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Fighting for safer tap water

December 2010

For the first time, EWG partnered with the New York Times to assemble and analyze water-testing data for 48,000 U.S. communities for a Times series called Toxic Waters. EWG compiled 20 million tap water quality tests performed by water utilities between 2004 and 2009. The EWG report, which generated dozens of media reports and hundreds of blogs, found that some drinking water supplies, while legal under federal safety standards, contained unsafe contaminants. Meanwhile, in August 2009, the California government proposed a strict safety goal for hexavalent chromium, a water pollutant known as the "Erin Brockovich chemical."

Key Issues, Toxics, Health Concerns: