How Serious is Arsenic in the Drinking Water Supply?

We’ve all likely read murder mysteries or watched a movie drama or two where arsenic has been used to poison an unwanted spouse or arch-enemy. 

Arsenic is found widely in nature and is a natural component of certain rocks, and soils.  It also can be released into the atmosphere through volcanic activity.  Arsenic is also used in industry in the manufacture of wood preservatives and other products.

The presence of arsenic in the drinking water supplies has been of particular concern to the Water Quality Association and to the EPA, both organizations have collaborated to study the issue in greater depth.

To help you understand more, here’s an excerpt from  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.

EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic.  Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.”

According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, arsenic is found in every state, but the incidence of high levels of arsenic are somewhat limited and mostly in the western states, including Montana, Oregon, California and Texas.  A good place to look is the map compiled by the USGS.

Arsenic can be effectively removed by a Pure Water brand distiller.

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