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Effects of Drinking Water
 Contaminants & Bacteria

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to identify pollutants in drinking water that may adversely effect human health. Listed in the table below are some contaminants that EPA regulates because they can be found in drinking water. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants above the level set by EPA may cause the health problems listed. The table also lists likely sources of these pollutants.

 

Possible Health Effects
Type Contaminant Possible Health Effects Sources of Contaminant in Drinking Water
Microbiological Cryptosporidium Cryptosporidosis Human and animal fecal wastes
  Giardia Gastroenteric disease Human and animal fecal wastes
  Coliform bacteria Gastroenteric disease, including dysentery, cholera Human and animal fecal wastes
Inorganic chemicals Asbestos Cancer Natural deposits; asbestos cement in water systems
  Barium Circulatory system effects Natural deposits; pigments, epoxy sealant, spent coal
  Cadmium Kidney effects Galvanized pipe corrosion; natural deposits; batteries, paints
  Fluoride Skeletal and dental damage (tooth discoloration) Natural deposits; fertilizer, aluminum industry; drinking water additive
  Lead Kidney and nervous system damage Natural/industrial deposits; plumbing, solder, brass alloy faucets
  Mercury (inorganic) Kidney, nervous system disorders Crop runoff; natural deposits; batteries, electrical switches
  Nitrate Methemoglobulinemia (Blue Baby Syndrome) Animal waste, fertilizer, natural deposits, septic tanks, sewage
  Selenium Liver damage Natural deposits; mining, smelting, coal/oil combustion
Organic chemicals Alachlor Cancer Runoff from herbicide on corn, soybeans, and other crops
  Atrazine Mammary gland tumors Runoff from use as herbicide on corn and non-cropland
  Benzene Cancer Gasoline, drugs, pesticides, paint, plastic industries
  Carbon Tetrachloride Cancer Solvents and their degradation products
  Dioxin Cancer Chemical production by-product; impurity in herbicides
  Endrin Liver, kidney, heart damage Pesticide on insects, rodents, birds; restricted since 1980
  Lindane Liver, kidney, nervous, immune, circulatory system effects Insecticide on cattle, lumber, gardens; restricted since 1983
  Methoxychlor Growth, liver, kidney, nerve effects Insecticide for fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, livestock, pets
  PCBs Cancer Coolant oils from electrical transformers; plasticizers
  Styrene Liver and nervous system damage Plastics, rubber, resin, drug industries; leachate from city landfills
  Toluene Liver, kidney, nervous and circulatory system effects Gasoline additive; manufacturing and solvent operations
  Total Trihalomethanes Cancer Drinking water chlorination by-products
  Vinyl Chloride Cancer May leach from PVC pipe; formed by solvent break down
Source: EPA, National Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards

 


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Dovetail Distribution Co.
Is an Authorized Distributor for Sta-Rite/Omni Industries