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Drinking Water Contaminant Categories and How to Test Your Water

EMSL Analytical offers testing services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify a wide range of water contaminants.


Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Access to clean water is a key ingredient for a healthy life. Water makes up approximately 60% of a typical adult male’s body. The percentage is slightly lower in adult females, but is even higher in babies and young children.
 
Water serves a number of essential functions and is a vital component of every cell in the human body. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to drinking water that is free of contaminants that could cause health concerns. The Safe Drinking Water Act defines the term “contaminant” as meaning any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter in water. Therefore, the law defines “contaminant” very broadly as being anything other than water molecules.
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that drinking water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. Some drinking water contaminants may be harmful if consumed at certain levels while others may be harmless. The EPA provides general categories of drinking water contaminants, including the following:

  • Physical contaminants primarily impact the appearance or other physical properties of water. Examples include sediment or organic material suspended in water.
  • Chemical contaminants are elements or compounds. They may be naturally occurring or man-made. Examples are nitrogen, bleach, salts, pesticides, metals, toxins produced by bacteria and human or animal drugs.
  • Biological contaminants are organisms in water. They are also referred to as microbes or microbiological contaminants. Examples include bacteria, viruses, protozoan and parasites.
  • Radiological contaminants are chemical elements with an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons resulting in unstable atoms that can emit ionizing radiation. Examples include cesium, plutonium and uranium.

 
“While many people have become increasingly aware of drinking water contaminants due to media reports of lead in the water in places like Flint, and a recent report of the prevalence of hexavalent chromium in a number of states, there are numerous other contaminants that are frequently found in drinking water,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer a wide range of water testing services to identify these contaminants to help ensure that the water people are consuming is healthy for their families, workers and the public.”
 
An educational video about drinking water contaminants sponsored by EMSL Analytical, Inc. can be seen at: https://youtu.be/P5vJ_AkBjP0.
  
EMSL Analytical, Inc. has laboratories throughout the United States and Canada that offer water testing services. They also provide an easy-to-use Drinking Water Test Kit that monitors for lead, total coliform, E. coli, nitrate, nitrite, turbidity, iron, manganese and pH that can be accessed at: www.EMSLTestKits.com   
 
To learn more about EMSL’s water or other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
 
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.


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 drinking water
 contaminant
 EPA
 hexavalent chromium
 environment


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