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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Darwin Bell

New data shows that NYC’s tap water is chock-full of toxic chemicals

By
Clayton Guse
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New York City praises the quality of its tap water as "world-renowned," but a new trove of data tells a bit of a different story.

Earlier this week, nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group released a database detailing the toxic chemicals that are present in drinking water systems across the country. The data, sourced from the Health Department and an assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency, shows that New York's drinking water doesn't quite meet health guidelines. 

Six different contaminants that are connected to cancer were detected at levels that exceed guidelines established by public health authorities. None of those toxins, which include chloroform, bromodichloromethane and dichloroacetic acid, exceed legal limits but nonetheless pose slight health risks for New Yorkers. The health guideline for chloroform, for example, is one part per billion, which the EWG claims poses a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. The level for the chemical in New York City's water is 30.9 parts per billion, so that's a bit concerning.

At the end of the day, New York's drinking water gives us the world's best bagels and pizza, so it can't be that bad, right?  

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