USGS - science for a changing world

Environmental Health - Toxic Substances


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did USGS conduct this study?
  2. Why haven't you looked for these chemicals until now?
  3. How did you decide what chemicals to look for?
  4. What did you find?
  5. Why did you select these stream sites to sample?
  6. Would you expect similar results for other streams across the nation?
  7. Were you surprised by how often you found these target chemicals?
  8. Which chemical compounds did you find most often?
  9. Should I be concerned about your findings?
  10. Why did you measure substances for which there is no documented health or ecological effect?
  11. Why do you measure these contaminants down to such low concentrations when we don't know (or don't believe) that there are effects at these low levels?
  12. How do these chemicals get into streams and rivers?
  13. Is it possible that some of the chemicals were introduced into samples accidentally either during sample collection or laboratory analysis?
  14. How good are the new laboratory methods used to measure the 95 chemicals in this study?
  15. So will you be revising any of the methods?
  16. Are these chemicals in my drinking water?
  17. Should people be concerned about drinking their tap water?
  18. Will point of use treatment systems take care of removing these things from the water?
  19. Of the many things you measured in this study, which ones do you think pose the greatest threat to people, fish or wildlife?
  20. How will this information be used?
  21. Have you shared this information with other agencies?
  22. Do you have plans for follow-up on this study?
  23. How can I find out how the stream near me tested compared to other streams across the Nation?
  24. Who should I contact for additional questions?
    Contact the Program Coordinator -- Herb Buxton ( )

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Aug-2015 15:34:39 EDT