Drinking water in 13 Irish counties found to contain harmful pollution linked to cancer
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Drinking water in 13 Irish counties found to contain harmful pollution linked to cancer

THIRTEEN counties in Ireland have been found to supply drinking water that contains harmful pollution.

High levels of trihalomethane (THM), an environmental pollutant which has been linked to cancer, were found in water supplies across the country following tests run by Irish Water.

The utility company tested 791 samples of drinking water in the last few months to assess if they exceeded the allowed limit of the pollutant.

59 of those samples, spanning across 13 different counties, failed the inspection.

THMs are usually formed as a result of adding chlorine to water and some studies suggest long-term exposure to high levels of the pollutant may be linked to cancer.

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The counties containing these high levels of THM haven't been disclosed, but it's understood that water supplies in Donegal, Clare and Louth had 'multiple failures' during the tests.

Dr Michelle Minihan, a senior inspector with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stressed that steps would be made to reduce the pollutant levels.

"Our view is that exposure to THMs should be minimised, and kept at an absolute minimum," she said.

"The way we've gone about addressing that is that where we identify supplies where the level of THMs in them is above the regulatory limit, and where that's a persistent occurrence, we take action and add those to our remedial action list.

"That means that Irish Water has to identify an action programme to address the THM exceedances."

Irish Water have since confirmed that a programme has indeed been put in place to sort the problem.

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