If you thought the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the be-all, end-all for what's "safe" in our air, water and land, think again. A new study, published in mid-April by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Copenhagen, claims that the EPA's standards for the amount of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in drinking water are anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times higher than what can be considered safe for children to consume.
Here's the HSPH on the study, which concluded last year:
"Current exposure limits do not adequately protect children and other vulnerable groups against adverse effects on the human immune system. These same researchers showed in 2012 that routine childhood vaccines are less effective in children exposed to PFCs."
According to the article, PFCs are found in a wide range of synthetic products, including non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, and fast-food packaging. Not the sorts of items you and your kids want to be guzzling down. To make matters worse, PFCs don't degrade naturally, which means they'll be around for a long, long time.
So what's the takeaway? Be wary of tapwater and always do what you feel is right for your body — even official standards can be misleading.