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6 Million Americans Exposed To High Levels of Chemicals In Drinking Water, Says Study (businessinsider.com) 166

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: A new study out Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters looked at a national database that monitors chemical levels in drinking water and found that 6 million people were being exposed to levels of a certain chemical that exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency considers healthy. The chemicals, known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are synthetic and resistant to water and oil, which is why they're used in things like pizza boxes and firefighting foam. They're built to withstand the environment. But PFASs also accumulate in people and animals and have been observationally linked to an increased risk of health problems including cancer. And they can't be easily avoided, like with a water filter, for example. You can view the chart to see the tested areas of the U.S. where PFASs exceed 70 ng/L, which is what's considered a healthy lifetime exposure.
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6 Million Americans Exposed To High Levels of Chemicals In Drinking Water, Says Study

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Alex Jones sells several excellent models, from table-top to RO. I highly recommend the Big Berkey with the LED lights. Just get the one made from stainless steel, not plastic.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @10:37PM (#52675813)
      If you're buying anything Alex Jones is selling, you've already been drinking something tainted..
      • by Deagol ( 323173 )

        I've owned a classic Big Berkey for about 10 years. The filters, while expensive, are the best of their class (gravity fed). You can see, taste, and smell the difference.

        I don't know how impartial waterfilterlabs.com is, nor how rigid their testing methodology is, but the top of the line Berkey filters (the black plus the fluoride filters underneath) rank the highest on nearly every category. The systems were designed to filter questionable water in shitty, war-torn, 3rd-world environments, so they knock

        • I've discovered that it's actually cheaper for me to buy bottled water. A five-gallon jug runs about $7 (delivered; an empty will run about $25 with $1.75 refills; about half the cost after 15 fills) while one of those zero-water filters (here in Monterey, the water is so hard that the filter is only good for about five gallons) is $10-12.
        • Get the Doulton filters though NOT the 'black berkey' filters. They usually let unfiltered water through IN MY EXPERIENCE.
      • How is this insightful? Tell me exactly what is tainted.
    • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @01:31AM (#52676217)

      Does it filter DHMO? I hear there are dangerously high levels of that in the water supply.

      • One of the highest levels of room temperature liquids, 55 M (moles/liter).
        A half liter of beer has on the order of 1.6e25 molecules of that dangerous stuff!

      • And to think we are spending billions of dollars to find more of this deadly substance on other worlds!

  • Chemicals?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TroII ( 4484479 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @10:35PM (#52675803)

    Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water! The government is spraying chemtrails over my house and sometimes when I water my tomato plants I see rainbows in the water, you can't explain that! The orange cheeto people are trying to enslave us but I won't let them win.

    • Re:Chemicals?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @10:48PM (#52675851)
      This isn't "dihydrogen monoxide", it's the class of compounds that includes C8, which was used in Teflon manufacture until recently. It never degrades and will last millions of years. It causes birth defects (reduced birth size, physical developmental delays, or miscarriage), cancer, and liver disease.

      Now "chemtrails" *are* bullshit.
      • Yeah but whenever a headline refers sloppily to "chemicals" even attempting to read the summary becomes a chore.
      • by TroII ( 4484479 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @11:44PM (#52676057)

        Listen to this guy, he's talking about C8! What's he going to say next, C8N? Science, right? That's what scientists do, folks. They put C, and 8, and before you know it, Satan. Lots of people are saying MillionthMonkey is Satan. Really smart people, I have the best scientists, the ones who spray chemtrails over your homes, people. MillionthMonkey, right, I have a video, folks. The Secret Service is carrying a Valium injector around just to make sure this guy doesn't go low energy, you get what I'm saying? Parkinson's, people are saying Parkinson's, I'm not saying it, people are saying it. And this guy wants to talk about science? Can you believe this?

        • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @12:38AM (#52676137)
          You know, you're not allowed to use hairspray anymore because if affects the ozone. You know that, right? I said, "You mean to tell me"- because you know hairspray's not like it used to be, it used to be real good. Give me a mirror. But no, in the old days, you put the hairspray on, it was good. Today, you put the hairspray on, it's good for 12 minutes, right? I said, "Wait a minute- so if I take hairspray and if I spray it in my apartment, which is all sealed, you're telling me that affects the ozone layer?" "Yes." I say, no way, folks. No way! No way! That's like a lot of the rules and regulations you people have in the mines, right? It's the same kind of stuff.
          • L'Oréal Elnette has been the hairspray of choice for decades, and still is. Other brands were crap so contributed to ozone depletion as you needed to use them more for the same effect.

