How Safe Is Your Drinking Water?

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

drinking water

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via Flickr

  • How safe is your drinking water? Recent nationwide testing of drinking water sources has found that 6.5 million Americans across 27 states are drinking water contaminated with an industrial compound that was used for decades to make Teflon for non-stick cooking pans. The chemical compound, known as PFOA, has been detected in 94 public water systems.  According to the latest research, even small amount of  PFOA can be hazardous tp health, especially to babies and young children. PFOA and closely related fluorinated chemicals such as PFOS can cause cancer, birth defects and heart disease and weaken the immune system. The National Toxicology Program has recently announced a systematic re-evaluation of the chemical’s effect on the immune system. As part of the program, the  Office of Health Assessment and Translation will evaluate ongoing and upcoming studies as well as assemble an expert panel of scientists to review the findings. See more including a map indicating areas most affected.
  • Turning E-waste into revenue: High-tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Motorola are now generating new revenue out of discarded electronics (e-waste) that would otherwise end up in waste. These three companies are among 100 or so organizations that are collaborating on this process with Hong Kong’s company Li Tong Group (aka LTG). LTG is a specialist in reverse logistics, an organization authorized to take apart smartphones, computer networking equipment and other electronics devices. As Linda Li, LTG chief strategy officer of reverse logistics explained: “There is inevitably going to be excess or obsolete inventory. The dilemma is how to recover this while adding to the bottom and top line. Smelting is not enough. The challenge is doing this in a way that passes muster with compliance regulators concerned with enforcing data privacy laws, as well as environmental health and safety standards. [Original equipment manufacturers] are realizing that this is something they don’t have to do on their own.”
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