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Government tries to play off why there's drugs in our drinking water...

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By re-assuring us that we drink recycled sewage water.






Two veteran U.S. senators said Monday they plan to hold hearings in response to an Associated Press investigation into the presence of trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.


Also, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., has asked the EPA to establish a national task force to investigate the issue and make recommendations to Congress on any legislative actions needed.


Sen. Barbara Boxer, who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, chairman of the Transportation, Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality Subcommittee, said the oversight hearings would likely be held in April.


Boxer, D-Calif., said she was "alarmed at the news" that pharmaceuticals are turning up in the nation's drinking water, while Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat who said he was "deeply concerned" by the AP findings, both represent states where pharmaceuticals had been detected in drinking water supplies, but not disclosed to the public.


"I call on the EPA to take whatever steps are necessary to keep our communities safe," said Boxer in a statement.


Added Lautenberg, whose subcommittee has jurisdiction over drinking water issues: "Our families deserve water that is clean and safe. Our hearing will examine these problems and help ensure the EPA and Congress take the steps necessary to protect our residents and clean up our water supply."


EPA spokesman Timothy Lyons said the agency is "committed to keeping the nation's water supply clean, safe and the best in the world. We encourage all Americans to be responsible when disposing of prescription drugs."


The Lautenberg-Boxer announcement came just 24 hours after the AP's release of the first installment of its three-part series, titled PharmaWater.


The five-month-long inquiry by the AP National Investigative Team found that while water is screened for drugs by some suppliers, they usually don't tell their customers that they have found medication in it, including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones.


The series shows how drugs — mostly the residue of medications taken by people, excreted and flushed down the toilet — have gotten into the water supplies of at least 24 major metropolitan areas, from Southern California to northern New Jersey. The stories also detail the growing concerns among scientists that this pollution has adversely affected wildlife, and may threaten human health.


In a letter to EPA administrator Stephen Johnson, Schwartz said, "Like many Pennsylvanians, I was especially taken aback by the finding of 56 different pharmaceuticals discovered in the drinking water for the City of Philadelphia.. . . The Associated Press report raises serious questions about the safety and security of America's water system."










Yeah right.

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Photo: Toxins on Tap


I remember, as a child, when you called someone a drip she would respond, "A drip is a drop, a drop is water, water is nature, thank you for the very nice compliment." She was right. Over two-thirds of a person's body mass consists of water. We are part of a vast natural cycle with no beginning or end, including the oceans from which fresh water evaporates, filling up the clouds. Four trillion gallons of rain fall on the U.S. every day, replenishing rivers and lakes and running back to the sea, or percolating down through the soil to recharge underground reservoirs called aquifers.


Drinking Water: A Vast Yet Limited Resource


This sheer abundance can hide the fact that the pressures of economic development and population growth are straining the quality and the quantity of water available for drinking. Each day, homeowners and industrial and agricultural users withdraw 300 billion gallons of fresh water, using it for everything from flushing the toilet and washing the car to irrigating crops. Sooner or later this used water finds a path back into a river, lake or groundwater supply, along with whatever contaminants it has picked up along the way. It may come from a mountain spring or a backyard well, but regardless of its source, your tap water may contain some surprises that you would not want to drink.


Making sure that the water we drink is pure is one of the most important steps we can take to protect our families' health. More than this, water is our shared resource--a global cycle--that we must protect for the common good.


Types of Pollutants Found in Drinking Water


Even a pristine mountain stream can contain pathogens carried by livestock or wild animals, or toxic minerals that leach naturally from the ground. However, the most common sources of the drinking water contaminants listed on the next page include human sewage, industrial waste, pesticide runoff, backyard dumping and leaching from municipal landfills. Another area of grave concern is the leaking of pollutants from underground storage tanks, which hold everything from gasoline and heating oil to chemical and nuclear waste. According to recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, up to one-quarter of the 3-10 million underground storage tanks in the U.S. are likely to be leaking.


