Is Philly Tap Water Safe to Drink After Chemical Spill in the Delaware River?

Is Philly Tap Water Safe to Drink

There is growing concerning about the impact of acrylic latex polymer on the water supply, after chemical spill in the Delaware River in Philadelphia on 24/3, and acrylic latex polymer has invaded our drinking water, so is tap water safe to drink in Philadelphia? The official answer "The Philadelphia Water Department is confident that tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant will remain safe to drink and use at least through 3:30 p.m March 28."

 is philly tap water safe to drink

So to the citizens in potentially impacted areas( all of Northeast Philadelphia, Center City, Fishtown, South Philadelphia and other neighborhoods and much of North Philadelphia.), is Philadephia tap water safe to drink after the acrylic latex polymer leak? It's better not to do it for a period. There still could be potential risks that acrylic latex polymer invading our drinking water. Acrylic latex polymer contains a variety of chemicals, butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.


Butyl acrylate, a clear liquid used to make paint and adhesives many of which are toxic and harmful to the environment. And also it does harm to our drinking water. When these chemicals are washed down drains or disposed of improperly, they can end up in local waterways, where they can have serious consequences for aquatic life and human health. To mitigate these risks, it is important for individuals and businesses in Philadelphia to have the water with an RO Water System."


How Clean is Philadelphia Tap Water Now? Is Philadelphia Tap Water Safe to Drink?

There's no data to state how clear tap water in Philadelphia is. While I have a confirmed answer for it, Better not to drink it without an water purification system for now. As Mike Carroll said "In fact, I think as the hours and days go by, it's very likely it will not enter the Philadelphia water system", but Acrylic latex polymer can also be possibly intruding to our water system.


Is Philadelphia Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Because acrylic latex polymer is a volatile and corrosive liquid that can vaporize quickly, which means that the fumes can spread and evaporate into the air. However, the fumes may persist in the air for some time, depending on the size and severity of the leak. Let's furtherly see what is acrylic acid.


This time over 8,000 gallons of acrylic latex polymer were spilled. The acrylic latex polymer spill Friday night contained methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate, and ethyl acrylate, which are used in the production of glass-like materials but are all considered hazardous, officials said.

The Relationship Between Acrylic Latex Polymer and Acrylic Acid & What is Acrylic Latex Polymer?

Acrylic latexes include pure acrylic resins and ethyl acrylate-styrene copolymers.  It is a type of synthetic polymer that is made from acrylic acid and acrylates. Commonly used in the production of water-based paints and coatings, as well as adhesives, sealants, and textiles.

What is Acrylic Acid?

Acrylic acid is an organic compound, a colorless liquid with a pungent odor, miscible with water, and miscible with ethanol and ether. Its chemical formula is C3H4O2. what is acrylic acid used for? It is used in the production of various chemicals, including acrylic esters, acrylamide, and superabsorbent polymers. Acrylic acid is highly reactive and can polymerize quickly if not properly handled, which can cause it to solidify and become difficult to remove from surfaces. It’s a hazardous chemical and can be harmful to human health if ingested or inhaled. To the human body, it can result in severe irritation and chemical burns to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Additionally, if acrylic acid is released into the environment, it can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life.


So, if there’s an acrylic acid leaking in Philadelphia, it’s very possible that would contaminate our tap water source. And Acrylic acid-polluted drinking water can be very harmful to health, and it is important to avoid drinking it. If you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated with acrylic acid, you should immediately stop using it for drinking, cooking, or any other household purpose. While what if you drink some?


The Harms You Drink Water Polluted by Acrylic Latex Polymer

Although 60,000 gallons of contaminated water has been collected according to the officials’ saying. There are still potential risks that we accidentally drink it, because we don’t what would be in our tap water for now.


Studies have shown that some of the chemicals in acrylic paints, such as formaldehyde and ammonia, can be particularly harmful to water quality. These chemicals can cause a range of problems, from reducing oxygen levels in the water to disrupting the growth and development of fish and other aquatic organisms. In addition, some acrylic paints may contain heavy metals like cadmium and chromium, which can accumulate in the environment over time and pose a risk to human health.


Tables tell you is philadelphia water safe to drink


 Table of Acrylic Latex Polymer Harms on Health

Health Harms Description
Skin irritation Acrylic latex polymer can cause skin irritation, redness, itching, and rashes in some people.
Respiratory problems Inhalation of acrylic latex polymer can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and asthma attacks.
Eye irritation Acrylic latex polymer can cause eye irritation, redness, and watering if it comes into contact with the eyes.
Gastrointestinal problems Ingestion of acrylic latex polymer can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Allergic reactions Some people may develop allergic reactions to acrylic latex polymer, which can cause hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Toxicity Acrylic latex polymer can be toxic if ingested in large amounts, leading to serious health problems such as liver and kidney damage.


Table of Acrylic Acid Harms on Health



Gastrointestinal issues

Drinking water contaminated with acrylic acid can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. These symptoms may be more severe in individuals who have ingested higher amounts of acrylic acid.

Chemical burns

Acrylic acid is a corrosive substance that can cause chemical burns to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes if it comes into contact with them. Drinking water contaminated with acrylic acid can cause chemical burns in the mouth and throat, which can be painful and require medical attention.

Respiratory problems

If acrylic acid is present in the air as a vapor, it can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, inhalation of acrylic acid vapor can lead to chemical pneumonitis, which is a serious inflammation of the lungs.

Long-term health effects

Chronic exposure to acrylic acid has been linked to long-term health effects such as damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. These effects may not be immediately apparent and can develop over time with repeated exposure to acrylic acid-contaminated water.


How to Solve Acrylic Latex Polymer Water Pollution at Home After Chemical Spill in the Delaware River?

Once the contamination has been resolved, the only way you can do with it is to use a water filter, and you should consider using a RO water filtration system to help remove any remaining contaminants from your water.


How Does an RO Water Filter Remove Acrylic Latex Polymer?

Actually an RO water filter can fully filter out Acrylic latex polymer in water, Reverse osmosis (RO) water filters use a semi-permeable membrane to filter out impurities and contaminants from water. The membrane’ pores are tiny enough to only allow only water molecules to pass through, while blocking larger molecules and dissolved acrylic acid.


Acrylic acid is a small molecule with a molecular weight of 72.06 g/mol, while water has a molecular weight of 18 g/mol. Acrylic resin is larger than acrylic acid, so the reverse osmosis membrane can filter out acrylic latex polymer.


During the RO filtration process, water is forced through the semi-permeable membrane at high pressure. The membrane's tiny pores effectively filter out molecules and ions that are larger than water, including acrylic latex polymer.

Effective Ways to Purify and Filter Acrylic Latex Polymer - Using RO Water Purifiers

RO stands for reverse osmosis and is a water filtration process that removes impurities and contaminants from water by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane acts as a barrier, allowing water molecules to pass through while blocking larger particles such as minerals, chemicals, and microbes.

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is philadelphia water safe to drink

T1-5 RO RO Water Filter for Drinking Water with powerful water filtration systems sequentially remove larger particles and impurities such as sand, dust, and rust from drinking water. Removes Chlorine, bad odors, and unpleasant tastes. Filters out dissolved solids, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Some 5-6 stage RO water filtration systems also include an alkaline filter that adds beneficial minerals to the water for a better tasting taste.


Overall, the answer to “is Philly tap water safe to drink?” is clearly no, Acrylic acid can be possibly invading our drinking tap water already, so it’s better not risk our health. And the best way to purify chemicals(like butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, and methyl methacrylate) in our water before drinking it is with an RO water filtration system - from Membrane Solutions' engineer

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