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source The Atlantic article article Water pollution and drinking water safety: Is it possible to avoid or mitigate the effects?
article The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking people in the US to reconsider their use of tap water, after it found high levels of lead in drinking water.
The agency announced the results of a year-long investigation on Wednesday, finding high levels in four states, including Ohio.
It also found a number of other contaminants, including arsenic, cadmium and copper.
According to the EPA, lead and arsenic were the most common contaminants found in drinking and wastewater water.
In all, more than half of drinking water samples tested positive for lead.
Lead can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system and can even lead to neurological damage.
The EPA’s finding comes just days after a Pennsylvania water district announced that it was banning the use of lead-based paint in its water because of the risk of toxic algae blooms.
“The EPA is aware of the concern that has arisen from the elevated levels of arsenic and cadmial contamination in drinking-water supplies, and we are working closely with EPA to develop a more robust response,” the agency said in a statement.
Lead and arsenic are chemicals that can cause serious health problems, particularly in children, and lead is one of the most toxic metals known to man.
“There is a real danger of the lead-containing water causing algae blooming and algae-eating algae,” Dr J.P. Nader, an epidemiologist with the University of Illinois, Chicago, told the Associated Press.
“Lead exposure is a leading cause of neurodevelopmental problems in children.”
Dr Nader told the AP that the EPA’s research showed that about 50% of the samples tested were below the EPA guidelines for arsenic.
“I think we should take into account that arsenic is a neurotoxin,” he said.
“And it is also very difficult to measure.
It’s very hard to monitor.
And it’s very difficult for the public to understand how much of an effect it has.”
In response to the new findings, the EPA said that it will consider public comments on the issue and is working with the state water districts and local governments to assess the impact of the EPA findings.
The state of Ohio, which is in the process of installing a new water-treatment plant, announced earlier this month that it would not use the lead from its water.