Water Quality Studies in America
By
Eugene P. Macri Jr.

Water Quality at www.riverscientist.com

The question that must be asked is what are we actually talking about when we talk about "water quality?"  Is it drinking water?  What uses will the water have? In America the quality of many people's drinking water is becoming potentially dangerous over time. The protocols and methods are from outdated data and models.   If you have well water these toxins and chemicals have been well documented including heavy metals, high nitrates, and even cancer causing agents.  There is a little game played by the EPA, state DEPs and other groups responsible for our water quality. The game is played under the parameters that the amount of contaminants, toxins or carcinogens are too low to cause any harm. This is based on many protocols and tests that are outdated and have little scientific validity. The tests do not take in cumulative and synergistic effects.  I've talked about this before that no human being is an empty vessel. You are the sum of your genetics, environment and what you put into your system. Furthermore, some people may be genetically predisposed to certain toxins.  Children, women, the elderly, and sick people have lower thresholds then healthy men (most of the studies use men as the baseline).  I'm not making this up. To prove my point the vaunted CDC (Center for Disease Control) got caught intentionally under estimating the health risk of high levels in lead Washington DC drinking water (2010 US House Committee) for tests done in 2004.  Lead is especially damaging to brains and  developing systems in children.

What are the basic levels of toxins, chemical, and agents found in your drinking water by federal water quality standards.  Below is a chart from the EPA that list what's allowed (supposedly). It's in PDF format.  You should download, print it out, and keep it to compare it to what you are drinking.

Drinking Water Contaminants from EPA Federal Water Quality Standards

Download PDF Contaminants

You should then check what's in your actual drinking water from your state, or if you have a well get it checked.  Compare them and realize that the federal limits in most cases as far as I am concerned as an aquatic scientist under estimate the risk over time to humans especially children. 

EPA Drinking Water Parameters

The EPA's methods, technique, protocols and their applications of statistics are so outdated that they may do more harm than good. Add in the new "client centered science" and political policy and you get stuff like the EPA's failure to review properly their own data on fracking and water quality. The point that fishermen, outdoorsmen, conservationists, and the citizens who respect nature don't understand is that if the EPA doesn't even care about what's in the water that people drink, do you think they give a damn about your fish and wildlife? An example of this would be the amount of nitrates in drinking water. Excessive nitrates in drinking water have been linked to various cancers including thyroid and other diseases. The EPA limit on nitrates in drinking water is 10 ppm (parts per million). Where did this number come from? It comes from 1951 when scientists thought that anything over 10 ppm was the cause for "blue baby syndrome" known as Methemoglobinemia. Only problem is that even 5 ppm or less can cause the syndrome. A protocol or rule that is 63 years old and out of date which is still being used by the EPA and endangering people's lives. Nitrates and other contaminants have a cumulative effect over time. In most countries in Europe nitrate levels must be 4.5 ppm or less. In the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania where I live many people regularly drink water with nitrate levels 8 to 12 ppm daily. I have tested many wells in the area and I am astounded by the nitrate levels. Children, women and sick people are more vulnerable than male adults. Furthermore, in most instances threshold levels of women, children, and the ill are much lower than men. No one is an empty vessel. You are the sum of your genetics, the environment and what you put into your body. For example, Eastern Pennsylvania has some of the highest thyroid cancer rates in the world. They also have some the highest groundwater levels of nitrates (over EPA 10 ppm) and also plumes of nuclear radiation from power plants for a nice synergistic effect. The town of Newville, Pennsylvania has nitrate levels in their water supply that average over 8 ppm.

As an aquatic and environmental scientist I leave you with this caveat: Never under any circumstance trust the water quality data unless you have through investigated who did it; who paid for it; what methods were used; and, who benefits from it!

 

 

  

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