The Cape Cod Times - Cape water tested for harmful chemicals

November 19, 2009

By Cynthia McCormick

Excerpt: A Newton breast cancer research organization is studying whether pharmaceuticals, hormones, plasticizers, herbicides and other chemicals are finding their way into the Cape's public drinking supplies.

Scientists from the Silent Spring Institute collected water samples from 20 public wells in the towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Dennis, Falmouth, Chatham and Bourne last month to test for the presence of more than 90 chemicals.

Found in personal care products, prescription drugs and other products, many of the chemicals are flushed down toilets, or washed down sinks and showers.

"All these compounds can end up in wastewater streams," said Silent Spring researcher Laurel Schaider during a meeting yesterday at Barnstable Town Hall. "Some of them will break down. Some of them won't."

Public Drinking Water Supplies