A new report from an environmental advocacy watchdog group cautions that carcinogenic products in tap water may altogether increase cancer risk for thousands of U.S. residents over a lifetime.
In a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Heliyon Thursday, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 22 carcinogens commonly found in tap water — including arsenic, byproducts of water disinfectants and radionuclides such as uranium and radium — could cumulatively result in over 100,000 cancer cases over the span of a lifetime.
Although most tap water meets legal standards set by the federal government, EWG researchers found that contaminates present in tap water create a measurable risk for cancer.
“The vast majority of community water systems meet legal standards,” said Olga Naidenko, the vice president for science investigations at EWG, in a statement. “Yet the latest research shows that contaminants present in the water at those concentrations — perfectly legal — can still harm human health.”