More than 170 million Americans across 50 states are drinking radioactive tap water | GBRI

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s legal limits for the most widespread radioactive elements are seriously outdated – they are more than 40 years old. Still, President Trump’s nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, rejects the need for water systems to comply even with those inadequate standards.

A new investigation report by Environmental Working Group (EWG) has revealed that more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states are drinking water that contains radioactive elements. Radiation in tap water is a serious health threat, especially during pregnancy, and it increases the risk of cancer too.

“Most radioactive elements in tap water come from natural sources, but that doesn’t take away the need to protect people through stronger standards and better water treatment,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. “Millions of Americans are drinking water with potentially harmful levels of radioactive elements, but the outdated federal standards mean many people don’t know about the risk they face when they turn on the tap.”

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