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Consider the Source

Monday, October 1, 2001

Consider the Source

Farm runoff, chlorination byproducts, and human health

View and Download the report here: Consider The Source

Chlorinating tap water is a critical public health measure that saves thousands of lives each year by reducing the incidence of waterborne disease. But chlorination is no substitute for cleaning up America’s waters.

By failing to clean up rivers and reservoirs that provide drinking water for hundreds of millions of Americans, EPA and the Congress have forced water utilities to chlorinate water that is contaminated with animal waste, sewage, fertilizer, algae, and sediment, in order to provide water free of disease-causing microorganisms. Chlorine combined with the organic matter in this pollution produces harmful byproducts, collectively referred to as chlorination byproducts (CBPs). In spite of the diligent efforts of the water utilities to filter and clean the water before they chlorinate, CBP levels remain high in the water consumed by millions of people each day. Approximately 240 million Americans drink tap water contaminated with some level of CBPs.

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