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Source: The Island Now

Bosworth urges state officials to remove water contaminant

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

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth urged state officials on Tuesday to remove a man-made chemical from drinking water.

In a letter to state Assemblyman Tony D’Urso, Bosworth said immediate action should be taken to remove the man-made chemical 1,4-Dioxane from drinking water to reduce exposure to the contaminant.

A report by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said 1,4-Dioxane is “more prevalent in the Island’s water than anywhere else in the state and far exceeds the national average,” according to a news release sent out by the town.

The contaminant exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s cancer risk guideline “in almost the entirety of North Hempstead’s drinking water supply,” Bosworth said.

“I was alarmed and dismayed when learning that 1,4-Dioxane exceeds EPA risk guidelines in almost the entirety of North Hempstead,” Bosworth said in the letter. “It is imperative that state officials take strong and sustained action to respond to this threat to public health.”

The chemical has been found in some of the town’s water at a level 30 times the EPA’s guideline, Bosworth said.

“Our state’s drinking water standard does not have a specific limit on how much 1,4-Dioxane can be found in drinking water while still being protective of public health,” Bosworth said.

The contaminant is regularly found in detergents, personal care products, shampoos and more.

Bosworth said the state should immediately legislate a ban of the contaminant in consumer goods, which would “send a powerful message to consumer goods manufacturers, and would encourage them to implement cost effective removal methods before their products reach the market.”

She also said the state should immediately “promulgate specific drinking water standards for this contaminant which are protective of public health,” and ensure that adequate funding and resources are available to water suppliers and wastewater treatment plants to address treatment methods.

Bosworth said industries that emit the carcinogen, such as laundromats, should be required to switch their products to ones that are free of 1,4-Dioxane.

“Protecting our water quality is a high priority of my administration, and I know that it is a high priority for New York State,” she said. “I ask for your help in responding to this grave emerging public health concern.”