One would think after Flint, Michigan's catastrophic water crisis, other states would move swiftly to look into and solve possible similar problems.
But Texas isn’t one of those states, apparently.
Although high levels of arsenic have tainted drinking water for at least 82,000 Texas residents over the past couple of years, state officials maintain people do not need an “alternative water supply,” like Flint.
The Environmental Integrity Project recently released a report revealing that drinking water coming from systems in western and southern Texas for 51,000 people (of the 82,000 residents) was found to have high levels of arsenic every year for the past 10 years.
“The high levels in a few of those regions are worrisome and have clearly been associated with increased cancer risk on a par with tobacco use,” J. Christopher States, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine told My Statesman.
“I wouldn’t drink the water,” he added.
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Environmental Integrity Project staffers insist Texas needs to do more, at the very least, in informing residents about the dangers of arsenic-tainted drinking water.
But the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t deem the recorded levels as an immediate threat to the health of residents.
“Drinking water standards are set to protect people drinking 2 liters of water per day for 70 years,” the Texas agency told the Dallas Morning News. “Out of the 65 water systems cited in the study, all but two are currently under enforcement, or have undergone enforcement, either by the TCEQ, EPA or Texas attorney general.”
According to U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, arsenic in drinking water can cause liver, lung, kidney, bladder and skin cancer.