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Environment

EPA updates contaminant watch list

by Jessica Morrison
January 2, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 1

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Credit: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

Utilities must monitor drinking water for the presence of algal toxins, the pesticide chlorpyrifos, germanium, and manganese starting in 2018, under a new EPA regulation.
Credit: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

Utilities must monitor drinking water for the presence of algal toxins, the pesticide chlorpyrifos, germanium, and manganese starting in 2018, under a new EPA regulation.

EPA has flagged a new group of unregulated contaminants for monitoring by drinking water utilities. The agency says the 30 substances are suspected of occurring in U.S. drinking water and may pose human health risks. The list includes a group of microcystins and other cyan­otoxins produced by algal blooms, the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos, and industrial metals germanium and manganese. In November 2016, EPA revised its human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos in support of its earlier proposal to ban the use of the pesticide, which has been linked to neurodevelopmental risks in children, on food crops. Water utilities must begin monitoring drinking water supplies for chlorpyrifos and the other 29 contaminants in 2018 under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA says it will use the monitoring data “to develop regulatory decisions for emerging contaminants.”

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