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Safety of drinking water in the U.S. might be lower than believed

Certainly residents of the U.S. are more fortunate than others in different parts of the world regarding our access to and quality of drinking water. Still, National Geographic discusses the potential threats to the U.S. water quality. Some of those supposed health threats are more obvious than others. 

The following are a few of the dangers that might be causing water contamination throughout the country:

Spills

Those who follow environmental stories know that there was a chemical spill in West Virginia in January. The spill contaminated residents' drinking water, making people sick and in-need of medical attention. 

Coal ash contaminated river water around North Carolina and Virginia after a February spill at a power plant. Residents are warned to not consume fish from or swim in the water because of possible health threats linked to the river pollution.

Weather extremes

As people from Georgia to New York and beyond know, this has been a season of extreme weather, and extreme weather seems to have become more common. Droughts and floods can threaten the quality of drinking water.

Personal Products

That shampoo you used this morning could do more than leave your hair squeaky clean. Some environmental scientists warn that the personal products and even prescription chemicals that get into the water supply could have a more hazardous impact on the water than is currently thought.

Environmental matters such as water contamination can be scary and frustrating at the same time. It can take time and new research to truly identify a health threat in the water. The detection of toxins can come too late in certain communities' cases. And people can't just avoid drinking water. We need it to survive.

Those who worry that they or a loved on has become sick because of poor water quality might have legal options. An environmental attorney could evaluate the matter and whether negligence contributed to the water and health threat.

 

 

Source: National Geographic, "Water in America: Is It Safe to Drink?" Tim Friend, Feb. 17, 2014

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