Researchers Discover High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemical in U.S. Drinking Water

Highly disturbing news comes from a recently released Harvard study that found high levels of toxic industrial chemicals in the water supplies of at least 6 million people living in the U.S.  The study found high levels of industrial pollutants polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl (PFASs) in the municipal water supplies of at least 33 states where data were available. PFASs are linked with cancer, hormone disruption, high cholesterol, immunodeficiency and obesity.

How did these toxic chemicals become a part of our drinking water supply?  PFASs are widespread in the U.S. and are used in processed food packaging like pizza boxes, as well as a variety of household and personal goods like clothing and cookware.  Unfortunately, this serious public health problem isn’t going away any time soon.


“Virtually all Americans are exposed to these compounds. They never break down. Once they are released into the environment, they are there.”                        -Dr. Xindi Hu, lead researcher

There’s a new toxin in your water to worry about, America

toxic chemical in drinking water map


Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water of 33 states

Harvard Gazette

Levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and other health problems — polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) — exceed federally recommended safety levels in public drinking-water supplies for 6 million people in the United States, according to a new study led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Study: Detection of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S.Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants, Hu, X.C., et al.  Environmental Science & Technology Letters, August 9, 2016.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b0026



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