US Study Reveals 100,000 Cases of Cancer Caused By Tap Water Contaminants

If you’re like many people all over the world, you probably drink the water that comes straight out of the faucet in your own home, or a public place. While many might assume that this water is safe, have you ever taken the time to investigate the true quality and safety of your tap water?

It’s true that many publicly available sources of water conform to certain legal standards, which requires the treatment and purification of water in government or private facilities. However, evidence from a recent US study suggests that there might be some additional contaminants in water that are having a detrimental effect on people’s health, that we aren’t always aware of.

These results came from sampling from over 48,000 water systems and have given scientists cause for concern. In particular, the presence of contaminants like arsenic, which is a by-product of the chemicals used to treat and disinfect water, is particularly worrying.

Therefore, while the presence of harmful bacteria like Ecoli may have been eradicated, there are still contaminants that you still need to worry about, especially when it comes to the risk of cancer.

What You Need to Know About Tap Water Contaminants

To put things into perspective, the study we are referring to, which was conducted by scientists from the Environmental Working Group, states that contaminated tap water could contribute to 100,000 cancer cases in the US.

This is alarming, even considering that this might only be a percentage of the overall rate of cancer cases in the entire country. In fact, the abstract of the study states that these carcinogens pose a two-times greater risk than the de facto cancer risk, which is one in a million.

In addition to arsenic, which as we mentioned is a byproduct of the chemicals used to treat water, other harmful elements found in tap water can include radioactive substances.

Unfortunately, the reality is that even though the water is treated, drinking from the tap every day also has a cumulative effect. In other words, if you are regularly exposed to these substances on a daily basis, you’re more likely to develop cancer.

What Do Tap Water Contaminants Mean for Public Health?

The fact that the presence of carcinogenic substances has been established in public water sources is obviously a grave cause for concern. But what can be done about it?

In reality, this information reveals the fact that even though water systems conform to certain legal standards, this clearly isn’t enough, especially given the risk of cancer that this contributes to. 

Therefore, the problem lies not only in the way that water systems are treated but also in the way they are regulated. In order to make a change and ensure optimum public health, public policy needs to be revised so that all contaminants are filtered out of the systems. Alternatively, new ways of treating water without toxic byproducts should be established. 

It might be a scary thought, but newer technologies could provide the solution in conjunction with robust and ongoing scientific monitoring and research.