Drinking Water

A hog confinement farm in Missouri. (Socially Responsible Agriculture Project)

As Factory Farms Spread, Government Efforts to Curb Threat From Livestock Waste Bog Down

Large livestock farms, which can generate as much waste as people in a large city, have been growing in size and number for the last 30 years. In many areas, they pose a serious threat to water supplies.

(iStockphoto) FairWarining Reports

Report Points to Cancer Risk From Chemicals Used to Treat Drinking Water

Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in drinking water, but with the unintended consequence of creating chemical byproducts that may raise the risk of cancer.

Fracking Contractor Pleads Guilty to Violating Clean Water Act

A Houston-based oil and gas drilling contractor, Integrated Production Services, has pleaded guilty to a negligent violation of the Clean Water Act and has agreed to pay penalties totaling $162,000 to federal and state agencies. The case stemmed from the spilling of 400 to 700 gallons of hydrochloric acid — a chemical used in the controversial […]

Movement Grows as More Cities Stop Putting Fluoride in Drinking Water

More communities are ending the practice of adding fluoride to the water supply, prompted by local government budget squeezes and growing skepticism about the health benefits. As The New York Times reports, Pinellas County on Florida’s west coast voted to stop its seven-year-old fluoridation program. The county joins about 200 jurisdictions from Georgia to Alaska […]

New York Doctors, Environmentalists Seek Fracking Health Study

More than 250 doctors, nurses and environmental groups are calling for New York State officials to study the public health consequences of drilling for natural gas using the controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. As ProPublica reports, the health and environnmental advocates want the state to identify the hazards and propose steps to […]

Chicago Drinking Water Shows High Levels of Toxic Metal

High concentrations of the toxic metal hexavalent chromium have been detected in Chicago’s drinking water. A first round of testing found the metal –  which gained notoriety as the water contaminant in the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” — at a level 11 times higher than a precedent-setting public health goal that California adopted last month. […]

Toxic Metals from Coal Ash Found in Groundwater at TVA Power Plants

Tests have found coal ash contamination in the groundwater at nine Tennessee Valley Authority power plants, including two sites where investigators say the pollution could pose a health hazard. As The Tennessean reports, the TVA’s Office of Inspector General discovered groundwater contamination at all but one of the 10 plants it assessed. The inspector general’s […]

Report Faults CDC for Confusion Over Lead in D.C. Tap Water

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has faulted federal health officials for failing to address flaws in a 2004 article on exposure to lead in District of Columbia tap water. The continuing confusion over elevated blood lead levels in Washington, D.C., residents, the GAO said in a report, reflects the fact that […]

Jury Finds California Plant Polluted Air and Canal With Toxic Chemical

Residents of a Central California subdivision have won a partial victory in a major toxic waste lawsuit. A federal jury found that a former subsidiary of the drug maker Merck & Co. polluted air and a canal in the plaintiffs’ neighborhood with the carcinogen hexavalent chromium. The chemical, also known as chromium 6, gained notoriety […]

Philadelphia Named America’s Most Toxic City

Americans seeking healthy cities to call home should avoid Philadelphia like a toxic waste dump. According to an assessment by forbes.com, the colonial heart of America is the most toxic city in the country, followed by a pair of California cities, Bakersfield and Fresno, in that order. The study took five gauges of toxicity into […]