VSCO girls everywhere beware! There is a new threat in town to the water in your hydroflasks, 1,4-Dioxane. If you don’t take chemistry, or didn’t do well in your chemistry class, you might be thinking . . . “What the heck is that. It sounds scary,” and you would be right. It is a carcinogen lurking in our water supplies and right here in the Huntington area the levels in the water supply are above what the EPA cancer risk guideline of 0.35 parts per billion. The reason that toxins get into the water on our coasts is because a lot of household products that we use in our everyday lives gets into our water at home after we use it. Then, it will go down the drain to the town water supply because the sewage and septic systems are not designed to filter the toxins out. These contaminated products can be anything from baby detergent to Victoria’s Secret products to our food. A common belief may be that the effect of 1,4-Dioxane is insignificant. However, according to the EPA, when this toxin enters the body the effects can include cancer, kidney and liver failure, vertigo, and the irritation of skin, eyes, and throat to only name a few.
Now that all of us are aware that this chemical poses a serious threat to us, regardless of whether you are hydrated or not, we need to get on the same side of the fight and take action! The 1,4-Dioxane in these products can be easily eliminated. With the elimination of the toxin is also consequently the annihilation of the threat. 1,4-Dioxane’s removal will be relatively easy because it is not added to products, and it does not enhance the product it is in. It is instead a byproduct from a process from ethoxylation. This process of ethoxylation reduces skin irritation and therefore can be removed cheaply and easily, but the FDA only recommends this step, but it is not mandated. However, this does not mean that you can’t stop the tragedies it puts on our water and on us as people here on Long Island; Governor Andrew Cuomo had a bill proposed to him to stop the issue, but has not signed it yet. This law will require the removal of all byproduct concentration of 1,4-Dioxane, which has already passed the Senate and Assembly, so what is keeping Governor Cuomo from signing the bill? He is receiving pressure from high industry lobbyists from Procter & Gamble and the American Chemistry Council to veto the bill, so again where do you come in? You can do one or more of two things: call the Governor’s office and/or write him a letter to the Capitol Building. To call the Governor all you have to do is dial (518) 474-8390, give your name and address, and tell the person on the phone to urge the Governor to sign legislation (S. 4389b/A. 6295) banning 1,4-Dioxane from common household products into law. If you opt to write a letter instead, the address is:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Now let’s review the facts one last time: there is a cancer causing substance in our water (1,4-Dioxane) because companies who produce daily use items aren’t required to remove the toxin from their products, but now there is a law in Governor Cuomo’s desk to force companies to remove the carcinogen and all you have to do is make a short phone call. That sounds like a small price to pay for safer water.