The Dangers of Arsenic in Drinking Water

arsenic in drinking water

Arsenic is colorless, odorless and tasteless. A water test is necessary to determine if you are at risk.

Recent evidence from a region in Chile suggests a link between arsenic in drinking water and tuberculosis. Further research is needed to determine whether the element makes TB more deadly or whether it makes people who ingest it more susceptible to the disease. Tuberculosis used to be the leading cause of death in the United States. Today it is much less common here, but still affects people in other countries – especially those with weaker immune systems like children and elderly folk. Though TB is rare among Americans, we thought it would still be good to share with you the other, equally serious, dangers of water contaminated with arsenic.

Currently, the EPA has set the maximum allowable level for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb), and is considering lowering that limit, as ingesting arsenic can have dangerous consequences. A study by the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 reported that arsenic is linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer, as well as kidney and liver cancer. It also harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems.

Since arsenic is undetectable by human senses, how do you make sure your water is arsenic-free? Well, not everyone is at risk. So first, test your water for arsenic to determine if your levels are above or below the current maximum allowable standard. According to the CDC, currently about 80 percent of Americans are drinking water that contains arsenic at levels less than 2 ppb – well below the standard set by the EPA. However, two percent exceed 20 ppb. If you are within that 2 percent, it’s definitely time to get a water filter that removes arsenic. ┬áThese are easily found by visiting and typing “arsenic” into our new-and-improved search box. Yep, it’s that simple folks.

In addition to reducing arsenic, the Pentek RO-3500 Reverse Osmosis filter also reduces hexavalent chromium – a carcinogen that’s been found in the water supplies of 31 U.S. cities.