Disparities in drinking water quality in the U.S.
Low-income and minority communities often experience disproportionately high exposures to pollution and face relatively high burden of diseases. Environmental justice concerns have been broadly recognized in relation to air pollution and proximity to pollution sources such as hazardous waste facilities. However, relatively few studies have addressed disparities in contaminant exposures from drinking water. Silent Spring is investigating whether low‐income and minority communities in the U.S. have higher levels of common contaminants in their drinking water.
By shining a spotlight on disparities and translating our research to the public, we can promote change at the local, regional, and national levels. Our ultimate goal is ensure that all Americans have access to clean drinking water and to break down barriers faced by certain groups. Our research results will support efforts to: protect drinking water sources through policies and regulations that reduce contamination from agriculture and other pollution sources; treat existing contaminants and identify alternative cleaner sources; and motivate additional research on socioeconomic disparities in exposure and potential health effects.