Water pollution is the biggest issues facing the environment as companies dump thousands of gallons of chemicals into our waterways and oceans hundreds of fish, birds, and aquatic life lose their lives. The issue of water pollution is a global matter, however some countries produce much more than others, for example The United States, and China produce the most water pollution in in the world. Water pollution makes many issues such as, lowering the oxygen content of the water enough that the fish inside suffocate, it can also poison the water and make it unsafe to drink, for for both humans and animals, so if someone if unlucky enough to consume it they will become very ill and probably die.The united states government had almost no oversight or control of water quality before the 1970s, they primarily left the job to local state laws that were often weakly enforced by the state and were usually ignored. Until the united states congress passed the safe drinking water act in 1974 that EPA was created and would be allowed to monitor and attempt to maintain the drinking water supply. The EPA could set national, or state, limits on certain contaminants that were in the water supply. Congress later made the agency’s powers much stronger than they previously were with several amendments in both 1986 and 1996. However despite the almost four decades of hard work that made the united state’s water safer on average, there are still many dangers that still had yet to be dealt with.
In a 2009 publication from the EPA, they spoke about the fact that “threats to drinking water are increasing, we can no longer take our drinking water for granted.” Then in 2010, the Environmental Working Group proved the EPA correct, issuing a very important report that proved chromium-6 is prevalent in at least thirty five united states states water supplies. The chemical was initially made famous by the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich,” where chromium-6 is explained to be a probable human carcinogen. Then during 2016 the EPA decided to regulate it nationally. Later in 2016 Harvard funded study found that unsafe levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl the industrial chemicals are linked with cancer, hormone disruption and many other health problems when ingested. They then found the aforementioned chemicals in thirty three state’s drinking water supplies, which was estimated to have affected around six million Americans.
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The Safe Drinking Water Act, passed in 1974, covers ninety one contaminant chemicals, however more than ten thousand types of chemicals are used in the united states by farmers, factories and in day to day products. The EPA attempts to keep up by monitoring over 8,000 of them, however much of how they affect humans, or other living things remains unclear. Studies have shown that many of the unregulated chemicals are known to cause cancer, major hormonal changes and other negative health changes.
While the EPA is trying to maintain standards on these chemicals some regulated ones haven’t had their standards changes since the ’70s when the act was passed.