Water Presser

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Nassau Lawmakers Push Legislation To Limit Chemicals In Water Supply

July 29, 2019 - 2:01 pm

MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Nassau County legislators on Monday will hold an informational meeting on the cancer causing chemical showing up in drinking water across Long Island.

For months, a known carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane – found in laundry detergent, shampoos, and other cleaning products – has been turning up in 185 drinking water wells on Long Island.

In Hicksville, the chemical is found at some of the highest levels and the scary part, according to Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, is that there is nothing residents can do or buy to filter it out of the water.

“People have been calling me saying, ‘you know, there’s a sign at such-and-such store saying, I sell filters that eliminate 1,4-dioxane.’ It's just not true,” Esposito said.

Lawmakers are asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation to ban 1,4-dioxane from all cleaning products, including laundry detergent.

“We’re saying to them, you have to either reformulate or you have to filter. You figure out how to make laundry soap that doesn’t give us cancer when we drink the water,” Esposito said.

The county has already asked the federal government to set new stricter standards for the levels of chemicals allowed in drinking water and for hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up what was found in many districts.

As they await federal funding, some water district officials have, or will soon be adding filters to clean up the chemicals.