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Parasites in drinking water

Charles T. Faulkner ctfaulkn at UTKUX1.UTK.EDU
Thu Nov 16 09:22:33 EST 1995

This post was forwarded to us by Sharon Patton's husband Dr. Raymond 
McCord who is an ecologist at the National Lab in Oak Ridge.  We thought 
it might be of interest to parasitolgists because of the implications on 
waterborne transmission of Cryptosporidium and Giardia.  

*      Charles T. Faulkner       *   Get your facts first and then you
*  Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville  *   can distort them as much as you please.
*     (ctfaulkner at utk.edu)       *                Mark Twain

>          Doctors Group "Outraged" at Congressional "Perk"
>(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Seventy-seven members of the U.S. House use taxpayer
>dollars to buy bottled water for themselves while consistently failing to
>protect drinking water standards for the rest of us, according to a study
>released today by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).
>"It's outrageous that these politicians spend our money on bottled water
>for themselves when they're lowering safety standards on the tap water the
>rest of us drink," said Joseph M. Schwartz, PSR Associate Director of
>Environmental Programs. "Congress should strengthen our drinking water
>standards, not jeopardize them.  And the bottled water perk should go down
>the drain."
>LET THEM DRINK TAP WATER identifies all members who failed to support any
>of five crucial votes, thus endangering their constituents' drinking water
>supply.  The study also documents how thousands of residents in their home
>districts were exposed to contaminated drinking water.
>According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 60
>million Americans -- one in four -- drank water that did not meet federal
>standards during 1993-94.  Every state in the nation has been cited for
>drinking water safety violations that make people ill.  The most common
>include fecal matter (a source of potentially deadly cryptosporidium),
>dissolved lead, and toxic pesticides.
>Drinking water-related deaths in Wisconsin, New York, and Arizona have
>focused increased attention on drinking water safety. Recent scientific
>studies suggest that some chemicals found in tap water may cause cancers
>and birth defects.  Tap water standards for several known hazards -- such
>as cryptosporidium, arsenic, and cancer-causing radon gas -- are either
>non-existent or hopelessly out of date.
>This year, the new majority in Congress is weighing several changes pushed
>for by industry lobbyists and water utility companies, that would weaken
>the Safe Drinking Water Act. Meanwhile this summer, EPA advised Americans
>with weakened immune systems to boil their water -- rather than take the
>risk that some members of Congress avoided by buying bottled water with
>our money.
>     PSR is a leading organization of nearly 20,000 health professionals
>and supporters working in 80 U.S. chapters to eliminate weapons of mass
>destruction, promote a sustainable environment, and address the root
>causes of violence.  Founded in 1961, PSR is the U.S. affiliate of
>International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, recipient of
>the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

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