Arsenic in well water

Well waterArsenic is leached into groundwater mainly from natural mineral deposits.

A recent study found an association between environmental exposure to arsenic, found mainly in drinking water, and type 2 diabetes. Among 93 people who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, mean total urinary arsenic levels were 26% higher than in non-diabetic participants the researchers found.

Arsenic levels in drinking water are typically much lower in the U.S., where the Environmental Protection Agency has set a limit of 10 mcg/L for public water supplies. However, private well water is not covered by the EPA standard and arsenic levels may be higher, particularly in southwestern states. They estimated that about 13 million Americans live in areas where public water systems exceed the EPA standard for arsenic, not counting an unknown number with private water supplies. People drinking well water, particularly in the southwestern U.S., should have their water tested for arsenic.

via Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Navas-Acien A, et al., “Arsenic exposure and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in U.S. adults” JAMA 2008; 300: 814-22.

via MedPage Today, August 19, 2008

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