Many people outside the U.S. would assume that all Americans have access to drinkable water straight from the faucet. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for thousands of families across the country due to industrial pollution of our waters.
A few weeks ago, residents in Philadelphia had to resort to buying bottled water after chemicals spilled into the Delaware River. While city officials declared people were fine to return to drinking straight from the tap, many are less convinced.
The spillage occurred on March 24 in Bristol, about 17 miles north of Philadelphia. Around 8,100 gallons of latex chemical solution is thought to have leaked out into the river after a pipe belonging to the Altuglas LLC chemical plant ruptured. Considering that is where many of the state’s residents get their drinking water from, it’s a major concern.
What are the chemicals spilled?
The plant’s owners said the spillage is half water, half latex polymer. Here are some of the issues with the principal chemicals involved in that:
- Butyl acrylate: Prolonged exposure can irritate eyes, skin and the upper respiratory system
- Ethyl acrylate: Short-term exposure can harm the eyes, throat, nose and lungs
- Methyl methacrylate: Exposure can irritate eyes, skin, nose and throat
All three are colorless, so you won’t realize the danger you are facing until it’s already too late.
A quick look at other cases where industrial pollution has contaminated water supplies will show that you can’t always trust the authorities when they say water is safe to drink. If you find yourself suffering symptoms after this or any other case of water contamination, you may want to find out more about your legal options.