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EWG's Tap Water Database

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farm field

Pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste and other substances flow off farm fields and end up in our drinking water. Drinking water contaminated with these chemicals increases the risk of cancer and birth defects.

Asset 12Heres what goes on farm fields every year:Manure(2012 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE)Fertilizer(2011 ERS FERTILIZER USE & MARKETS)9 million sheep& goats66 millionpigs100 million turkeys90 million cows1.9 billion chickens44 billionpoundsAtrazine - a weed killer banned in Europe, but still widely used on U.S. farms - seeps into streams, rivers and groundwater, and eventually ends up in drinking water. Its a hormone disruptor and increases the risk of getting some types of cancer. To learn more about atrazine, click here.Why does this matter?Water polluted with manure and fertilizer contains nitrate, achemical that increases the risk of bladder cancer and developmental defects in children born to mothers who drink contaminated water during pregnancy. To learn more about this contaminant, click here.Pesticides(2011 ERS FERTILIZER USE & MARKETS)915 millionpoundsHere are just a few ways that all this can end up contaminating drinking water. Follow the prompts below to see simple solutions that help protect water supplies.Manure and fertilizer drain into lakes and streams, and lead to explosive blooms of algae. The chemicals utilities use to disinfect water react with algae, plant and animal waste to form carcinogenic byproducts that end up in our tap water. To learn more about disinfection byproducts, click here. Asset 4 atrazine-cardWhy does this matter?Atrazine - a weed killer banned in Europe, but still widely used on U.S. farms - seeps into streams, rivers and groundwater, and eventually ends up in drinking water. Its a hormone disruptor and increases the risk of getting some types of cancer. To learn more about atrazine, click here.Close manure-cardWhy does this matter?Manure and fertilizer drain into lakes and streams, and lead to explosive blooms of algae. The chemicals utilities use to disinfect water react with algae, plant and animal waste to form carcinogenic byproducts that end up in our tap water. To learn more about disinfection byproducts, click here.Close nitrate-cardWhy does this matter?Water polluted with manure and fertilizer contains Nitrate, a chemical that increases the risk of bladder cancer and developmental defects in children born to mothers who drink contaminated water during pregnancy. To learn more about this contaminant, click here.Close

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