Can­cer agent found in 44 cities’ drink­ing wa­ter

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

Traces of a po­ten­tially can­cer-caus­ing chem­i­cal known as NDMA were de­tected in the drink­ing wa­ter of 44 Chi­nese cities, while sam­ples from the east and south were found to have rel­a­tively high con­cen­tra­tions, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

Mea­sured in nanograms per liter, NDMA — short for N-ni­trosodimethy­lamine — is a byprod­uct of the dis­in­fec­tion process used for chlo­ri­nat­ing drink­ing wa­ter and is con­sid­ered an “emerg­ing con­tam­i­nant”, to­gether with other re­lated chem­i­cals known as ni­trosamines.

Sam­ples were taken from 155 sites in 44 cities across 23 prov­inces, in­clud­ing orig­i­nal sources, fin­ished wa­ter from treat­ment plants and tap wa­ter. The av­er­age NDMA con­cen­tra­tions — 11 ng per liter for fin­ished wa­ter, and 13 ng per liter for tap wa­ter — is nearly four times what was re­ported in the United States in 2012.

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