Over the past 50 years, our drinking water supplies have been contaminated with new chemicals, including some that are known or suspected of causing cancer
. One of these carcinogenic contaminants, known as TCE, has been in our water supplies since at least the 1990s when "massive underground plumes" were discovered. The Bush administration later delayed the process to regulate it. Thankfully, President Obama will bring the long overdue change. The EPA is now developing new strategies to protect the public from contaminants by revising the "existing drinking water standards for four contaminants that can cause cancer
Scientific advances now allow these carcinogenic chemicals (tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene (TCE), acrylamide and epichlorohydrin) to be detected at lower levels
that will permit stricter regulations.
TCE is one of the chemicals in the drinking water supply that was used for decades by our soldiers and their families at Camp Lejeune, where as many as 1 million people were exposed to this toxic water used for drinking, bathing, cooking and filling up children''s pools. The water provided to our soldiers contained two probable carcinogens and one known carcinogen at levels far exceeding safety limits, and many members of military families have become sick or died from various cancers and illnesses. The situation at Camp Lejeune was so outrageous that a Congressional investigation of a possible cover-up was commenced earlier this month. (For more information, please read my earlier diary, Soldiers Sickened by Contaminated Water Cover-Up?)
Today, the Safe Drinking Water Act, one of the major water quality laws, only regulates 91 contaminants
of the more than 60,000 chemicals used in the U.S. The EPA will assess some of these other contaminants:
Atrazine is a chemical used for weed killer and is manufactured by Syngenta, but it has been banned by the manufacturer''s home country and by many other countries since 1991. One study found that atrazine chemically castrated male frogs and atrazine contamination has also been linked with increased incidence of prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Banning is the only way to limit atrazine levels because it can travel up to 600 miles in the rainwater. The Bush EPA in 2006 concluded that no harm will result from atrazine exposure.