Why should you care about arsenic in your drinking water?
Pretty simple answer, really. It can kill you, or at the very least, cause long-term damage to your internal organs.
In a nutshell, arsenic in ground water comes from a reaction between certain types of igneous (volcanic) rock and oxygen when a water table (aquifer) drops. That reaction liberates “free” arsenic and once the water table rises again, that “free” arsenic gets carried away by the water.
As for whether or not arsenic in drinking water can harm a person, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has stated that water systems may NOT dispense drinking water with arsenic in concentrations greater than 10 ppb as of January 2006.
Below please find a brief list of SOME of the illnesses and conditions associated with consuming arsenic in drinking water:
- Long term exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostate.
- Short term exposure to high doses of arsenic can cause other adverse health effects including death.
For more detailed information on the adverse effects on human health associated with exposure to arsenic, please refer to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry’s Arsenic Assessment.
How do you know if you have arsenic in your drinking water?
If you have any reason to suspect that you may have arsenic in your drinking water, we suggest you contact a certified water testing laboratory such as Suburban Water Testing or by contacting the State Certification Officers for Drinking Water Laboratories from your state for a current list of labs. You can find a list of State Certification Officers on this page.
For day-to-day arsenic in drinking water testing, because arsenic levels do fluctuate with heavy/light rain events since large amounts of rain and periods of drought affect aquifer levels, you may want to take a look at the at-home drinking water water test kits for arsenic on the following sites:
How does the Crystal Quest Whole House Arsenic Filter Work?
Although we will leave the serious details to the folks over at Filter Water, we can tell you that this system uses multiple stages of filtration, uses an NSF certified component for arsenic removal, and has a separate tank that uses KDF-85, KDF-55 and GAC (granular activated carbon) to remove many other typical and atypical drinking water contaminants.