          • You know your apartment isn't sealed? Otherwise you'd be dead from oxygen deprivation. CFCs doesn't settle onto the walls and floors, it remains in the air inside the apartment which then makes its way outside when you open doors, windows etc later.

      • by quenda ( 644621 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @11:54PM (#52676079)

        This isn't "dihydrogen monoxide", ... It never degrades and will last millions of years.

        DHMO can last millions of years, and is one of the leading causes of death in toddlers in the US.

        • Oh come on. DHMO degrades during photosynthesis for crying out loud.
        • This isn't "dihydrogen monoxide", ... It never degrades and will last millions of years.

          I would say it is likely patented by Oracle, but they are incapable of making anything that lasts that long. Thus the reason we have not seen lawsuits over it's unlicensed use.

      • Re:Chemicals?! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @12:13AM (#52676113) Journal

        Indeed. The Intercept had a set of articles on what should be a scandal surrounding C8.

        Remember folks, when those politicians want to "eliminate regulations", they want to eliminate regulations that protect people from pollution such as this. They want to give companies a free pass on putting dangerous chemicals into the environment.

      • This isn't "dihydrogen monoxide", it's the class of compounds that includes C8, which was used in Teflon manufacture until recently. It never degrades and will last millions of years. It causes birth defects (reduced birth size, physical developmental delays, or miscarriage), cancer, and liver disease. Now "chemtrails" *are* bullshit.

        So does drinking Pepsi and eating Papa Johns and breathing air.

    • No worries! Only some oxygen dihydride was detected in your drinking water, in generally safe levels.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Firefighting foams are really nasty stuff. The after cleaning of an air port fire involves removing the contaminated surface ground from the site.

    • Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water! The government is spraying chemtrails over my house and sometimes when I water my tomato plants I see rainbows in the water, you can't explain that!

      You do know there's more than one type of chemical, right?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@NosPam.world3.net> on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @06:40AM (#52676765) Homepage Journal

        There seems to be a new type of denier. Maybe we can call them "danger deniers" or something, or Famous Last Worders (FMLs). They think that because everyone else is an idiot something must be safe, be it a particular chemical or nuclear contamination or some machine.

        Examples:

        1. Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water!
        2. Oh noes, not noocular radiashun!!
        3. Statistically auto-pilot is safer than humans!
        4. Everything gives you cancer!

        • I came here to make fun of "chemicals" as well. It's not that I don't think this is a problem, it's that people use the word "chemicals" when they mean to say "dangerous chemicals". Water is a chemical. I'm made of chemicals. It's ignorant to use the generic word "chemical" when trying to scare someone.

          • It's ignorant to use the generic word "chemical" when trying to scare someone.

            The problem is that there's no one word with which people are familiar which tells the story correctly, and you really need to use one word because people are confused if you use two. Dangerous chemicals leads us into a discussion about how dangerous they are, weasel weasel weasel. Hazardous? More weaseling. What represents a hazard? So instead we just call them chemicals, and then the argument becomes "everything is a chemical", which is an obvious attempt to mislead from people who have nothing to contrib

        • There seems to be a new type of denier. Maybe we can call them "danger deniers" or something, or Famous Last Worders (FMLs). They think that because everyone else is an idiot something must be safe, be it a particular chemical or nuclear contamination or some machine.

          Examples:

          1. Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water! 2. Oh noes, not noocular radiashun!! 3. Statistically auto-pilot is safer than humans! 4. Everything gives you cancer!

          Denier type behavior is more evident in those that ignore the body of scientific established data which show things to be of low risk compared to everyday risk exposures , yet they insist on assuming its really much worse or speak of those risks out of context. Your examples are hyperbolized generalizations of your own making, so you are displaying the exact behavior that you are citing.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Except that C8 is actually pretty bad for you, which means you just demonstrated exactly what I was talking about and get to be the first person called a Last Worder in public. Congrats.

