There is an interesting article today on CBS about how the water in Tom’s River in New Jersey is coming out of the tap green. Many residents are concerned, and the local water company and the EPA say that the water is safe. But, as I’ve said many times, what does “safe” mean?
When the government says that your water is safe, they are referring to the LEGAL definition of the word safe, not the English language definition! So what do I mean by this?
Water quality in the USA is determined by the laws put forth in the Safe Drinking Water Act. Like all laws, it has a great sounding name that makes you feel like the government has put a warm cozy blanket of protection around us all. We don’t have to worry now that the government is protecting us, right?
The Safe Drinking Water Act puts limits on about 100 chemicals that could be in your drinking water. There are a couple problems with this though…
FIRST, the law sets acceptable levels of each of the harmful contaminants. So how much arsenic do you actually want in your water? How much radiation do you want your children drinking? (Hint: there is no safe level of radiation)
SECOND, while the law regulates about 100 contaminants, the EPA recognizes over 85,000 chemicals. A city can have high levels of dangerous contaminants in the water, yet if they meet the standards on the 100 regulated contaminants, the water is legally “safe”. In fact, this is exactly what happens in many cities around the USA!
The key to remember is that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH!