Report: ‘Every Major US City East of the Mississippi’ Is Underreporting Heavy Metals in Its Water


Alissa Walker | Gizmodo | Reader Supported News | January 23, 2016

ust when the news about lead poisoning the drinking water of Flint, Michigan, couldn’t get any worse. A report from The Guardian says many US cities are systemically and purposely downplaying the amounts of lead and copper in municipal water systems.

A scientist who was part of an Environmental Protection Agency taskforce disclosed documents to The Guardian which shows how water boards are distorting tests to make their water appear safer, a practice confirmed by an anonymous source:

The controversial approach to water testing is so widespread that it occurs in “every major US city east of the Mississippi” according to an anonymous source with extensive knowledge of the lead and copper regulations. “By word of mouth, this has become the thing to do in the water industry. The logical conclusion is that millions of people’s drinking water is potentially unsafe,” he said.

Specific cities named included Detroit and Philadelphia, and the entire state of Rhode Island.

The documents in question were obtained via FOIA by Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, who sat on the Environment Protection Agency taskforce that recently proposed revisions on the federal rules for lead. Lambrinidou told The Guardian that more rigorous oversight will reveal more offenders: “There is no way that Flint is a one-off.”

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