Glass of waterA recent report published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 20 cities and regions nationwide have heightened levels of toxic chemicals in tap water. Several large metropolitan areas such as Washington D.C., Sacramento, Philadelphia, Miami and Louisville were among them.

The study tested tap water samples from 44 places in 31 states. EWG specifically tested for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” due to their extremely slow rate of decay. The chemicals have been linked to reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects.

Food packaging, cookware and other consumer products contain PFAS chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has a non-enforceable limit of PFAS levels at 70 parts per trillion, but has not yet established a “maximum contaminant level” that can be enforced by federal and local governments. PFAS levels ranged from one part per trillion (ppt) all the way to 186 ppt. EWG has previously estimated that water supplies for 110 million Americans may be contaminated with PFAS.

Read the full story from USA Today here:

Read the full report from the Environmental Working Group here: