Radium contamination in water most widespread in Texas, environmental group says
More than half of Americans could be drinking tap water tainted with a radioactive element.
A new report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds more than 170 million people are exposed to radium in their drinking water.
When Dennis Taylor moved with his wife and two kids back to her hometown of Brady, Texas, he quickly found out many there don’t drink the city water, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.
So exposure to radium… even low levels, may increase the risk of cancer development," said Alexis Temkin, toxicologist with the EWG.
Radium was found in all 50 states – and the group found 158 public water systems in 27 states "reported radium in amounts that exceeded the federal legal limit."
The state with the most widespread contamination, according to EWG, is Texas, where "more than 3,500 utilities serving more than 22 million people – about 80 percent of the state’s population" reported finding radium.
EWG alleges Kathleen Hartnett White "deliberately falsified data" on public water system radiation levels as head of the Texas commission on environmental quality in the mid-2000s.
You bet we do," Carper responded.
Back in Brady, Dennis Taylor said he and his family won’t be drinking the water for now.
We also asked the EPA about the EWG’s criticisms of its work, but the agency has not gotten back to us with its response.