A new study reveals tap water in the U.S. may contain harmful carcinogens that can cause cancer.

“The majority of this risk is due to the presence of arsenic, disinfection byproducts and radioactive contaminants,” reads the study, conducted by the Environmental Working Group.

An estimated 100,000 lifetime cancer cases could be attributed to the carcinogens, the study states, about 4 per 10,000 people, according to USA Today.

More on the study from USA Today:

The study, funded by the Park Foundation, compiled a list of 22 contaminants with carcinogenic risks present in 48,363 community water systems in the United States, which EWG estimates serve about 86% of the U.S. population. Based on a cumulative risk assessment, EWG found that per 10,000 people, four will have cancer over the span of the lifetime due to the contaminants in water.

EWG researchers say legal levels of tap water contaminants set by the federal government can still cause cancer.

“The vast majority of community water systems meet legal standards,” EWG vice president for science investigations Olga Naidenko said. “Yet the latest research shows that contaminants present in the water at those concentrations — perfectly legal — can still harm human health.”

The study concludes contaminants in drinking water need to be reduced in order to protect public health.

Read the study here: https://www.heliyon.com/article/e02314

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