Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Water with little surprises?
…Anjali Athasvaley, writing in the WSJ, talks about good old haitch-2-oh. Seems people are going back to tap and are shocked to find some of the crud that’s in it, despite municipal testing and purification.
…Of course, engineers say US water is among the world’s best (people also say this about the health care system, remember).
…Yet, utilities, with better methods of testing everyday, are finding some weird-ass stuff in there.
…For one thing, there are trace amounts of pharmaceuticals—birth control pill hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs. Wildlife is being affected. These are small amounts, but some experts are demanding more study. What if small people, say infants, drink a lot of it mixed with formula powder or straight?
…One study found that water in 42 states had more than 140 regulated chemicals in it.
…Some states also use chloramine to disinfect water because chlorine was considered too toxic—but the chloramine byproducts can be worse. The EPA says, no way, drink up.
…Is bottled water the answer? Nah—most of it comes from taps.
…HA says mix water liberally with alcohol and hope for the best.