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‘Perfectly Legal’ levels of contaminants in US tap water could result in 100,000 cancer cases: New study

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“The vast majority of community water systems meet legal standards. Yet the latest research shows that contaminants present in the water at those concentrations can still harm human health.”

After examining drinking water contaminants using a more complex method than the U.S. government uses to assess risks, scientists revealed Thursday that they found carcinogenic elements and chemicals in water could cause 100,000 cancer cases over a lifetime.

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In a study published in the journal Heliyon, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that the cumulative effects of multiple contaminants can render drinking water unsafe even after its contamination levels are below the legal limit.

“We need to prioritize source water protection, to make sure that these contaminants don’t get into the drinking water supplies to begin with.” —Olga Naidenko, EWG

“The vast majority of community water systems meet legal standards,” said Dr. Olga Naidenko, vice president for science investigations at EWG. “Yet the latest research shows that contaminants present in the water at those concentrations—perfectly legal—can still harm human health.”

The scientists studied more than 48,000 water systems across the U.S., finding that naturally occurring arsenic, byproducts of chemicals used to disinfect water, and radioactive elements including radium and uranium were the most frequently detected contaminants in water that serves million of Americans.

The study was released a week after President Donald Trump’s EPA rolled back an Obama-era regulation on water pollution, in a move the watchdog group Food & Water Watch said was designed to “create a safe haven for agrochemical industrial interests against the wellbeing of public and environmental health.”

While the government assesses water quality by examining contaminants individually, EWG determined that in various combinations, a total of 22 carcinogens could be causing thousands of cancer cases over the course of 70 years—the timeframe the U.S. government uses to determine calculated cancer risk over a statistical lifetime.

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“In the real world, people are exposed to combinations of chemicals, so it is important that we start to assess health impacts by looking at the combined effects of multiple pollutants,” Sydney Evans, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

The cumulative approach to assessing cancer risks from contaminants is already applied to the government’s assessment of air pollution, EWG said.

Another recent study by EWG found that California’s drinking water could cause more than 15,000 cancer cases in the state.

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While the vast majority of cancer cases in the U.S. are not linked to drinking water contamination, carcinogens in water are linked to a high percentage of cancer cases caused by environmental factors, Naidenko told The Guardian.

“We need to prioritize source water protection, to make sure that these contaminants don’t get into the drinking water supplies to begin with,” Naidenko said in a statement.

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EWG offers a database on its website which allows users to see the contamination and risk levels in drinking water in their communities.

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Democratic senator says she gets more ‘disheartened’ every day hearing GOP deny evidence and witnesses

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Day after day, Republicans senators find new excuses to dismiss the evidence they hear that in any courtroom would convict an ordinary American citizen. It was enough to make normally happy Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-MI) feel "disheartened" by the whole process.

"As somebody from Michigan, we believe in commonsense, and you can't look at all this and say, 'is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?'" said Stabenow. "And you can't look at this and say, 'Is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?' All of this coming out over and over again. I'll never forget Adam Schiff on the floor saying to all of us, 'Nobody's saying, well, gosh, Donald Trump would never do that.' The truth is it's all about will he get away with it? It's all about, are they going to be successful in hiding it and so on?"

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Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera attacks former White House press secretary on Twitter as ‘old douche’

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In a bizarre moment, Sunday evening politics turned into a war of wards in President Donald Trump's Twitter comments.

Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera responded to former press secretary Joe Lockhart, who had replied to one of the tweets Trump retweeted from Rivera.

"Gloom settling on Democrats as they realize they’ve taken their best kill shot & missed. Dems in despair. Republicans United. @realDonaldTrump survives & #Impeachment all over but the shouting," said Rivera, hopefully not literally saying that Democrats wanted to shoot or kill the president.

Lockhart responded to the comment by mocking the Fox News host, saying that he was only making the comment to help get his contract renewed.

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Cartoon Chief Justice tells Susan Collins to just quit and ‘go become a lobbyist’ already

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Cartoon Chief Justice John Roberts began the latest season of Stephen Colbert's animated show, which began its new season Sunday.

Facing the U.S. Senate, Roberts observed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) dressed as a mouse.

"Oh no! Mouse in the chamber! Everybody forget this vote and run!" the cartoon senator said.

"Senator Collins, just go be a lobbyist," cartoon Roberts said.

As Roberts explained the rules to the chamber, Collins was then spotted spilling gasoline on the floor.

"Everyone, please remember, this is the United States Senate," Roberts said. "We must not degrade the sacred institution home to Strom Thurmond. Let us comport ourselves with dignity, prudence, and Senator Collins, what are you doing?"

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