Cape Cod Times - Report: Chemicals found in public water supplies

July 26, 2017

By: Cynthia McCormick

Excerpt: "An environmental organization today released a database of pollutants in public drinking water supplies across the U.S. — including Cape Cod — that show widespread evidence of contaminants in tap water.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. said in a press release that the new Tap Water Database gathered and analyzed data from almost 50,000 public water systems to create “the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water.” ...

“Instead of comparing the levels of pollutants to the legal limits set by regulatory agencies — often the result of political and economic compromise, or based on outdated studies — EWG’s guide relies on what the best and most current science finds are the levels that will fully protect public health, especially that of infants, children, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations,” EWG officials said in a press release.

“They make an important point,” said Laurel Schaider, a research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, which studies water supplies on the Cape to look for environmental links to breast cancer. “Our scientific understanding of health contaminants is evolving,” Schaider said. ...

“We’d like to think our standards are based solely on health effects,” Schaider said. The organization says the EPA has not added a new chemical to the list of regulated contaminants in two decades, meaning “more than half of the contaminants detected in U.S. tap water had no regulatory limit at all,” the organization’s press release said."

Water Research