What is It?
-Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance in nature and is generally formed in several compounds with other chemical elements.
-There are two main forms of arsenic: inorganic arsenic & organic.
-Inorganic Arsenic in the most toxic.
-It is usually combined with oxygen, chlorine or sulfur.
Why is it in the environment?
-Arsenic is introduced into the water table through the dissolution of minerals and ores.
-Industrial wastes can also lead to the release of Arsenic into water.
-Arsenic is most commonly used commercially in wood preservatives, like deck finisher.
-Organic Arsenic is generally associated with seafood consumption and is much less harmful to human health, as it can be eliminated by the body.
How does it affect water quality?
-Contaminates clean drinking water, causing it to be poisonous.
How does it affect adults?
-Short-term Arsenic poisoning may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, loss of appetite, shaking, cough and headache.
-Long-term exposure may lead to a variety of symptoms including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vascular disease.
-Arsenic is also known to cause a variety of cancers including: kidney, bladder, lung, prostate and liver cancer.
-Arsenic in drinking water at low levels can take many years for health effects to be found.
How does it affect children?
-Children are equally effected.
What are the EPA regulations?
-0.010mg/l as of 01/23/06