Home Australia How a simple change will ensure your drinking water is clean if you’re worried about cancer fears: Expert gives reassuring advice

How a simple change will ensure your drinking water is clean if you’re worried about cancer fears: Expert gives reassuring advice

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Nearly two million Australians could have been exposed to carcinogenic chemicals detected in tap water, but an expert in the field said there is no need to panic and switch to bottled water. File image of a woman drinking a glass of water.

An expert has called for calm over fears nearly two million Australians may have been exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in drinking water.

An important investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald found that “permanent chemicals” have been detected in tap water in every state and territory in the country since 2010, affecting up to 1.8 million people.

In recent months, the World Health Organization concluded that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is always carcinogenic to humans, while the US Environmental Protection Agency found that there was no safe level of PFOA or sodium sulfonate. perfluorooctane (PFOS) in water.

The chemicals are linked to kidney and liver disease, thyroid and insulin dysregulation, cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental problems in children.

But UNSW professor Denis O’Carroll told Daily Mail Australia that Australia had strict regulations that made drinking water safe and warned residents against taking drastic measures, such as switching to bottled water.

His reassuring message hasn’t stopped other experts from urging Australians to invest in a water filter jug ​​or install a filtration system, even calling on the government to subsidize purchases.

Nearly two million Australians could have been exposed to carcinogenic chemicals detected in tap water, but an expert in the field said there is no need to panic and switch to bottled water. File image of a woman drinking a glass of water.

Professor O’Carroll said whether a person drinks tap or bottled water would make no difference to their exposure to permanent chemicals.

“I have no reason to believe that bottled water is better, because bottled water has to come from somewhere,” he said.

‘Assume that bottled water is treated differently or to a greater extent than tap waterit would be misleading.

“It could be (treated differently), but making that assumption would be incorrect.”

The professor, who is director-general of UNSW’s water research laboratory, said a person would have to be exposed to permanent chemicals for a long time to become ill from them.

“It’s a chronic, long-term exposure that you would be concerned about,” he said.

‘(It would be) decades from now, I would suggest, at a low level of consumption but to which most people would be exposed. It would take a long time for him to get sick.

Pictured is the North Richmond water filtration plant, where chemicals were always detected in January.

Pictured is the North Richmond water filtration plant, where chemicals were always detected in January.

‘Australian guidelines are not as strict as those of the US EPA, nor those of Canada or the European Union.but they are still regulated at fairly low limits.

A 2011 study from the University of Queensland showed where drinking water in Australia was affected by permanent chemicals, but Professor O’Carroll said “only a select few (examples) of that tap water would have exceeded the guidelines of the “U.S. EPA.”

“That 2011 document, if we look at it today, would in no way say that all tap water in Australia is bad from the perspective of the US EPA,” he said.

‘That would be completely wrong.

“A small number of those samples (could be less than 5 percent) may exceed US EPA guidelines.”

As an expert in the area, the professor has received many questions about water safety in recent days.

“I have had many of my coworkers as an example, who come to me, very nervous and we must pay attention as a society to what we consume in general.”

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, an executive committee member of the International Pollution Elimination Network, urged Australians to do “the best they can” and invest in a water filter.

“Manufacturers of these types of chemicals have had to pay many millions of dollars in the United States to people who have been exposed to and suffered from cancer,” he said.

“Yet, incredibly, our regulatory agencies here in Australia just throw out all this evidence and say there’s no clear evidence that they cause disease, which, honestly, is incredible.”

A low-cost option is a pitcher filter; However, the gold standard is one installed under the sink or a whole-house filtration system.

The U.S. nonprofit Environmental Working Group found that the best filter for removing contaminants was one that relied on a reverse osmosis system.

A low-cost option for cleaning water is a pitcher filter; However, the gold standard is one installed under the sink or a whole-house filtration system.

A low-cost option for cleaning water is a pitcher filter; However, the gold standard is one installed under the sink or a whole-house filtration system.

The system, which would need to be installed, forces high-pressure water through an extremely thin membrane that separates the chemicals from the water.

This type of filter is the most expensive and requires maintenance, although filters do not need to be replaced as frequently as carbon or resin filters.

Granular activated carbon filters are also another option; However, a study by Duke and North Carolina State Universities said some brands made no difference.

Professor O’Carroll said residents should be aware of the wide range of chemicals they are exposed to throughout their lives, giving alcohol as an example.

“Health Canada suggests that you should drink only two drinks of alcohol per week,” he said.

“I struggle with that a lot and I’m sure a lot of Australians and (other) Canadians struggle with that as well.”

“So there are all kinds of things that we knowingly expose ourselves to, and PFOS is one that we don’t want to expose ourselves to, but it’s not he poison.

“There are a lot of other things we would be concerned about, including PFOS.”

Professor O’Carroll said people can limit their exposure to permanent chemicals by paying attention to the labels on consumer products, including old kitchen utensils such as Teflon frying pans.

Professor Denis O'Carroll (pictured) said whether a person drinks tap or bottled water would make no difference to their exposure to permanent chemicals.

Professor Denis O’Carroll (pictured) said whether a person drinks tap or bottled water would make no difference to their exposure to permanent chemicals.

“It’s difficult, because many of these chemicals are inherited,” he said.

‘In Australia, we are trying to get away from our exposure, sor the government would be trying to limit what comes in (now).

‘But if you have old things in your house, which we all do, it could be part of it, it could be used in stain-resistant carpets or chairs.

‘He could have been used in old kitchen utensils (and) water-repellent clothing.

“Those are the elements you’re exposed to.”

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Is YOUR suburb affected? Areas where ‘forever chemicals’ have been detected in tap water

New south Wales:

Bathurst

black town

Campbelltown

plains emu

Gundagai

Lithgow

Liverpool

North Richmond

Quaker Hill

wagga wagga

yass

NORTHERN TERRITORY:

Larrakeyah

night cliff

QUEENSLAND:

cairns

Gladstone

ACT:

Canberra

VICTORY:

Footscray

Riddells Creek

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

Glenunga

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

Marruben

rotten island

TASMANIA:

KingboroughEdit

*None of these areas exceed the current allowable levels of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

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