Eighteen unregulated chemicals were found in drinking water from over one-third of US water utilities surveyed, according to a recent study performed by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Environmental Protection Agency. Fortunately, chemical concentrations were low. But the long-term consequences of low-level exposure to these chemicals is unknown.

Of particular concern are the chemicals on the EPA’s list of chemicals under consideration for drinking water regulation: the metal strontium, the herbicide metolachlor, PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). PFOS and PFOA are found in nonstick and stain-resistant food packaging, fabrics, and cookware, and have been found in the blood of nearly all people in the United States. Do you cook with nonstick pans? It’s a major source.

“We’re hoping through this work the EPA will do a much more intensive contaminant candidate list and develop new methods and requirements for drinking water plants,” noted a USGS scientist.

I recommend drinking filtered water because, as you can see, we just don’t know what’s in our tap water. Reverse osmosis water filters are considered the best because they are able to remove the most toxins. But if you do not want to pay the price for this filter, there are many options that are all better than not filtering at all.