Just Say No to Water?
Even those parts of the world lucky enough to have reliable access to drinking water might have cause to pause. Take New Jersey: According to two reports released yesterday, the state’s drinking-water supply contains hundreds of chemicals, from prescription medication and deodorant residues to flame retardants and fuel additives. The contaminants were present in tiny concentrations, but researchers said they could not rule out possible human-health risks. Many of the chemicals in the water have been studied only in high doses, so the effects of ingesting them in low amounts over long periods of time are unknown. Moreover, no one knows what impact the chemicals might have when taken together in the cocktails found in the state’s water. The reports attributed the contaminants not to industrial practices or illegal dumping, but rather to drugs and other chemicals that are flushed out of the human body and eventually wind up in the state’s drinking-water sources.