere from 63 million to 77 million Americans are exposed to unsafe drinking water, largely due to water infrastructure that has outlived its design life.
- Many U.S. cities have used techniques known to mask the true level of lead in drinking water.
- The Trump administration has declared eliminating lead in drinking water a priority. However, a recent EPA analysis found that nearly $500 million of investment is required to restore crumbling water systems, and many experts say the Trump administration’s plan fails to account for the complexities involved in the lead problem.
What do you think?
Should the government establish a science-based plan to restore the nation’s water infrastructure? Hit Take Action to tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
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