Is Your Water Toxic?

By: Kevin Le, Reporter

What Are The Bad Things In Water?

There are many bad things in water like lead, pathogens, arsenic, radioactive contaminants, and more.  Lead and pathogens are usually the big bad guy in water, but, what people aren’t highlighting enough is arsenic.

What Is Arsenic And Where Can It Be?

Arsenic is a mineral in the earth’s crust. It is widely distributed in water, air, land, and as well as edible plants. Arsenic is highly toxic in its natural inorganic form, and oftentimes, an individual can receive high levels of inorganic arsenic from drinking contaminated water, preparing foods with contaminated water, irrigating crops, and industrial processes.

Arsenic can be in several countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Mexico, and the United States. These countries have a naturally high level of inorganic arsenic in their groundwater. For more detail, this chart of the U.S represents the levels of arsenic in underground water in each state.

How Can Arsenic Effect Your Health?

As a confirmed carcinogen (A thing that causes cancer), inorganic arsenic is the main source of chemical contamination in drinking water worldwide. In the initial stages of acute arsenic poisoning, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea occur. They are then followed by numbness, tingling, muscle cramping, and death in severe cases.

The first signs of long-term exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic are usually displayed in the skin. Usually, these changes include pigmentation changes, skin lesions, and patches on the palms and soles of the feet (hyperkeratosis). These are the result of minimum exposure of approximately five years and maybe a precursor to skin cancer. long-term exposure to arsenic may also cause other cancers like bladder or lung cancer. Other additional health effects that may be associated with long-term contact with arsenic include development problems, diabetes, pulmonary conditions, and cardiovascular disorders. Arsenic exposure has been linked to increased infant deaths and pregnancy outcomes. Exposure during childhood has been linked to pediatric cancers, lung diseases, a heart attack, and kidney failure. Numerous studies have also shown negative impacts of arsenic exposure on cognitive abilities, intelligence, and memory.

How Can You Prevent Arsenic From Getting Into Your Drinking Water?

In my opinion, the best way to prevent arenic from going into your drinking water is to buy some arsenic filters. There are many ways a filter can filter arsenic. These ways include oxidation, reverse osmosis, coagulation-precipitation, absorption, ion exchange, and membrane techniques. I recommend the Black Berkey purification element that filters with reverse osmosis. From experience with this filter, the water that comes out of it tastes clean and fresh. For more information about the Black Berkey purification element, please click here.


“Water is the driving force of all nature.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

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