Report: Houston Floodwaters Teeming With Toxins

Floodwaters in parts of Houston are tainted with dangerous bacteria and toxins, including E. coli, fecal contamination, lead, and arsenic, among other things, The New York Times reports. Lab tests organized by the Times in two neighborhoods found alarmingly high levels of contaminants, with one testing site found to have levels of E. coli that were 135 times what is considered safe—and that was in a family’s flooded living room. Medical professionals say they have seen a spike in infections they attribute to the floodwaters, while residents in some areas have complained of staph infections and other ailments. The results of testing came as the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that 40 of the city’s 1,219 waste treatment plans were not working.