The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. Tap Water Contains Toxic Contaminants

Apr 12, 2021

Every corner of the U.S. has alarming levels of arsenic, lead, and fluorinated “forever” chemicals in their drinking water, as found after the investigation carried out by Consumer Reports and the Guardian. In this investigation, the drinking water quality from 120 sites in 36 states and Washington, D.C. was tested. This research very clearly indicated that the toxic contamination of our drinking water is not limited only to Flint, Michigan. Every corner of the U.S. is contaminated.

This widespread contamination of our drinking water is a result of industrial pollution, deteriorating infrastructure, and inadequate treatment at water plants.

Arsenic gets into drinking water through natural deposits or industrial or agricultural pollution. Lead contamination happens through leaching of this metal from corroding water lines and home plumbing fixtures. Companies use fluorinated chemicals to make stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, water-repellent clothing, nonstick cookware, and hundreds of other common products. These compounds can seep into water from factories, landfills, and other sources. And they can stay in the water forever since they don’t easily break down in the environment.

The researchers found these chemicals to be extremely dangerous to human health in every household. Both lead and arsenic, which are very toxic chemicals, are linked to brain damage in children that causes learning delays, to cancer, and to other health problems, even at very low levels. Scientists have found a “probable link” between exposure to fluorinated chemicals and many health problems, including high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension, testicular and kidney cancers, and again, brain damage leading to learning delays in children.

That is, our health is getting jeopardized in many ways, small or large, slow or fast—but day by day through the presence of these and many other toxic chemicals in our drinking water. The infrastructure is deteriorating because the money required for repairs or new construction is instead handed over to companies through tax breaks or many other schemes that put profit over human life.