Environmental regulators seek out industrial chemicals in drinking water
Environmental regulators in North Carolina will begin testing the major drinking water supplies throughout the state. This new testing will specifically look to find the potential inclusion of industrial chemicals that would have negative health effects on the public.
This broader inquiry follows an incident that looked into whether or not the chemical GenX, resulting from Chemcours Co., had contaminated the drinking supply in the town of Wilmington.
According to state Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Jamie Kritzer, the testing will look for roughly a dozen chemicals from industrial sources that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified as “emerging contaminants.” These contaminants are unregulated and require further study before proper classification is doled out by EPA.
“Most of these substances do not have health information associated with them,” said Kritzer. “So we don’t know a lot about them in terms of what their health risks are.”
Of the main drinking supply sources that may undergo testing, Norman, Falls and Jordan lakes will be includes, as well as the Yadkin and Catawba rivers.
The search will focus on perfluorinated chemicals akin to GenX. Such chemicals are often carcinogenic in nature.