Friday, August 10, 2012

Contamination of Water By Household Cleaners is Very Costly


More on the cost of Toxic Household Cleaners:
            Contamination of tap water by Nitrates is very costly;
            Nitrates are chemical compounds that contaminate our public drinking water, they are mostly released into the soil and subsequently into drinking water supplies via agriculture and the use of toxic household cleaners.  “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency names phosphorus, nitrogen, ammonia and chemicals grouped under the term "Volatile Organic Compounds" as the worst environmental hazards in household cleaners”(Davis ), pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia are released into our water system after being flushed down the toilets, sinks, tubs and dishwashers during cleaning, they are not removed from the water in waste treatment facilities and are returned to rivers, lakes and other waterways.(Davis ) Not only does contamination caused by household cleaners affects our ecosystem but also the economy, millions of households spend thousands purchasing bottled water for drinking and cooking, and millions are spent in efforts to control contamination and improve water processing plants.
            In a study of the Beverly Grand community in California it was found that purchasing water in order to avoid the use of contaminated tap water is very costly: “95% of households reporting that they purchased, vended and/or bottled water for use in the home.”(Moore, and Matalon)  Families spend an average of $31.00 per month purchasing bottled water. Households that use water filters have an average expense of $7.76-$49.85 per household month.  This is a very high burden on low income families, “on average, water-related expenditures amount to 4.1% of household income, or nearly three times what is considered affordable.” The cost to mitigate and eliminate nitrate contamination for this area is 1-million dollars, and the cost to upgrade the water treatment plant is about $34 million dollars. “Together, the USDA and the CDPH funded 16 nitrate-related drinking water projects during the four-year period of 2005-09, which totaled $21 million.” (Moore, and Matalon) If the rate of contamination continues, by the year 2020 the number of monitored wells contaminated with nitrate will increase from 5% to 10%.  It costs $150,000 in order to maintain drinking water safe in the San Joaquin Valley. By opting to use greener cleaning materials not only will we be helping the health of our planet but also our pockets.

Davis, Jonita. "How Does Household Cleaner Affect the Environment?." Green Living. n. page. Web. 10 Aug. 2012.< http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/household-cleaner-affect-environment-20087.html>.
Moore, Eli, and Eyal Matalon. "The Human Costs of Nitrate-contaminated." . Pacific Institute, March 2011. Web. 10 Aug 2012. <http://www.pacinst.org/reports/nitrate_contamination/nitrate_contamination.pdf>.

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