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How safe is your Tap Water ? repost


by MATT SCHNEIDERMAN

How Safe Is Your Tap Water?

Do you know what’s in that glass of water you’re drinking? Depending on where you live, what you don’t know could harm you.

Just ask the residents of Flint, Michigan, where what initially appeared to be simply a bad call on the part of government officials may result in an estimated $400 million in health care costs.

While those responsible for hiding reports showing high levels of toxic lead in Flint’s water now face criminal charges, the health crisis there has raised the alarm about everyone else’s water.

But before switching to bottled water for all your hydration needs, get the facts.

Flint, outside of Detroit, continues to feel repercussions of its catastrophic water crisis.
Flint, outside of Detroit, continues to feel repercussions of its catastrophic water crisis. Photo Credit MarieTDebs/iStock/Getty Images

U.S. Water Sets a Gold Standard ― Mostly

Americans actually enjoy the world’s safest drinking water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets enforceable health standards regarding the contaminants in drinking water, reports that 90 percent of municipal water systems are in compliance with safety regulations.

To find out about your own city’s tap water, check out your water system’s Annual Water Quality Report. After July 1 of each year, water systems are required to provide this report by including it with your water bill or via a link. The report lists common contaminants and the levels at which they are found and are generally available online: Do a web search of your city’s name and “annual quality report.”

And you can go one step further by using a filter. Look for filters certified by the NSF International, which developed the national standards for reducing contaminants.

Read More: 12 Dangerous Chemicals to Avoid in Everyday Products

The Flint contamination crisis began in April 2014 when officials switched the public water source to the Flint River,
The Flint contamination crisis began in April 2014 when officials switched the public water source to the Flint River, Photo Credit Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Lead: Unsafe at Any Level

The crisis in Flint has brought widespread attention to the potential for lead contamination in our water supplies.

“There is no level of lead that is safe,” says Mary Grant, director of Public Water for All at nongovernmental organization and consumer rights group Food and Water Watch. “Cities like Jackson, Mississippi, and Sebring, Ohio, with older systems have lead service lines. We really shouldn’t have lead lines.”

According to a study by the National Resources Defense Council, 18 million people were served by water systems with lead violations in 2015. In addition to Flint, cities like Cleveland and Newark, New Jersey, have high levels of lead in their water systems as well, according to the New York Times.

“Each year in America there are roughly 90,000 low-level exposures (5–9 micrograms per deciliter), which commonly result from sources such as drinking water,” says Peter Muennig, an associate professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in a letter to the journal Health Affairs. “These exposures rob children of IQ points, leading to lower economic productivity, higher welfare use, and additional criminal justice system costs.”

Read More: The 21 Most Lethal Places in America

Muennig goes on to note that because of the effort to save $5 million by switching water sources, Flint will suffer costs of $395 million, as well as “1,760 quality-adjusted life-years lost.”

In addition to water system safety concerns, lead can also be present closer to home. Older houses may have lead plumbing, in which case, your options include replacing your plumbing system ― a prohibitively expensive proposition for most homeowners ― buying a filter that can reduce lead or packing it in and moving to a newer house.

A short-term solution to avoid consuming lead from tap water is to use only water from the cold tap for drinking and cooking and to let the water run for 60 seconds before using it.

Chemicals from industrial spraying can find their way into water sources.
Chemicals from industrial spraying can find their way into water sources. Photo Credit fotokostic/iStock/Getty Images

Microorganisms, Bacteria and Parasites, Oh My!

There can be other contaminants in your water too: microorganisms like bacteria and parasites, chemicals from industrial waste or from spraying crops and nitrates used in fertilizers from runoff.

The EPA ensures that the amounts of these contaminants are below hazardous levels, but they can still be evident.

Unregulated Dangers in Tap Water

Then there are the contaminants the EPA doesn’t regulate, like drugs and hormones.

“These unregulated contaminants are a big concern,” Grant says. “Hormones have been found in surface waters. We’re not sure what the levels are.”

A recent Harvard study found that another class of contaminant — an obscure industrial pollutant associated with cancer and other severe health consequences — was found in unsafe levels in the drinking water of 6 million Americans.

This could be changing, though. The EPA is looking for new contaminants and ways to better regulate them. The agency currently has an unregulated contaminant list that it’s testing for in large cities, but it’s still in the review process.

Read More: 8 Amazing Advancements That Will Fulfill Your Cyborg Fantasies

Cities with the best water include New York, San Francisco and New Orleans.
Cities with the best water include New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Photo Credit Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer/iStock/Getty Images

The “Champagne” of Tap Water

Many of us are fortunate enough to live in cities that test water systems thousands of times a year and exceed the safety levels required by the EPA. A few cities with the best water are New York, San Francisco and New Orleans.

“New York has the champagne of tap water,” Grant says. “It’s a model of source protection. They make sure the contaminants don’t enter in the first place.”

Going further, the American Water Works Association has annual tap water taste tests. The 2016 winner for best-tasting tap water is Bloomington, Minnesota.

Who Has the Worst Tap Water?

On the other end of the spectrum, problematic water systems abound in underserved communities.

