2,000-plus chemicals in drinking water

According to a new report, more than 2,100 organic and inorganic chemicals have been identified in drinking water by various federal and state survey programs across the country. Ralph Nader, head of the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, which sponsored the study, says there is broad public support for stronger controls on water pollution. ``But when it gets down to the drinking water tap, there's a lot of reluctance on the part of Congress and the executive [to take action],'' he says.

The report offers no new data on water contamination. But it is the first to pull together state and federal surveys to compile a list of all substances - identified at various levels - in the nation's water supply since 1974.

The findings do not mean that the 2,000-plus chemicals are present in all drinking water. Some communities have relatively high levels of chemicals, while others are relatively free of the chemicals.

Most of the chemicals could be eliminated, the report says, through the use of activated carbon filters.

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