Home drinking water purification systems are an important safety net. The public drinking water purification system is not always “safe”, even when the Annual Water Quality Report shows that it meets all Environmental Protection Agency Requirements.
Federal law requires that public utilities send each customer a detailed report showing the contaminants and the level of each that are coming through the tap. The law is appropriately called “The Right To Know Amendment.” Instead of making me feel better, the report only amplified my concerns and increased my belief that everyone needs drinking water purification systems at the point of use or in the home.
The phrase “contaminants do not necessarily pose a health risk” is supposed to be comforting and improve confidence in the public drinking water purification system. Does not necessarily pose, means, could possibly, maybe probably. Any level of contamination represents a danger to our health.
75,000 toxic chemicals are used in our society, most of them on a daily basis. EPA standards or “maximum content levels” only cover about 90 of the most dangerous. The research used to determine those levels was faulty in many ways. If you weigh 175 pounds or more and you are sure that there is only one of those 90 contaminants coming out of your tap, then you “might” be safe without drinking water purification systems in your home.
On the other hand, if you weigh less, you have children or there are two or more contaminants present, according to your “Quality Report”, then you are not safe. Scientists have warned the EPA that the combination of two or more chemical contaminants amplifies the toxicity of each by about a thousand times. No one knows how many toxins could actually come through the tap at any one time. The public drinking water purification system is only required to test for 90 of them. They do not even consider what else might be in there.
According to the Ralph Nader Research Group, often called consumer “watch dogs”, 2100 known carcinogens (causing cancer) have been detected in water-supplies around the United States. They acquired this information by reviewing thousands of pages of EPA documents after the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act. Standard drinking water purification systems are not equipped to handle this level of contamination.
In most cases, the amount of carcinogens is below the EPA maximums, but is that really “safe”. Some researchers strongly believe that it is not. In a report from the National Cancer Institute to the Surgeon General of the United States, researchers stated that “no level of exposure to a chemical carcinogen should be considered toxicologically insignificant to humans”. In other words, there is no safe level of exposure for anyone. Without a high quality drinking water purification system that removes all of these contaminants, you put your health at risk every time you turn on a faucet.