It might sound repulsive, but it’s necessary: transporting materials to space is so expensive that astronauts on board the ISS must drink their own bodily fluids. The water is purified before it’s consumed: on-board systems collect every last drop of moisture from the astronauts’ breath, sweat and urine before using iodine to disinfect the water. For emergencies, 2,500 litres of water is kept in reserve on the station.
Where is the tap water laced with lead? – ln 2014, residents of Flint, Michigan, began to complain about the taste, smell and colour of the water flowing from their taps. Tests revealed that the city’s drinking water was highly corrosive as well as being contaminated with dangerously high levels of lead. The heavy metal has been linked to brain damage, miscarriages and mental health issues.
Flint’s crisis developed when city authorities switched the municipal water supply source from freshwater Lake Huron to the Flint River, a notoriously dirty waterway used for decades as a dumping ground for industrial waste. Their rationale? Saving money. Although this water was sanitised before being pumped into homes, it reacted with the lead in the city’s antiquated metal pipes and leached into the public water supply.
State health officials now say that every child under the age of six in Flint should be considered lead-exposed. What’s more: there’s no time frame for replacing the city’s pipes. Residents are forced to rely on bottled water handed out by officials for bathing, drinking and cooking.