Following is a list of selected contaminants and the effects of exposure through drinking water:


Pathogens are microorganisms--bacteria, viruses, and protozoa--that enter drinking water from human sewage or animal feces. They cause diseases ranging from dysentery and hepatitis to Legionnaire's disease. Pathogens such as the bacteria E. coli in water sicken an estimated 940,000 people a year, kill several hundred and can cause miscarriages. Pathogens contaminate water through failure by water companies and government agencies to protect watersheds, to filter or adequately disinfect water or guard against treatment plant or animal feedlot overflow. At present the most effective disinfectant is chlorine.


Chlorine, however, does not kill two protozoa, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum, which can result in chronic illness or death to AIDs patients and others with weakened immune systems. Find out if your water system monitors for protozoa. To be safe, boil drinking water or use a tap water filter that removes particles of 1 micron or less. Bottled water labeled "micro-filtered" may not be protozoa-proof.


Inorganic chemicals and toxic metals:


LEAD: According to the EPA, more than 800 U.S. cities have water that exceeds the EPA's "action level" for lead. Over half of U.S. cities still use lead-lined pipes or copper pipes with lead soldering, which are the primary sources of lead in drinking water. Even at low intake levels, lead can cause fetal damage and delayed neurological and physical development in children, and high blood pressure, heart attacks, kidney damage, reproductive dysfunction and strokes in adults.


VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs) are a special class of synthetic organic chemicals which include solvents like benzene, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, p-dichlorobenzene, and the building block of PVC plastic, vinyl chloride. Many VOCs are known or suspected carcinogens and can also affect the nervous system. VOCs evaporate readily, and thus can be inhaled while you shower.


ARSENIC, a well-known poison, is also classified as a known human carcinogen by the EPA. It can cross the placenta and accumulate in the body. Arsenic enters the water supply from smelting of many ores, such as copper and iron, and through its use as a wood preservative. Three hundred thousand people in the U.S. may be drinking water containing higher than the EPA's maximum allowable limit of 50 parts per billion of arsenic. High levels of intake can lead to abnormal fetal development and cardiovascular disease. The Northwest and Southwest have the lowest concentrations of arsenic in water.


CADMIUM, like lead, can be leached out of pipes, especially by soft, acidic water. Used for electroplating, in paint and pigments, and in the manufacture of PVC as well as nickel-cadmium batteries, cadmium enters the water supply from leaking landfills and fertilizer runoff (where it is a trace contaminant). Intake of cadmium, which accumulates in the body over time, is associated with hypertension and kidney damage.


Non-metallic inorganics include asbestos from cement water mains; cyanide from insecticides, metal refining, and pigment and plastic manufacture; and nitrates. Water contaminated with nitrates from nitrogen fertilizers is most common in farming areas, and can enter municipal watersheds through farm runoff. Infants who drink nitrate-tainted water can contract "blue-baby syndrome."


Synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs) are man-made chemicals that contain carbon. SOCs in some drinking water include pesticides like atrazine and alachlor (both suspected carcinogens), notorious industrial chemicals like dioxins and PCBs, and plastic-related chemicals such as phthalates and styrene. A 1995 study by the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. found that approximately 10.2 million people in the Midwest, 1.5 million in Louisiana and 2.4 million in the Chesapeake Bay region drink water contaminated with weed killers; as a result, EWG concludes, 3.5 million people face cancer risks 10 to 100 times higher than the federal benchmark.


Radioactive materials, including naturally occurring or manmade radionuclides like uranium, radium, radon and strontium (all carcinogenic), may be contaminating the drinking water of 50 million Americans.


Chlorine and its by-products. Chlorine, an effective and currently necessary disinfectant, is added to all water supplies at treatment facilities to neutralize bacteria. Unfortunately, chlorine, reacting with organic chemicals left in the water by soil and decaying vegetation, also forms a group of chemicals called disinfection by-products (DBPs) or trihalomethanes (THMs). DBPs/THMs may be associated with 10,000 or more rectal and bladder cancers each year in the U.S., and are linked to pancreatic cancer as well. These chemicals may also cause major birth defects.