“The worst water is found in systems that serve Native American populations,” Grant says. “And small, private systems have bad water quality.”

Concerned about your tap water quality? You can call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 to find out about your drinking water, or you can use its Consumer Confidence Reports search tool to find reports or to connect to your local water supplier to get a copy of the report.

Read More: 10 Things to Know in Case of a Health Emergency

A water treatment plant doesn't necessarily remove some unregulated contaminants.
A water treatment plant doesn’t necessarily remove some unregulated contaminants. Photo Credit Huntstock/DisabilityImages/Getty Images

What’s in the Water?

Lead: On its way to your faucet, water may pass through corroded plumbing that can allow lead to leach into it. Lead-related health risks include neurological damage, kidney and liver problems and developmental delays in children.

Chlorine: Chlorine is added to water to kill bacteria and viruses, but it can react with other materials in the water and form byproducts that have been linked to increased cancer risk.

Fluoride: Added to water in some areas to promote dental health, fluoride in excess may result in bone disease.

Pharmaceuticals: These compounds are increasingly appearing in trace amounts in drinking water, and there’s growing concern that certain drugs or combinations of drugs may harm humans over time. While no known effects on humans have been reported (yet), exposure to estrogen-like substances in the Potomac River have produced fish with both male and female characteristics, with some fish having both testes and ovaries.

Nitrates: Farm runoff can introduce nitrates from fertilizer into a water source. Nitrates interfere with the oxygen-carrying capacity of newborns’ blood.

Polyfluoroalkyl and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAs): These chemicals are used in a range of commercial products. Some are linked to health problems, including high cholesterol, immune deficiency, hormone disruption and kidney and testicular cancers.

Read More: 10 of the Most Deadly States for Cancer

What Do YOU Think?

Do you have concerns about your own communities tap water? Have your local officials been forthcoming about how safe your water is? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

the senate April ** CONGRESS ** the house 2017


Monday, April 24 at 5:30pm – 2 roll call votes

  1. Confirmation of Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture
  2. Motion to invoke cloture on Rod J. Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General

5pm vote on confirmation of Rosenstein nomination (Deputy AG)

At 5:00pm today, there will be a roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #34, the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General. Following the vote, the Senate will resume consideration of the Acosta nomination, to be Secretary of Labor. MORE

The Senate stands adjourned to then convene for pro forma sessions only with no business conducted on the following dates and times:

Monday, April 10 at 1:30pm;

Thursday, April 13 at 8:30am;

Monday, April 17 at 4:30pm; and

Thursday, April 20 at 7:20pm.

When the Senate adjourns on Thursday, April 20, it will next convene at 3:00pm on Monday, April 24.

On Monday, following any Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for consideration of Calendar #31, the nomination of Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture. The time until 5:30pm will be equally divided.

At 5:30pm, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the Perdue nomination.

Following disposition of the Perdue nomination, the Senate will immediately vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #34, the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General.

**********************************************************************

Last Floor Action:
2:19:11 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. today.

2:00:15 P.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
12:00:20 P.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Luke Messer to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
12:00:42 P.M. MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 2:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.
12:10:22 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. today.
2:00:39 P.M. The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of April 25.
2:00:56 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
2:02:13 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
2:02:15 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Lance to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2:02:38 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches.
2:16:47 P.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received a message from the Secretary of the Senate on April 25, 2017, at 9:25 a.m.: Appointment: Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance.
2:19:11 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. today.

FDA/USDA ~~ April Alerts & Safety Frito-LayJalapenoKettleChips,Walmart FreshExpressOrganicSpringMix


Fineberg Packing Co., Inc. Recalls Ready-To-Eat Ham Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination
Fineberg Packing Co., Inc., a Memphis, Tenn. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,822 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Uncle John’s Pride, LLC. Recalls Ready-To-Eat Sausage Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter ContaminationUncle John’s Pride, LLC., a Tampa, Fla. establishment, is recalling approximately 139,909 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked meat and poultry sausage products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials.

04/24/2017 08:01 PM EDT

On April 13, a retailer in Texas notified us that their customer had presented samples of our 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04, best by July 2019) and 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13, best by August 2019) to a testing lab, and that the results had tested positive for pentobarbital.

04/18/2017 08:25 PM EDT

Organic Herbal Supply, Inc. announced today that it is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall of all lots of Uproar, Cummor, Zrect, Monkey Business, Xrect, Rectalis, Tornado, Zdaily, BigNHard, Enhancerol Natural Male Enhancement capsules. FDA analysis has found the products to contain Tadalafil. Tadalafil is a FDA-approved drug used as treatment for male Erectile Dysfunction (ED), the presence of tadalafil in these male enhancement products renders it an unapproved drug for which safety and efficacy have not been established and, therefore, subject to recall. Organic Herbal Supply is also recalling Zrect for Women and LabidaMAX. FDA analysis has found these two products contain Flibanserin, an FDA-approved prescription drug for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in women. There have been no reports of illness to date

04/24/2017 11:26 AM EDT

WFSP Foods LLC., a Decatur, Ala. establishment, is recalling approximately 42,147 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken breast products due to undercooking, resulting in the potential survival of bacterial pathogens in the products.

