Though the final word on how a 17-yr old boy may have succumb to the evils of arsenic poisoning have not come to light, it has raised the question of how much arsenic the water in a region of Australia really contains.
Up until this point no comprehensive studies of arsenic in water concentrations have taken place in this particular region (Mount Bundy Station, located 100 kilometers south of Darwin) and at least one person thinks that needs to change… Immediately.
An environmental engineer has called for more water testing in the Northern Territory following the death of a teenager of suspected arsenic poisoning.
17-year-old Ben Witham died last week in hospital after becoming ill on Mount Bundy Station, 100 kilometres south of Darwin.
Dr Gavin Mudd, from Monash University says little is known of the levels of arsenic concentrate in local water sources, particularly around retired mines.
“From a basic sustainability or environmental perspective, we should be gathering good data to prove there are no problems,” he said.
“Just because we have no data to show and we believe there’s no problem, that’s a very dangerous approach from a public health perspective.”
Northern Territory Police are preparing a file for the South Australian coroner, who is investigating the death. ( source )
What could the testing reveal?
Most importantly it could reveal whether or not residents in the area have received unusually high amounts of exposure to arsenic through their drinking water. Conversely, and just as important, it could reveal that water in the region has not become contaminated (to an appreciable extent) by local abandoned wells, the likes of which have caused contamination issues in other areas of the country (and world).
How difficult is it to test for arsenic in drinking water?
In a case like this we suggest that residents defer to the advanced equipment and sampling techniques used by qualified/certified water testing professionals. Then, once results (hopefully) come back with in an acceptable range, local residents could use a test kit from the Arsenic Quick line of water test kits to perform field testing to make sure no new sources of arsenic contamination have influenced the quality of their water.
You can find additional information on Arsenic Test Kits on the Arsenic-Test-Kit.Com Web Site.
Arseinc Quick Test Kit — 100 Tests
Methodology Verified by EPA/ETV Program