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
From our Newsroom

Researchers, doctors call for regulators to reassess safety of taking acetaminophen during pregnancy

The painkiller, taken by half of pregnant women worldwide, could be contributing to rising rates of reproductive system problems and neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism.

LISTEN: Azmal Hossan on the sociology of climate crises in South Asia

"If we look at the rate of carbon emissions, most is emitted by the developed and industrialized countries, but the problem is poor countries like Bangladesh are the main sufferers."

Op-ed: We don’t have time for another fossil fuel bridge

Those holding up carbon capture and hydrogen as new climate solutions are leading us down the wrong path.

Ocean plastic pollution

Too much plastic is ending up in the ocean — and making its way back onto our dinner plates.

Climate storytelling: Creativity and imagination in the face of bleak realities

Working with youth writers on a climate-fiction screenplay has opened my eyes to the power of the arts in confronting environmental crises.

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.