Tap Water Legal but May Be Unhealthy

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) — Tap water may be legally safe but in reality could pose serious health risks because the 35-year-old federal law regulating it is out of date, scientists say.

Ninety-one contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, some of which could be considered dangerous.

Among those thousands of extra chemicals scrutinized by scientists, hundreds have been associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, The New York Times reported in its analysis of U.S. drinking water test data.

Still, not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by law since 2000, its report said.

More than 62 million Americans have been exposed since 2004 to drinking water that did not meet at least one commonly used government health guideline, the report said.

The Times based its analysis on more than 19 million drinking-water test results from the District of Columbia and the 45 states that made data available.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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