Illustration: Kagan McLeod
According to the EPA, roughly 74 percent of public water systems in the United States comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, which ensures that the water coming out of your faucet contains only low levels of certain harmful chemicals and contaminants. But a three-year study from the Environmental Working Group found that specific chemicals not regulated by the EPA—yet considered potentially harmful, and in some cases carcinogenic—have been measured at above-recommended levels in tap water across the country. And chlorine-based disinfectants, often added to our water supply to protect us from disease-causing germs, have been linked to cancers of the bladder and colon.
For safety's sake:
Make sure all the water you drink and cook with is purified by choosing a filter that attaches to your faucet or water line below the sink. If you cook with tap water, boiling it will get rid of bacteria, but only filtering removes contaminants like heavy metals and chlorine by-products.
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