Arsenic is natural but is it safe?
Just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for you. Arsenic is one of those things. Like uranium and radium, arsenic is a naturally occurring element that enters your drinking water through the breakdown of minerals in the rock that surrounds bedrock wells. The incidents of high levels of naturally-occurring arsenic in drinking water are location-specific. If the soil conditions around your bedrock well are right, that arsenic can break down and move into the water supply, and ultimately end up in your drinking water.
Arsenic in the environment. Arsenic has been used in synthetic products for a long time. In the early 1900s, it was given as a tonic to leukemia patients and thought to be a remedy to kill cancer cells. In the agricultural industry, this additive was fed to pigs as an anti-parasitic. Recognized as an effective insect repellent, this substance has been used in pressure-treated wood and wood preservatives for decks until the late 1990’s. Airborne arsenic – often found when smelting copper in forges and foundries – is especially dangerous and presents a high risk of lung cancer to those exposed to it. Although toxicity tolerance levels have been drastically reduced by the EPA – from 50 ppb to 10 ppb, this substance is still used in various forms in manufacturing today. It has to be monitored in public water supplies. In fact, a water test is required as part of a real estate inspection.
Arsenic in the body. The majority of poisoning comes from ingesting it; however, it can also be absorbed through the skin and lungs. Studies have shown arsenic poisoning to be linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and strokes. It is especially risky for pregnant women, possibly causing birth defects and also for developing children who may experience IQ impairments. In the body, this substance can be discovered with a simple urine test.
Arsenic in the water. It can seem like an impossible task to completely eliminate the risk of poisoning when it is so much a part of our environment. Which you can control is the water that comes into your home. If you have arsenic in your bedrock well, you should perform a water test annually. Having this contaminant in your water is not good; but if the levels exceed 10 ppb, you need to remove it from your drinking water. We recommend a point-of-entry water system that will treat all of the house water. We can also install a drinking water system at the faucet where drinking water is served. This is a suitable, cost-effective alternative to a whole house arsenic removal system. Ask about our water treatment maintenance program that includes a free annual water test!
There is no way to know arsenic exists in your water without a water test. If you are concerned about your drinking water, call us today to schedule a free consultation.