Irish Environmental Protection Agency Finds 46,000 People Have Cancer-Linked Pollutant In Water
This week's article in Shannonside News stopped us in our tracks: 46,000 people are still receiving contaminated water in their homes every single day despite these findings being reported for the first time a year ago.
Water supplies in the region have elevated levels of trihalomethanes (THM) – aka pollutants linked to cancer. According to HSE report on the pollutants:
"Trihalomethanes are formed when there is either inadequate pre- treatment of the water and/or poor control over the disinfection process itself."
Despite a report on Irish Water site explaining the dangers of this compound in water, this issues which was widely reported in 2016 has not been rectified.
Today there are still four supplies in Longford and two in Roscommon had above the permitted standard of this toxic chemical compound.
The HSE report confirms the toxicity of this compound:
"Acute effects of THMs in drinking water are rare. Two main long-term health outcomes are studied with regard to THMs and drinking water: cancer and reproductive outcomes.
"Both chloroform and Bromodichloromethane, two individual THMS, were classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). This category is used for agents for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals."
One of the primary goals of WHO and its member states is that:
“all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water.”
The WHO has detailed information on THMs in drinking water:
"It is emphasised that adequate disinfection should never be compromised in attempting to meet guidelines for THMs ... it is recommended that THM levels in drinking-water be kept as low as practicable."
However, the microbial safety of drinking-water should never be compromised and effective disinfection to prevent waterborne infectious diseases must take precedence.
Irish Water stated in March 2016 that they were investing 3 million in improvement works at the wastewater treatment plant in Shannon. However, according to Shannonside, water supplies in these areas are still being affected by this toxic compound:
Tell us your thoughts? Are you living in one of these areas yet to feel the effects of 3 million investment? If so, what to you give your children to drink or put in your baby's bottles? Tell us in the comments below.