Bluewater, an innovator of residential water purification technologies, has praised the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.–based non-profit, non-partisan organization, for creating a national Tap Water Database in the United States. Bluewater said the EWG project – which aggregates and analyzes data from almost 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia – sets a benchmark for similar initiatives enabling people in other parts of the world to discover what harmful chemicals may exist in their drinking water.
“A great many people in the USA, Europe and elsewhere just don't know about the contaminants that can exist in their tap drinking water and which may accumulate in their bodies to spark health issues decades later,” said Bengt Rittri, a Swedish environmental entrepreneur and founder of Bluewater. He said it should be everyone’s right to have a detailed insight into the quality of their tap water so as to avoid ingesting potential contaminants such as lead or chemicals like hormones and hormonal disruptors.
The growing risk of contaminated drinking water has been flagged in a number of new research studies. For example, a 2016 study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters said millions of Americans may be drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals known as PFAS’s, which have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone disruption and even cancer. And a recent joint European Environment Agency/WHO report noted that standards of treatment and disinfection of drinking-water is inconsistent across Europe and said reliable data is lacking on the quality of the source water and drinking-water supplied.
The EWG’s Tap Water Database allows users to simply enter their zip code or local utility’s name, to find all contaminants detected in tests by the utilities themselves and reported to federal or state authorities. EWG researchers, who have built a reputation for ambitious data-mining research projects focused on the environment and health, spent the last two years collecting data from state agencies and the EPA for drinking water tests conducted from 2010 to 2015 by 48,712 water utilities.
According to EWG, a glass of tap water all too often also comes with a dose of industrial and agricultural contaminants that have been linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, or developmental defects. The body says that while the vast majority of utilities are in compliance with federal regulations, their water may still contain contaminants in concentrations exceeding the levels that scientists claim pose health risks.
The safety of America’s drinking water hit the headlines in the summer of 2015, when extremely high levels of lead were discovered in the water supply of Flint, Michigan.
In a January 2016 response to the Flint lead crisis, Bluewater donated several of its second-generation residential water purifiers to two community care centers in the city. Bluewater’s water purifiers remove toxic metals such as lead as well as chemicals, microorganisms and pharmaceutical by-products from water, rejecting practically everything down to 0.0001 micron (that’s around 500,000 times less than the diameter of a human hair).
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