Contaminated Tap Water In California Likely To Add 15,500 Cancer Cases – Market News Store

Contaminated Tap Water In California Likely To Add 15,500 Cancer Cases

A recent study has found increased cancer risks from drinking water from the taps in California.

Contaminants in California’s water systems could potentially contribute to 15,500 new cases of cancer there, as estimated by a group of environmental advocates Environmental Working Group (EWG). Although cancer risks are usually determined by the level of each individual element, contaminants in these waters – like hexavalent chromium, arsenic, radium and uranium – must be looked at as a group, not one element at a time.

EWG’s senior scientist Tasha Stoiber, along with her colleagues, assessed 2737 water systems in California State and the contaminants in these systems. These public water systems are regulated by the federal Act of Drinking Water, and serve almost the whole of the state’s population – as much as 98%.

Although the study was yet to identify which of the water systems were high-risk, it did estimate almost 500 systems to be of high-risk category, estimating more than 1 in a 1000-person sample being at additional risk for cancer due to prolonged drinking of California’s tap water.

Arsenic seemed to be the element with highest cancer-causing risk, among the other contaminants discovered. These water systems, albeit some of the smallest in the state, rely greatly on groundwater, and Stoiber says that will be a cause of concern in certain areas.

Arsenic occurs in drinking water either naturally through geology or with agricultural or industrial exposure. Even nominal levels of the element are extremely carcinogenic. Experts from University of Arizona’s Center for assessing Environmental Risk, say, unfortunately, there is no safe level.

While many small water systems don’t often have any resources to better their water quality, even the bigger systems are at risk.

Stoiber recognizes lesser known interactions between contaminants could lead to an over- or under-estimate of overall risk, acting as a limitation to her team’s work. But she excitedly notes that this is precisely where further research must go.

For now, home users could simply use reverse osmosis water purifier or a certified filter to reduce exposure to such contaminants.

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.