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Source: Port Washington Patch

Chemical Exceeds EPA Risk Guidelines In North Hempstead's Water Supply

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth is urging state officials to respond to this "threat to public health."


Posted: March 29, 2017
Originally Published: March 28, 2017

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth is urging state officials to remove 1, 4-Dioxane from the public drinking water supply after learning the man-made chemical exceeds EPA risk guidelines in almost all of North Hempstead.

A report by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment says 1,4-dioxane is more prevalent in the Island’s water than anywhere else in the state and far exceeds the national average.

Bosworth said she was “alarmed and dismayed” after learning high amounts of 1, 4-dioxane were found in North Hempstead drinking water. “It is imperative that State officials take strong and sustained action to respond to this threat to public health,” she said in a press release.

New York currently does not have a specific limit on the amount of 1,4 dioxane that can be present in drinking water, nor does it require specific treatment technology.

What is 1, 4-dioxane?

1, 4-dioxane is a chemical compound that is a probable carcinogen. Traces of this containment can be found in cosmetics, detergents, shampoos, dyes, greases, waxes, baby wipes and more. The EPA classifies 1, 4-dioxane as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure.” The EPA also states that the contaminant can leach from soil to groundwater, where it can be resistant to biodegradation.

In the letter to state officials, Bosworth offered ways to protect the water supply and environment from this chemical:

  • Immediately draft and enforce specific drinking water standards for this contaminant in order to protect the public health.
  • Make funding and resources available to water suppliers and wastewater treatment plants to ensure that they have access to appropriate treatment methods
  • Require industries that emit this carcinogen, such as commercial laundromats, to treat their effluent or switch to detergents which are free of 1,4-dioxane