[Pharmwaste] Legal Drinking Water Contaminants

Ed Gottlieb EGottlieb at cityofithaca.org
Wed Jul 26 11:18:35 EDT 2017

Mass media story on Environmental Working Group study documenting drinking water contamination with unregulated chemicals:


Data publicly available!  https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/#.WXiwvmeWyUk

Five year study spanned 2010-15:

48,000 water facilities tested for 500 contaminants;

40,000 had levels of known or likely carcinogens exceeding health guidelines;

19,000+ had one or more lead detections over 3.8 ppb;

267 of the 500 contaminants were present in water supplies, many at concentrations that pose health risks;

93 linked to increased risk of cancer;

78 associated with brain & nervous system damage;

63 connected to developmental harm in children or fetuses;

45 endocrine disruptors; and

38 could cause fertility issues.

Speaking of fertility, "Are we in a male fertility death spiral?"


Report does not recommend bottled water as an alternative.

"Legal doesn't necessarily mean safe when it comes to drinking water," Nneka Leiba, Director Healthy Living Science Program for the Environmental Working Group.

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal
Board Member, New York Product Stewardship Council
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433
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