A Safe Water Bill for Pennsylvania
Click here to see a copy of the proposed Safe Water Bill legislation
As it stands, Pennsylvania's mechanism for regulating drinking water contents depends largely on industry self-regulation. This is true even though the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have sole authority to assess water additives. The Safe Water Bill aims to fill this policy gap, providing safe, clean water to Pennsylvania.
Safe water means the following:
- No addition of chemicals intended as medication unless approved by the Food and Drug Administration
- Keeps approved materials within designated Maximum Contaminant Level Goals
- Contains only materials that contribute to safety, potability, or quality
- Contains only materials that have been batch tested for safety and accuracy
- Keeps out chemicals with contaminants like lead, arsenic, and mercury in excessive amounts
Examples of how this may protect the public:
- Iodine was introduced into the public water supply to reduce goiter (enlargement of the thyroid) in the 1920's, but the practice was quickly halted when it became apparent that dosage could not be controlled with varying water consumption.
- There has been discussion in some Northeastern states since 9/11 about adding Cipro to the public water to counteract anthrax because elderly citizens may not make the effort to go to a clinic.
This bill does not require a determination of whether fluoride is good or bad, does not require a re-determination of the public policy of fluoridation, and in fact will not have any impact on fluoridation if everything promoters of fluoridation have claimed is true. What the bill does is implement the criteria for safety of drinking water additives intended to treat humans - it in essence allows the facts to declare themselves. If the facts show that there has been significant misrepresentation, then the contamination will be stopped, and rightfully so.
Simply put, this bill requires that any substance intended to treat people has to be approved for safety and effectiveness, and that the substance will not contain contaminants in excess of the levels that Pennsylvania has already adopted for public water supplies.
Take action! Support the Safe Water Bill!
Encourage your senator and rep to introduce or co-sponsor the bill:
Find e-mail and telephone information for your senator and rep here (contact them at their Harrisburg locations, rather than their local offices)
Contact local media outlets and make your opinions heard here
Last modified: 6 July 2007