2 million Americans are drinking high levels of arsenic in their well waterqz.com
An ancient sedimentary layer in patches all over the US is rich in arsenic, which is toxic to humans. Nearly 2 million people are getting their water from private wells in the US and are getting exposed to this chemical element surpassing the legal limits.
In rural America, private water wells are outside the municipal water systems. Nearly 15% of the population in the US use private wells and are largely unregulated. These wells are not under the control of the government contamination tests as the public water systems.
The geological location of high concentrations of naturally occurring arsenic mapped against the location of private wells shows that, according to U. Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control, approximately 2 million Americans are drinking water at levels higher than 10ppm, which is the legal limit.
Arsenic is a dangerous toxin, and children exposed to it in high levels have low IQ scores. In fact, arsenic even in low levels affects fetal growth resulting in preterm birth. Pregnant mothers who drank water with arsenic had babies born with a series of problems.
Arsenic is a recognized carcinogen, and it is assessed that women consuming it each day will get bladder or lung cancer. It was found that 50 or every 100,000 women in 2014 in the US had lung cancer, and 8 of each 100,000 had bladder cancer.
Arsenic is not reduced by boiling water or even by adding chlorine. Thus, the private well owners are recommended to distill their water or consider treating it with a reverse-osmosis filter.