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USA Today: 4 Million in US Could Be Exposed to Toxic Drinking Water

USA Today: 4 Million in US Could Be Exposed to Toxic Drinking Water

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By    |   Tuesday, 13 December 2016 09:08 AM

About 4 million Americans could be drinking toxic water and never know it, USA Today reported.

According to the newspaper, small utility companies — those serving only a few thousand people or less — are not required to treat water to prevent lead contamination until lead is found.

Even when lead is discovered, federal and state regulators often do not force them to comply with the law, USA Today added.

The newspaper's year-long investigation revealed:

  • About 4 million people get water from small companies, which skipped tests or did not conduct them properly.
  • Some 100,000 people get water from companies which found high lead but failed to remove it.
  • An estimated 850 small companies had documented histories of lead contamination, but did not properly test for lead since 2010.

"At the end of the day, it creates two universes of people," water expert Yanna Lambrinidou, an affiliate faculty member at Virginia Tech, told the newspaper. "One is the universe of people who are somewhat protected from lead. . . . Then we have those people served by small water systems, who are treated by the regulations as second-class citizens."

One of the leading experts on lead in drinking water, Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech, told the newspaper those living in rural outposts are most at risk of lead exposure, which can cause irreversible brain damage.

"I'm worried about their kids," he told USA Today. "The risk of permanent harm here is horrifying. These are America's children."

Meanwhile, the Senate has approved a spending bill that includes $170 million for Flint, Mich., to help replace lead pipes and for medical assistance for residents who have been hit with the effects of lead contamination, WNWN radio in Battle Creek reported.

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About 4 million Americans could be drinking toxic water and never know it, USA Today reported.
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2016-08-13
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 09:08 AM
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