What Water Contamination Can Tell Us About Irresponsible Business

Posted by Siobhan O'Connor

1264609559-dirty-waterThe researchers at the EWG have released yet another report about how gross our drinking water is. But before your eyes glaze over and you grumble "Not another water contamination report," think about it this way.Certainly, reports such as these tell us that there is a need for better local and national oversight on our water supplies, and a need for less-contaminated water. The bigger message, however, comes when you look at the causes of water contamination in the first place. These kinds of reports read like a what's-what of irresponsible and unchecked industry: from the hormone mimickers in our personal-care products, to run-off from slaughterhouses, to the irresponsible overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and so on. If big business couldn't get away with polluting our water with unregulated and maybe-dangerous chemicals, they wouldn't do it. But they can, and so they do.

Jane Houlihan, Senior Vice President for Research at EWG, notes that federal guidelines have failed to keep up with the growing number of toxic contaminants being found in drinking water. Utility companies, she says, are doing their best to purify water and make it safe to drink, but federal laws must be amended to include new chemicals in order to protect water supplies from unnecessary contamination.
As for us-yet another reason to continue to use your Brita, annoying as it is to fill up.Also, check out our infographic based on an earlier EWG report on the cities with the worst water in the country.Image via