UN SDG #6 Clean Water and Sanitation UN SDG #6
UN SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being UN SDG #3

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Drinking Water Contaminated by Volatile and Synthetic Organic Matter

Volatile and Synthetic Organic Matter are two categories of pollutants found in drinking water in the US. The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act is meant to protect our water from these pollutants, but today there are still tens of thousands of reports of violations impacting more than 7 million people.

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Drinking Water Contaminated by Volatile and Synthetic Organic Matter

Volatile and Synthetic Organic Matter are two categories of pollutants found in drinking water in the US. The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act is meant to protect our water from these pollutants, but today there are still tens of thousands of reports of violations impacting more than 7 million people.
7M
people impacted
$1.6T
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

Volatile Organic Matter are organic chemicals emitted as gases from solids or liquid. It includes acetone, ethanol, alcohol, formaldehyde, and others. In 2015 there were 10,383 violations (15 of them health-based) at community water systems serving 3,451,072 people (5,276 health-based).

Synthetic Organic Matter are a class of human-made contaminants that may be present in drinking water. It includes includes herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals that come from agriculture, urban storm water runoff, or industrial activities. In 2015 there were 6,864 violations (17 health-based) serving 2,669,594 people (301,099 health-based). Formal enforcement action was taken in 7.3 percent of cases (and 5.9 percent of health-based cases).

Symptoms and Causes
the impact
Negative Effects

Exposure to volatile organic matter can lead to cancers; developmental, skin, and reproductive issues; and cardiovascular problems. Exposure can also cause adverse effects on the liver, kidneys, and immune and nervous systems.

Exposure to synthetic organic matter can lead to cancers, developmental effects, central nervous system and reproductive difficulties, endocrine issues, or liver and kidney problems.

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ideas
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