Report: More than half of all Americans could be drinking contaminated tap water

More than half of Americans could be drinking contaminated tap water. (MGN)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - More than half of all Americans could be drinking tap water tainted with radioactive material, according to a new report.

Environmental Working Group, or EWG, published a report where it shows more than 170 million people are exposed to radium. Radium is a carcinogen that is known to increase the risk of cancer.

According to Dennis Taylor, who interviewed with CBS News, he recently moved back to his wife's hometown of Brady, Texas.

"I think I tried to drink out of the tap water and it was like, woah, woah, woah, no, we don't drink out of the tap water," Taylor told CBS News.

According to CBS News correspondent Anna Werner, Taylor recently discovered that the water he and his family are drinking has unacceptable levels of radium. The city's levels violate the EPA'S maximum allowable levels, according to the CBS News report. Radium is a naturally occurring contaminant found in the ground and ends up in aquifers.

Toxicologist Alexis Temkin told CBS News radium "has been associated with increases in bone cancer. So, exposure to radium … even low levels, may increase the risk of cancer development."

According to CBS News, EWG collected data from water systems around the country from 2010 to 2015. According to the results, radium was found in all 50 states, and 27 states reported radium levels that exceeded federal legal limits. Texas is the state with the most widespread contamination, according to published data from EWG.

You can check EWG's Tap Water Database to see if there are pollutants in your water. Just enter your zip code. You can also view results by city.

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