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N Arsenic in Drinking Water  N

Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance in our environment.  It has been found dissolved in the drinking water we obtain from ground water.   Some areas of Michigan have levels of Arsenic in drinking water greater than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recommended Health Levels.  As of October 31, 2001 the EPA set a new maximum contaminant level of 0.01 mg/L or 10 parts per billion.  Community water supply systems are required by law to meet the new standard as of January 23, 2006.

Arsenic in drinking water can have the following effects:
  • THICKENING & DISCOLORATION of the SKIN
    (Sometimes leading to skin cancer)
  • STOMACH PAIN, NAUSEA, VOMITING &
  • DIARRHEA
  • NUMBNESS in the HANDS & FEET

Arsenic at levels found in well water is not easily absorbed by skin & arsenic in water does not easily disperse into the air, so inhalation concerns are not significant.  Water used for drinking & cooking is a health concern.  Do not forget about the drinking water for your pets.

Note: Water softeners & activated carbon filters do not reduce arsenic levels effectively.  Boiling water only increases the level of Arsenic in the warer.

The only effective treatments for reducing arsenic levels in drinking water are:
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Distillation
  • Activated Alumina