Tag Archive for 'arsenic in drinking water'

Politics, profits delay action on arsenic in drinking water

Photo retrieved from: www.scpr.org

“Arsenic is nearly synonymous with poison. But most people don’t realize that they consume small amounts of it in the food they eat and the water they drink.

Recent research suggests even small levels of arsenic may be harmful. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been prepared to say since 2008 that arsenic is 17 times more toxic as a carcinogen than the agency now reports.

Women are especially vulnerable. EPA scientists have concluded that if 100,000 women consumed the legal limit of arsenic each day, 730 of them eventually would get lung or bladder cancer.

The EPA, however, hasn’t been able to make its findings official, an action that could trigger stricter drinking water standards. The roadblock: a single paragraph inserted into a committee report by a member of Congress, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found. The paragraph essentially ordered the EPA to halt its evaluation of arsenic and hand over its work to the National Academy of Sciences.

The congressman, Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republican, said he was concerned that small communities couldn’t meet tougher drinking water standards and questioned the EPA’s ability to do science. But a lobbyist for two pesticide companies acknowledged to CPI that he was among those who asked for the delay. As a direct result of the delay, a weed killer the EPA was going to ban at the end of 2013 remains on the market.”

Read more: Southern California Public Radio


Light At Bottom Of One Town’s Toxic Water Wells

Photo retrieved from: www.activerain.com

“The Arkansas native has lived in unincorporated Kettleman City for 43 years. She has spent a goodly chunk of this time trying to bring clean and safe drinking water to the Kings County community.

“It’s yellow, and it smells like eggs,” says Ware, 78, of water from the town’s two wells.

The water contains high levels of arsenic, benzene and lead, according to state health officials, who, nonetheless, didn’t link the water to a cluster of birth defects that made tiny Kettleman City a national story.

Now, after winning a fight against the state bureaucracy, residents could turn on their taps — instead of buying bottled water — as early as the end of next year if plans stay on track.”

Read more: Fresno Bee