Tap Water Facts
Nitrates Found In Tap Water Responsible for Thousands of Cases of Cancer
In June 2019, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a report stating that millions of tons of nitrate from industrial farming find their way into America's drinking water each year, causing thousands of cases of cancer and other health problems.
The report states that y nitrate is responsible for nearly 12,600 cases of cancer a year.
"Industrialized farming relies heavily on nitrate fertilizers that can run off into the water table used by drinking water utilities," said Sydney Evans, a science analyst at EWG. The risk varies from region to region, she said, noting that many small farming communities have the highest nitrate levels in their water -- and the highest risk. Iowa and California, two heavily agricultural states, were found to have the most nitrate-related cancer cases.
A Yale University researcher who reviewed the report said the danger it highlights is clear and exists throughout the country. "An immediate response is warranted, so that we are not poisoning our water to produce our food," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn.
The report said 80% of the nitrate-related cancers were colorectal, with ovarian, thyroid, kidney and bladder cancer accounting for the rest. Treatment costs up to $1.5 billion a year, according to the report.
Nitrate is hard and costly to filter out of water. The best policy is to prevent large quantities of nitrate from getting into the water in the first place. .