You have likely heard about cities that find out after the fact (like Flint) that they have been drinking contaminated water. The EPA believes that there are upwards of 10,000 contaminates in the water that are not regulated. So if you are drinking “legally safe” water, it should be filtered or treated before consumption.
The difference between the EPA’s description of “totally safe water” and “legally safe water” is crucial for consumers. It affects their understanding of the quality and safety of the water they consume. This distinction has significant implications for public health, trust in regulatory bodies, and the level of protection individuals receive.
Health and Safety Considerations:
- Totally Safe Water (EPA’s Description): Water described as “totally safe” by the EPA signifies that it meets the highest health and safety standards, taking into account a comprehensive range of contaminants and potential hazards. This water is considered to have minimal or no risks to human health when consumed.
- Legally Safe Water: Water that is legally safe adheres to the minimum standards set by regulatory agencies. These standards are based on a balance between what is scientifically feasible and what is practically achievable. However, they might not address all potential risks or reflect the latest scientific knowledge.
- Totally Safe Water (EPA’s Description): Consumers can have greater confidence in water that is described as “totally safe” by the EPA, knowing that it goes beyond the minimum requirements and prioritizes their health and safety.
- Legally Safe Water: Relying solely on the legal standards might not provide consumers with the same level of assurance regarding water quality. Some legal standards might be outdated or not fully aligned with the latest health research.
Trust in Regulatory Bodies:
- Totally Safe Water (EPA’s Description): If the EPA consistently communicates and enforces the importance of “totally safe water,” it can build and maintain trust with the public. This approach demonstrates a commitment to public health and safety.
- Legally Safe Water: If consumers perceive that regulatory bodies are focused solely on meeting legal requirements, they might question the effectiveness of those regulations in protecting their well-being.
Long-Term Health Implications for “totally safe water” and “legally safe water”:
- Totally Safe Water (EPA’s Description): Prioritizing “totally safe water” can help prevent potential long-term health consequences that might arise from exposure to low levels of contaminants or substances that are considered safe within legal limits but could have cumulative effects over time.
- Legally Safe Water: Relying solely on legal standards might not account for emerging research indicating health risks associated with certain contaminants at levels previously considered safe.
In summary, the distinction between “totally safe water” and “legally safe water” is important to consumers because it impacts their health, trust in regulatory agencies, and overall confidence in the safety of their drinking water. While legal standards provide a great baseline, aiming for the highest possible level of safety and transparency in water quality is essential for safeguarding public health.