Sunday, August 23, 2009

How safe is your drinking water?

Due to the discovery of e.coli bacteria in the water from a waterwork in Denmark, there has been some debate about requiring more frequent testing of Danish drinking water. I wholeheartedly agree with such a measure, and hope it's put into place.

Having said that, requiring such testing doesn't help much if you allow unhealthy amounts of substances in the water. According to NY Times, this might have been the case in the US, where the E.P.A. might allow unsafe amounts of Atrazine in drinking water.

Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass

For decades, farmers, lawn care workers and professional green thumbs have relied on the popular weed killer atrazine to protect their crops, golf courses and manicured lawns.

But atrazine often washes into water supplies and has become among the most common contaminants in American reservoirs and other sources of drinking water.

Now, new research suggests that atrazine may be dangerous at lower concentrations than previously thought. Recent studies suggest that, even at concentrations meeting current federal standards, the chemical may be associated with birth defects, low birth weights and menstrual problems.

The problem is not just that new knowledge has come to light, but also the fact that the E.P.A. has ignore this new knowledge, arguing that the epidemiological studies that knowledge was obtained through, contained flaws.

In my opinion, when you have several epidemiological studies showing that there might be serious problems with something at the currently allowed levels, it would be prudent to adjust the allowed amounts pending further research.

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