You may want to think twice before further drinking or even bathing in unfiltered tap water, as a new report set to be published next year has found that a striking percentage of the U.S. water supply is contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that an astounding one-third of U.S. water systems contain traces of at least 18 unregulated and potentially hazardous contaminants, many of which are linked to causing endocrine disruption and cancer.
Based on a nationwide survey of 25 unnamed water utilities, scientists found traces of the herbicide metolachlor, for instance, a pesticide commonly applied to conventional corn, soy, cotton, safflower, potato and other crops, as well as the heavy metal strontium, which is linked to causing bone problems. Other chemicals identified include so-called perfluorinated compounds like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which numerous scientific studies have found can cause thyroid disease and various types of cancer.
"Traces of 18 unregulated chemicals were found in drinking water from more than one-third of U.S. water utilities in a nationwide sampling," reports Environmental Health News (EHN). "Included are 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and an antidepressant."