Newark Drinking Water Contaminated With Possible Carcinogens

Newark’s drinking water contains illegal levels of a group of carcinogenic contaminants and is in violation of a federal standard, the Star-Ledger reports. State records cited by the outlet show that Newark’s water, which is consumed by at least 500,000 people, is contaminated with excess levels of haloacetic acids, which have been linked to bladder cancer in humans and liver cancer in animals. This isn’t the first time Newark has faced a water problem: The state is already under scrutiny for elevated levels of lead in the drinking water supply, and the city was also issued violations for haloacetic acid levels between 2003 and 2005. Newark’s deputy director of water and sewer utilities told that the current acid levels are not an acute public-health emergency, and that the city is working to resolve the issue. If there was an emergency, he said, the public would have been notified in early October, when the violation was first issued. A senior scientist for Environmental Working Group disagreed with the decision to withhold this information from the public: “If I was a consumer, I would probably want to know as soon as possible,” she said.