Arsenic Back in the Limelight

Jun 15, 2012

By the sounds of it, arsenic in drinking water is looking to get 15 more minutes of fame in the limelight. But as most consumers will agree, arsenic in drinking water is not something to celebrate or admire. With continual research being done, new studies are finding that arsenic in drinking water is not as insignificant as it was once thought to be. For example, a recent article from Fox 10 News in Phoenix, arsenic even in low doses may actually harm mothers and children. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, drinking water with low levels of arsenic (10 parts per billion) has been deemed nontoxic and safe for human consumption. However, new research shows that this water may actually not be safe to drink after all.

After an order was issued by the EPA in 2006, the arsenic standard for drinking water was set at a limit of 10 parts per billion in order to protect consumers from the adverse effects associated with chronic arsenic exposure. According to the EPA’s website, “Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices. Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.”

Both the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have discovered that drinking water with low levels (10 ppb) of arsenic stimulates “adverse health effects in pregnant and lactating mice, as well as their offspring.” They found that the effects were even greater on mice that were exposed to the arsenic in utero and in early childhood. After giving the mice the water, the pregnant and lactating mothers experienced problems with their lipid metabolism, which caused lower levels of nutrients in their blood and breast milk. These nutrient deficiencies lead to growth and developmental deficiencies in their offspring while they were still breastfeeding.

Water filters and reverse osmosis drinking water systems can effectively reduce harmful contaminants in drinking water. With such news as described above, it is more important than ever to provide safe drinking water to our families. Arsenic does not seem to be an element to play around with according to the research. The health effects are serious and it is found in water all over the country. To reduce the arsenic in your drinking water and be more health-conscious, visit a responsible water treatment company today and find a product that is right for you and your needs.

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