Research finds harmful contaminants in Atlanta's tap water - CBS46 News

Research finds harmful contaminants in Atlanta's tap water

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

A non-profit environmental organization found 15 contaminants in Atlanta's tap water.

Environment Working Group looked at Atlanta's water testing results. The group is warning people that although the results are in line with federal requirements, people should be concerned.

"All of the contaminants in Atlanta's water system that are above health guidelines can cause an increase risk of cancer," Bill Walker, Managing Editor for EWG, said.

Based on scientific data, the increased risk of cancer is one-in-one million, but when pregnant women, children and the elderly are exposed to this over a lifetime, the risk gets higher.

CBS46 spoke to people in Atlanta who say they're concerned for their safety.

"I live with a few elderly people and if this has been going for years at a time, who know what kind of health effects it's caused. Maybe it helped her memory get worse," one woman said.

EWG says some of the contaminants are caused by chemicals used to treat the water. Others come from agricultural overflow in Georgia's rural areas.

In a statement, Atlanta's Department of Watershed Management said, "The city of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management is committed to providing the highest quality drinking water to our residents and visitors. Our results show that city's drinking water continues to meet or exceed standards established by EWP and the state of Georgia."

EWG says the EPA's standards are dated and it's calling on the federal government to conduct more research.

In a statement, the EPA tells CBS46, "America’s drinking water remains among the safest in the world and protecting drinking water is one of EPA’s top priorities. We take our commitment to protecting public health seriously and when issues arise, we work closely with states, local governments, and water suppliers to review and address, as appropriate."

The group looked at water testing results from nearly 50,000 water utilities across the United States. To check the water levels in your zip code click here.

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