            • The health impact of C8 has zero to do with my comment, nor did a say in any way it was or was not pretty bad for you. That you somehow applied that to me is a case of making a false argument, which you again demonstrated quite clearly.
        • Examples:
          1. Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water!
          2. Oh noes, not noocular radiashun!!
          3. Statistically auto-pilot is safer than humans!
          4. Everything gives you cancer!

          How do you feel justified lumping #3 in with the others? Statistics are the cornerstone of modern science. I don't know that I'd buy Musk's 50% statistic, but I'm actually only interested in statistics, and not appeals to emotion. At least there are some statistics that appear to support #3. All the statistics show that the class of contaminants we're currently talking about are harmful, so people in denial about it are provably denialists.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The Tesla auto-pilot thing is a great example. As you point out, a cursory examination of the statistics seem to suggest that it is safer than a human driver. But the stats are misleading. It's only usable on certain, already very safe roads where humans also do a lot better than the average. The number of data points is fairly low at this stage, and the facts are disputed (Tesla say AP was not involved when the driver says it was). At the most, you can say it's too early to tell.

            And yes, my point was that

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @09:17AM (#52677429)

      Oh god, not chemicals! Tell me there's not dihydrogen monoxide in my drinking water! The government is spraying chemtrails over my house and sometimes when I water my tomato plants I see rainbows in the water, you can't explain that! The orange cheeto people are trying to enslave us but I won't let them win.

      Yaeah, here's your arsenic trioxide sauce. Drinky up! I triple dog dare ya. It's a chemical, and anyone who thinks chemicals are bad is a kook.

      And how can there be radiation? How can something you can't even see be bad for you?

      I hope you realize you are just as silly and as unintelligent as the people you are mocking in your post.

      Here's a link for you to mock. http://www.nicole.org/uploaded... [nicole.org]

      Now personally, I'd be more concerned about the estrogen mimics we are consuming in increasing amounts.

      http://www.environmentalhealth... [environmen...thnews.org]

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/r... [sciencedaily.com]

      Even (get ready for this) Fox News, has reported on this: http://www.foxnews.com/health/... [foxnews.com]

      And BPA isn't the only estrogen mimic. We are being hammered with Estrogen mimics, and with phytoestrogens from food.

      Now I do suspect unless you are a total misanthrope and just enjoy people's problems, that you don't really approve of this kind of stuff.

      But Bisphenol A is an example of a large scale experiment which has caused a lot of harm to humans and other creatures. We did the same with DDT, thalidomide, lead, and more. These PFA chemicals are a likely carcinogen, and since they take a heckava long time to break down, it becomes a real problem if/when that is confirmed. Aside from drinking water, there are some people, like firefighters, who are exposed to a huge amount when they use fire suppressant foam.

  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @10:38PM (#52675817) Homepage Journal

    Being composed of baryonic matter exposes one to high levels of chemicals, especially for those living outside of the intergalactic voids. To avoid unwanted chemical reaction in proximity to galaxy clusters, convert your substrate entirely to dark matter.

  • The day they find yoga mats are carcinogenic will be the happiest day in my life. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=... [youtube.com]
    • The day they find yoga mats are carcinogenic will be the happiest day in my life.

      psst you're not supposed to eat them HTH HAND

      • Yeah, but when you come into contact with them as much as the confused yoga practitioners do, you just might get some of the potentially cancer causing chemicals to rub off and enter the bloodstream. Then some particles may sublimate and get inhaled. There is more ways than just eating for carcinogens to cause problems. There may also be particles in the air that react with the particles in yoga mats becoming carcinogenic. I may not have even exhausted the possibilities. But anyways it's a quote from the Yo
  • Hot spots seem to line-up with current and former military bases WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO KEEP US SAFE.

    Even back to the WWII-era Air Corps bases, spraying used oil to keep the weeds and grass in check.
  • Maybe they mean six million out of every hundred thousand Americans. Eh, whatever, soon they'll be telling us how grateful we should be to have drinkable tap water at all. I suppose the bottling industry just got themselves some new promotional material.

