A cloud of orange-brown, toxic mine water and sludge accidentally released by the US Environmental Protection Agency is flowing down the Animas River through the hearts of towns in Colorado and New Mexico, and ultimately toward a lake in a national park.
Over the past 20 years, in the United States there have been dramatic increases in the occurrence of autism and certain forms of cancer; the cause for this increase is unknown.
With over 85,000 chemicals in use today, man-made toxins have spread throughout the environment affecting air and water quality like never before. The vast majority of these chemicals have unknown effects upon our health. Many contaminants found in drinking water (tap or bottled) across the nation have been linked to numerous forms of cancer, developmental effects, learning disabilities, parasitic infections, and intestinal illnesses.
Safe drinking water is of utmost importance for children, infants, and unborn fetuses; they are especially sensitive to chemicals that are often found in public water. Water is the fundamental nutrient in your body and water quality is critical for every bodily function, even down to the cellular level.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply, is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans’ drinking water.
In 1976 when the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), our nation’s main chemical safety law was passed, 62,000 chemicals were already in use. All of these chemicals were grandfathered by TSCA; that means they were simply presumed to be safe, and EPA was given no mandate to determine whether they are actually safe. Even to require testing of these chemicals under TSCA, EPA must first provide evidence that the chemical may pose a risk – a toxic Catch-22.