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•FACT: Millions of private and public wells have never been tested for contaminants, but a five-year, $12 million, nationwide survey was conducted by the EPA and released in 1990. Based on that survey, the EPA estimates that 10.4 % of community wells and 4.2 % of rural domestic 
wells have detectable levels of at least one pesticide.

•FACT: The U.S. Geological Survey has pinpointed sources of contamination in every state.

•FACT: Every bottled water isn't necessarily without contamination. Some bottled water isn't regularly monitored. In 1990, a bottled water survey by the Suffolk County, New York, health department tested bottled water sold in the county and found that 9 of 88 brands tested did not meet state and federal drinking water standards.

•FACT: Approximately 75 % of U.S. households have chlorinated water. In 1987 a study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, and the EPA found increased risk of bladder cancer with long-term consumption of chlorinated drinking water. This is 
believed to be associated with the formation of disinfection byproducts in water from chlorine, such as THMs.

•FACT: According to EPA estimates, 40 million Americans are exposed to levels of lead in water well above the EPA's proposed maximum contaminant allowances.

•FACT: Virtually everyone has some level of radon in their water. The national average is 200 to 600 picocuries per liter. At these levels, scientists estimate the risk of developing cancer from radon ingestion is greater than the risk of cancer from most other regulated contaminants found in drinking water at the maximum levels allowed by the EPA!

•FACT: Giardia lamblia cysts have become the most common cause of waterborne disease in the United States. Although reporting is voluntary, more than 23,000 cases of Giardia lamblia caused disease were reported between 1960 and 1980. It also appears that the rate of outbreaks is increasing.

•FACT: Major outbreaks of disease caused by Cryptosporidium oocysts were reported in Texas in 1985, in Georgia in 1987, England in 1989 and Wisconsin in 1994. A limited sampling of western U.S. waters found Cryptosporidium oocysts in 28 % of treated drinking water samples evaluated. A study of eastern U.S. waters showed these oocysts present in 11 of 28 of the treated 
water samples. 
 

"Assuring safe drinking water will not be cheap. As public water systems build new treatment facilities to meet more-stringent standards, most families will find their water bills rising. Meeting expected federal requirements will cost the nation's water suppliers more than $18 billion, the EPA estimates. Ultimately, the only sure way to guarantee safe water is to protect the source. But only a handful of communities nationwide have tough ordinances protecting their water supplies. Dade 
County, Fla., for instance, now prevents new businesses that use hazardous materials, like dry-cleaners and auto repair shops, from locating right over water-well fields. Several towns northwest of Boston are planning similar zoning laws. These communities acted only after they had poisoned vital wells. One can only hope that other American communities will recognize the value of their drinking-water before their wells and reservoirs go bad.

Health Effects of Selected Drinking Water Contaminants 
 

CONTAMINANT PROBABLE HEALTH EFFECTS*
Arsenic Malignant tumors of skin and lungs, cramps, spasms, effects to nervous system
Barium Prolonged stimulant action on muscles, nerve block
Benzene Associated with cancer, leukemia, anemia
Cadmium Bronchitis, anemia, gastrointestinal upsets, cancer in rats
Carbon tetrachloride Central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal effects, liver  and kidney damage, coma, death
Chlordane* Carcinogen, liver and kidney damage
Chlorobenzene Irritation to respiratory system, central nervous system depression
Chloroform Possible liver, kidney and heart effects; carcinogenic in at least one animal species
Chromium Kidney damage, cancer
Copper Gastrointestinal tract irritant, possible infant fatality, Wilson's disease
Dichlorobenzene(s)* Suspected carcinogen
1,1-Dichloroethane Central nervous system depression, liver damage, suggested animal carcinogen
1,2-Dichloroethane Nausea, mental confusion, liver and kidney damage
Dichloroethylene* Nausea, dizziness
Ethylenedibromide (EDS) Decreased fertility
Fluoride Skeletal damage when present in high levels
Heptachlor Possible tumor induction, carcinogenic in test animals
Lead Damage to nervous system, kidneys, reproductive system; cancer in rats
 Lindane Chronic liver damage, anemia, leukemia
Mercury Kidney impairment, possible death
Methylene chloride* Toxic
Nickel Signs of hyperglycemia and gastrointestinal and nervous disorders
Pentachlorophenol (PCP) Loss of appetite, respiratory difficulties, anesthesia, coma, death
PCBs Damage to skin and liver; nausea, loss of weight, jaundice, coma, death
Selenium Carcinogen; irritation to mucous membranes, dermatitis
Sulfate Laxative action
Tetrachloroethylene Central nervous system effects; confirmed animal carcinogen, anesthesia, death
Toluene Narcosis, irritation to eyes and respiratory system
Toxaphene Possible liver damage
1,1,1-Trichloroethane Narcosis, depression of central nervous system, unconsciousness, death
1,1,2-Trichloroethane Possible liver and kidney effects, possible carcinogen in animals
Trichloroethylene Central nervous system depression, loss of coordination, unconsciousness; strong irritant and carcinogen
2,4,6-Trichlorophenol* Suspected carcinogen
Trihalomethanes (THM's) Effects to nervous system and muscles, loss of consciousness
Vinyl chloride Central nervous system depression, dulling of visual and auditory  responses, possible death
Xylene Mucous membrane irritant, lung congestion, impairment of kidney functions
Zinc Muscular stiffness and pain, loss of appetite, nausea
 
For further information about The Water Doctors Pure Water Systems 

and what you can do to have fresh, clean water for your family.