  • Link to article (Score:5, Informative)

    by drunken_boxer777 ( 985820 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @11:20PM (#52675983)

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/1... [acs.org]

    It helps if there is a working link in TFS.

  • >> .... Chemicals in drinking water ...
    Wot ??? There is drinking water in my oil ????

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @02:13AM (#52676283)

    The more startling aspect of this drinking water pollution are the levels of xenoestrogens. Between HFCS, sedentary lifestyles, and now all sorts of medical chemicals floating around in our drinking water humans are suffering a, "death by a thousand cuts" so to speak. Hormone disrupting chemicals are affecting wild animals as well.

    You can fight most of these, but some are more nefarious. I drink upwards of a gallon of water a day because of my work. Thankfully it's a very active (foreman) gig, but at the same time it still has me concerned. I can't use my reverse osmosis home system when i'm away at work!

    • I can't use my reverse osmosis home system when i'm away at work!

      While I don't need a gallon during a typical work day, I do bring my reverse osmosis water with me to work in two large, stainless steel bicycle bottles.

      As you probably already know, reverse osmosis is the only way to get rid of this type of crap (including fluoride).

      • I run out half way through the day and need a refill. Carrying around such a big jug of water is difficult already!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can't we as a population not dumb down our language. Can't we say "unhealthy chemicals" instead of unadorned "chemicals". I am exposed to 100% chemicals in my drinking water, mainly the very dangerous dihydrogen mon-oxide.

  • Exposure is only part of the toxicological equation. Is there causal (not just an associated) evidence of harm? Do we know what dose is necessary to cause this harm, and what the likelihood of harm is at a particular does? The EPA does an excellent job of surveillance. Unfortunately they do a less than stellar job of confirming there is a problem before someone turns exposure data into the basis for a panicked article about the latest "chemical".
    • It's not entirely the EPA's fault. It is quite difficult to prove that some level of exposure will not cause harm. However, since the EPA is influenced by political whim...

      • Furthermore, if you prove that chemical A is dangerous, but the company wants to use it, they could change it very slightly and then now it is chemical B. Chemical B may be biologically equivalent in the manner that A was dangerous, but it isn't A anymore, so unless they wrote the ban broadly then now we are just getting cancer from B instead. If they did write the ban broadly, perhaps now chemical C is illegal but was actually benign. It isn't an easy solution.
    • Exposure is only part of the toxicological equation. Is there causal (not just an associated) evidence of harm?

      Why should that be the bar? I want "pure" (clean) water to put into my body. If we're unsure whether something will affect me, I don't want it in there. At home, I use a RO system to make sure that's the case; even if the RO filter fails there's multiple carbon filters between the well and my face. But out in the world, what kind of garbage is in the water? Even if I eschew everyone else's water, I'm still going to get it in my food.

      • Pure water isn't really an option at the municipal level. Even after the water leaves he plant it has to move through miles of pipes to get to your tap, and frequently the city that owns the plant and the city that owns the pipes serving your house are not the same cities. Never mind that the quality of the pipes IN your home can matter as well.

        There is a practically infinite number of chemicals that can dissolve in water that would need to be tested forth confirm that the water is pure. And we need to d
  • I hear the entire world is consuming a ton of chemicals in their water, mostly DMHO [dhmo.org]
  • About 350 million Americans are exposed to the highly corrosive solvent Dihydrogen Monoxide in their drinking water EVERY DAY!
  • Ah, New Jersey; the land where every puddle has it's own rainbow!

  • ... is that these 6 million are all lab rats living in California.

  • by generic_screenname ( 2927777 ) on Wednesday August 10, 2016 @09:18AM (#52677431)
    I'll just leave this here. http://www.ewg.org/research/te... [ewg.org]
  • My first reaction: Wow, I didn't know Flint, MI, has 6M residents!

    My second reaction: Hey, the residents of Flint, MI are not alone!

    My third reaction: Boy, am I glad I have an RO system at home, and filtered water at work.

    My funny bone is battling with my logical brain over this one. The local News at 6 PM might have more information about that battle. Or maybe not.
  • Or can we all agree the the federal government should ensure that the entire population has safe drinking water?

    From the looks of that chart, it seems I need to buy a filter or bottled water now. Not fucking happy about that.

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