Despite many warnings from water quality experts, a good number of private well owners still refuse to test their water for dissolved arsenic… and we find that quite alarming. Whether short term or long term, exposure to arsenic usually has negative health effects on humans.
Potential health problems associated with consuming arsenic include various types of cancer which affect organs such as cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver, and prostate. Other health problems may result, as well.
Granted most water coming from public water systems ought to pose no threats (at least with arsenic content…) but no one monitors the amount of arsenic found in ground water and reports to private well owners that their drinking water contains a potentially lethal — and definitely unwanted — contaminant.
So, without warning, arsenic, a colorless, odorless and tasteless semi-metal can creep into a home’s water supply and slowly poison all who drink from the home’s water well.
We have always encouraged private well owners to test for the presence of arsenic in their well water and we now carry a variety of arsenic tests kits in our Water Test Kit Store, all capable of detecting dissolved arsenic levels below the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 10ppb (parts per billion).
Below you will find a list of the full-size Arsenic QuickTM test kits that we currently carry along with their detection ranges:
- Arsenic QuickTM – 0.0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.02, 0.06, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, >0.5, >>0.5 ppm (mg/L)
- Arsenic Econo-QuickTM – 0, 0.010, 0.025, 0.050, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0 ppm (mg/L)
- Arsenic QuickTM II – < 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 20, 25, 30, 40, >50, >80, >120, >160 ppb (µg/L)
- Arsenic Low-Range QuickTM – <2, 4, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, >150, >300 ppb (µg/L)
- Arsenic Low-Range QuickTM II – <0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, >20, >30, >50 ppb (µg/L)
In addition to the full-size Arsenic QuickTM Test Kits, we also carry smaller versions that contain either 2 or 5 tests. See below for our current offerings:
Now that you know where you can obtain an arsenic test kit for drinking water, well water, surface water, soil, and even wood samples, some of you may wonder how arsenic would get into your water in the first place.
Where arsenic comes from
As we said earlier, arsenic has no taste, no odor, and imparts no color when present in a water sample. This naturally occurring element appears on the periodic table as a semi-metal and depending on location, one can easily find it present in rocks, soil, air, animal and/or plant samples.
Various industrial processes (mining, smelting of other metals, burning of coal, etc. may release arsenic into the environment), agricultural activities (certain fertilizers may contain arsenic), and consumer products (certain types of dyes, paints, metal finishing products, soaps/detergents, wood preservatives, etc. may contain arsenic) also contribute to increased environmental arsenic levels.
Water simply has to pass through areas where any of the aforementioned (or other) products or activities exist and it will undoubtedly carry off some of whatever it encountered along its path.
Additionally, as more and more areas with already scarce water resources get further developed, heavy water usage causes aquifer levels to drop and expose igneous (volcanic) rock to air, an event that allows igneous rock to form water soluble arsenic on its surfaces. Then, once water levels get restored (as happens during areas’ rainy months), the water soluble arsenic gets picked up by the water.
Moral of the story
As always, and as will always be the case, the safety of our water supply faces constant dangers from innumerable sources of contamination… and only regular testing of your own water supply with drinking water test kits will help to ensure that the water you drink does not contain any unwanted and/or potentially harmful surprises.