Information on arsenic
When it comes to contaminant removal concerns in the U.S., arsenic is one of the
first to come to mind. Prolonged exposure to this chemical element, oftentimes found
in groundwater sources, can lead to cancer, so removing it from drinking water is a
human health priority.
A recent study found that treating arsenic in drinking water not only prevented
health effects, it also helped reduce the effects of past exposure. The study,
reported in Environmental Health News, was conducted in Bangladesh, which faces
widespread arsenic contamination in its drinking water wells. One result of
prolonged arsenic exposure is skin lesions, which can become cancerous. The study
results showed that reduced exposure to arsenic “significantly curbed the severity
and prevalence of the lesions.” Previously, it was unknown whether lesions would
improve if arsenic exposure were reduced.
This is promising news for Bangladesh, where millions of people are exposed to
arsenic in their drinking water. This study reemphasizes the importance of testing
and water treatment not only in Bangladesh, but also in other areas around the world
affected by arsenic contamination.