Fluoride is naturally occurring in some waters, and is also added to water supplies to fight tooth decay. Too much fluoride can cause mottling of teeth. Since fluoride is removed from the body by the kidneys, people with kidney disease who drink lots of water with fluoride can accumulate fluoride in their bones producing skeletal fluorosis, which can eventually have a crippling effect. There is some suggestion that fluoride is correlated with increased rates of cancer, though the evidence is not clear. Local drinking water programs are required to announce to the public when the fluoride level reaches more than 2 ppm; at this level the possibility of moderate to severe dental mottling increases. There is much debate over whether the risks of fluoridation outweigh its benefits.

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i only use tap water to shower and shit in.



and i dont even drink US tap water anymore. ive been fucking with this new zealand water lately, cus we all know new zealand is super clean.

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Guest spectr

man but if i don't get my prozac in my water I will get depressed... and i don't want to be depressed cause then i might start to think about things and imagine what would happen then...

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You guys are fucking stupid, guess what bottled water is? It's tap water from a different location! You think Dasani and all of them import that shit from some super secret location that harbors the last pure water on earth?

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You guys are fucking stupid, guess what bottled water is? It's tap water from a different location! You think Dasani and all of them import that shit from some super secret location that harbors the last pure water on earth?



That's just some bottled water. Not the spring water.

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including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones.




yeah i heard estrogen from birth control pills ends up in our drinking water, and thats resposible for men turning into metrosexuals

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Apparently our water is the best one that tested






Chemists who tested drinking water from 20 utilities nationwide said they did not detect any contaminants at all at San Francisco's tap, despite news reports to the contrary.


"We didn't detect anything whatsoever," said Shane Snyder, research manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority who helped coordinate a study by the research arm of the nation's water utilities.


The American Waterworks Association Research Foundation tested 20 of the nation's water systems, including San Francisco's for 60 compounds found in medicines, household cleaners and cosmetics.


"You guys have the best water that we tested. Period," Snyder said of San Francisco's drinking water. "I don't think we've ever tested drinking water that didn't have any of our target compounds in it."


In a story about test results of the nation's drinking water quality, the Associated Press reported Sunday that much of the supply contains traces of pharmaceuticals, solvents and other contaminants.


Among its findings, the news agency said San Francisco's water contained a sex hormone. The sex hormone was supposedly estradiol, a hormone found in vertebrate animals - mammals, reptiles, birds and fish.


In fact, no such compounds turned up in San Francisco's water samples, Snyder said.


The mistake apparently resulted from confusion over the waterworks foundation's laboratory test results conveyed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to the Associated Press. The news service said it was looking into the matter.


Snyder said the misunderstanding apparently occurred because of the results of an additional tissue test that showed barely detectable levels of estrogenicity, or activity by estrogen-like chemicals at parts per quadrillion, Snyder said. The estrogenicity levels in that test were even lower than in the highly pristine water being used by the researchers for quality control, Snyder said.


National reports of San Francisco's sex-hormone water hit the San Francisco PUC hard.


The city claims bragging rights over pure Hetch Hetchy Reservoir water surrounded by nearly 500 square miles of Yosemite Valley wilderness.


While other cities in the United States - and around the world - have to drink treated water sometimes tainted with wastewater, San Francisco, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District and other big Bay Area water purveyors generally take their water from streams above effluent discharges. They protect against animal and human encroachment.


It's unclear whether any other water purveyors in the Bay Area participated in the waterworks research foundation's testing of surface and drinking water. The results are kept secret, and only the utilities can reveal them, as San Francisco has chosen to do. Some utilities sought the water testing in 2006 to find out if they had these emerging chemicals.


Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for the San Francisco PUC, said the utilities need to know which chemicals are going to be a problem.


San Francisco's utility serves 2.4 million customers in the city and in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

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