Water pollution

Quick Points

What is water pollution?

When harmful chemicals or organisms enter bodies of water it creates water pollution. Water pollution reduces the water’s ability to be drinkable and habitable for critical ecosystems that rely on the contaminated water source. Communities of color are disproportionately exposed to unsafe drinking water. Read more here: Watered Down Justice 

Examples of water pollutants include:  

  • Lead 
  • PFOAS, PFAS, Genx 
  • Untreated Wastewater and Sewage 
  • Oil Leaks and Spills 
  • Incorrectly Disposed Industrial and Agricultural Waste 

A Closer Look at PFAS

While there are many water contaminants, the North Carolina Black Alliance has been specifically advocating around Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. 

What are PFAS? 

PFAS are thousands of human-made chemicals used in everyday consumer products. They are labeled as “forever chemicals” because they cannot be boiled or removed and they break down very slowly in the environment.