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Health Advocates Voice Concern Over Asbestos in Water

Whether you’re visiting your physician for your annual check-up or reading an article on weight loss, you’re likely to be told that you should be making a point of drinking eight glasses of water per day. Keeping well hydrated makes sure that the cells in your body operate at their optimum performance level and that you’re flushing away harmful toxins. But what if the water that is being delivered through the faucet in your kitchen is contaminated with harmful chemicals by the very pipes that carry them to your house? Many health advocates have begun expressing concern about our aging infrastructure and the asbestos concrete that was widely used in building America’s water system.

Asbestos is a mineral that was used in nearly every construction project prior to the 1980s. Widely admired for the fact that it is both strong and durable, asbestos was also used in shipyards and factories because it is flame and heat retardant. But even though this material has been used for centuries, there were questions about its safety dating back to Roman times, and in the 1980s it finally came to light that asbestos is a toxic carcinogen. Its use was largely banned going forward, and scientists spent a great deal of time studying the dangers posed by asbestos that was already in place. The determination was made that as long as it was not breaking down, it posed no danger. But now the asbestos cement that was used in construction has reached the age of fifty to seventy years old, and that is when the risk of breaking down into small particles that can cause serious harm becomes a very real concern. Asbestos fibers within the concrete can break down and enter the water supply, where they will then pose a threat to anybody who drinks it. There are also concerns about the exposure of any body working on repairing or replacing the piping who is not properly trained in asbestos protection or remediation.

In order to guard against this possibility, communities are constantly monitoring the water supply for the presence of asbestos and other toxins, and are required to maintain levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the same time, it is essential that protections are in place for workers who may be assigned to replacement and repair projects.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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