OSEA Safety Blog

Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Natalie Salem

In 2014, the Flint Michigan water crisis began when the city switched their water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River in an effort to make money. This caused a variety of issues stemming from inadequate water treatment and testing; including severe health issues for the residents. Since then, it has raised the question for many residents around the country, “Is my water safe to drink?” That answer varies based on where you live, but a new database created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) lets you search your town’s zip code and it will pull up information of any contaminants in your water supply. From this database of over 30 million records, it was found that there are a lot of problems with the drinking water in rural and lower income areas along with agriculturally based locations. Through contaminated drinking water, we are exposed to contaminants that pose the risk of cancer, hormone disruption, fertility issues, brain and nervous system damage, and can even harm the development of children and unborn children.

Upon typing in the zip code of our Corporate Office, I was given a list of Water Authorities to select from, and I choose our applicable district and was shocked to find that the data analyzed from 2015 had 8 contaminates detected above health guidelines and 11 other detected contaminants were found! Some of these contaminants included Chloroform, Chromium (hexavalent), and other radiological contaminants. Although none of these contaminants exceeded the legal limit, they did exceed the Health Guidelines for both State and National. The Chloroform reading was at 21.0 parts per billion (ppb) compared to the Health Guideline of 0.4 ppb. This was astounding to me; how we thought that our water was fine to drink, but it could be potentially poisonous. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge can be very powerful, do your due diligence and look into what contaminants you may be exposed to through your drinking water and what extra precautions you can take to mitigate that exposure.




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