www.nytimes.com

$300 billion war beneath the street: Fighting to replace America’s water pipes

Much more is at stake than billions of dollars.


A national conversion to plastic pipes would amount to a massive experiment with public health because of the potential for plastic additives to leach out of the pipes into drinking water, and for hazardous chemicals to form in the event of fires, e.g., what happened in Santa Rosa CA last month.

From the article: "Studies have shown that toxic pollutants like benzene and toluene from spills and contaminated soil can permeate certain types of plastic pipes as they age. A 2013 review of research on leaching from plastic pipe identified more than 150 contaminants migrating from plastic pipes into drinking water."

"Plastics are being installed without any real understanding of what they're doing to our drinking water," said Andrew J. Whelton, assistant professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, and an author of the 2013 study. "We don't know what chemicals we're being exposed to."

Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
Valspar cans. (Credit Lynne Peeples)
Originals

Exposed: Toward a BPA-free future

This is part 4 of a 4-part investigation of the science surrounding the chemical BPA and the U.S. regulatory push to discredit independent evidence of harm while favoring pro-industry science despite significant shortcomings.

Keep reading... Show less
Originals

Clouded in Clarity: A comic on chemicals & controversy

Harmful chemicals are difficult to understand. So, to pair with our investigation, "Exposed" we present EHN's first comic, "Clouded in Clarity," which focuses on BPA and the controversy around an ongoing, massive study on it.

Keep reading... Show less
A barge ships coal up the Ohio River near Cincinnati. (Photo by Lucia Walinchus/Eye on Ohio, the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism)
Originals

The water is cleaner but the politics are messier: A look back at the Clean Water Act movement after 50 years

In June 1969, a Time Magazine article garnered national attention when it brought to light the water quality conditions in Ohio: a river had literally caught fire.

Keep reading... Show less
From our Newsroom

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.