04/21/2017 07:10 PM EDT

Hospira, Inc., a Pfizer company, is voluntarily recalling one lot of 25% Dextrose Injection, USP, (Infant) pre-filled syringe to the hospital/user level due to the presence of particulate matter, identified as human hair, found within an internal sample syringe.

04/21/2017 09:54 PM EDT

McCain Foods USA, Inc. announced today it is voluntarily recalling retail, frozen hash brown products that may be contaminated with extraneous golf ball materials, that despite our stringent supply standards may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make this product. Consumption of these products may pose a choking hazard or other physical injury to the mouth.

04/22/2017 05:26 AM EDT

Campbell Soup Company, a Maxton, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,185 pounds of chicken soup products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens. The products contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

04/21/2017 09:15 PM EDT

Frito-Lay today announced it is voluntarily recalling select Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips and Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips due to the potential presence of Salmonella in the seasoning.

04/21/2017 03:01 PM EDT

H-E-B, committed to the quality of its products, is voluntarily issuing a precautionary recall for H-E-B and Hill Country Fare sandwich bread with a best by date of April 29 or earlier due to the possible presence of a single piece of rubber in the product. This was an isolated incident. Bread purchased in the San Antonio area, Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Corpus Christi stores is not impacted by this recall.

04/21/2017 12:52 PM EDT

Bellmawr, New Jersey, C.O. Truxton, Inc. is voluntarily recalling lot 70952A of Phenobarbital Tablets, USP, 15 mg, to the consumer/user level. The manufacturer received a confirmed customer complaint that a bottle labeled as phenobarbital 15 mg was found to contain phenobarbital 30 mg tablets.

La Granja INC. Recalls Mango Flavored Ice cream Because of Possible Health Risk La Granja INC of Doraville Georgia is recalling 4000 units of Hand crafted Paleteria, Mango Flavored Ice cream, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms pain and diarrhea. Long term complications can include severe arthritis.

04/17/2017 06:26 PM EDT

TP Food Processing, Inc. of Westminster, CA is recalling Lemongrass Satay; and Shrimp Satay (Lot code 2016) because the acidified sauces were not properly produced making them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum. No illnesses, customer complaints, or illnesses have been reported to date.

04/13/2017 08:52 PM EDT

Standard Homeopathic Company is recalling all lots of Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets sold in retail stores to the consumer level. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that the medicines have been found to contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna alkaloids that may differ from the calculated amount on the products’ labels. FDA believes that belladonna represents a serious health hazard to children and that the effects of belladonna are unpredictable.

04/12/2017 08:38 PM EDT

The Smokehouse of NY, Mamaroneck, NY 10543 is recalling all of the Smoked fish listed below, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weaken immune systems. Although Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and still births among pregnant women

Updated information is now available. A list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 034-2017, Mibo Fresh Food Recalls Turkey Salad Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens (April 8, 2017).

04/11/2017 05:44 PM EDT

Lakeside Foods, Inc. of Manitowoc, WI is voluntarily recalling 1,568 packages of 16 ounce Season’s Choice Brand Frozen Peas packed for Aldi, Inc. distributed in 7 states because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Fresh Express has issued a recall for a limited number of its Organic Marketside Spring Mix after two Florida people discovered a dead bat inside the salad packaging. The salad eaters, who purchased the product from Walmart, reportedly discovered the “deteriorated” bat in their leafy greens after already consuming a portion of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blegh! The salad mixes in question were distributed only to Walmart stores in the Southeast. They were sold in a clear container with the production code G089B19 and labeled with the best-if-used-by date of April 14, 2017. All other packages of salad from the same lot have since been taken off the shelves from all store locations where the salad was sold.  The CDC and the FDA are currently working to investigate this disturbing incident.

04/10/2017 12:24 PM EDT

The Whole Foods Market store in Dedham, Massachusetts is issuing an allergy alert on single-serve organic vanilla yogurt parfait cups with strawberries and granola, because the granola contained almonds, which were not declared on the label. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to almonds run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

04/08/2017 06:21 PM EDT

Fresh Express is announcing a precautionary recall of a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix.

04/07/2017 06:57 PM EDT

Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) today announced that on February 22, 2017 it notified customers of a voluntary recall of all unused units of the StrataMR adjustable valves and shunts. These products are manufactured and marketed by Medtronic’s Neurosurgery business, which is part of the Brain Therapies division of the company’s Restorative Therapies Group.

Mibo Fresh Food Recalls Turkey Salad Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens Mibo Fresh Food, a Fort Worth, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 3,434 pounds of ready-to-eat salad products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.

04/06/2017 09:56 AM EDT  – Update

Lakeside Foods, Inc. of Manitowoc, WI is voluntarily recalling 1,920 packages of 16 ounce Season’s Choice Brand Frozen Peas packed for Aldi, Inc. distributed in 7 states because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

04/05/2017 12:21 PM EDT

Food Evolution, LLC., a Schiller Park, Ill. establishment, is recalling approximately 150 pounds of Mediterranean-style chicken cous cous salad products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.