Keeping harmful chemicals out of water

Sarah Gardner Feb 25, 2010
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Keeping harmful chemicals out of water

Sarah Gardner Feb 25, 2010
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Steve Chiotakis: There’s a House subcommittee today that will ask whether the government is doing enough to prevent harmful chemicals from getting into our drinking water. And as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, scientists are worried about a whole new class of chemicals that may harm human reproduction.


Sarah Gardner: They’re called “endocrine disruptors,” and you’ll probably be hearing a lot more about them. That’s because public health advocates are pressing the EPA to keep them out of our drinking water.

These synthetic chemicals are found in everything from shampoo to pesticides. They’ve already linked to sexual abnormalities in male fish. And now there’s worry these chemicals could be affecting humans.

Wenonah Hauter is director of Food and Water Watch:

Wenonah Hauter: We think that there should be closer regulation, we need more federally funded research on these endocrine disruptors and we need these products that contain these chemicals to be labelled.

Researchers says these chemicals could be contributing to conditions like genital abnormalities in newborn boys and obesity. If Congress passes legislation introduced last year, suspect chemicals could be banned. Sewage plants could also be forced to more aggressively treat waste water.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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