Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is found in different places on the earth. It is present in the dirt, in the water and even in the air. Some of it can even be found in our drinking water. Arsenic is present in its inorganic form in various countries around the world, including the US and China. Most of these countries have higher arsenic content in their water because of the bedrocks in those specific areas. Even though the rock and soil formations in an area has an effect on the arsenic contamination levels in drinking water, industrial and pollution has an equal effect.
During a study done by the US Centers for Disease Control had mentioned that every year certain industries and factories in the United States release thousands of pounds of the element into the air in semi-metallic form. The same report went on to mention that the released arsenic will stay in the environment for a long time and overtime that arsenic is captured from the air through rain and snow and it returns back to the land. Eventually that arsenic will enter the ground water and contaminate it.
Consequences of Arsenic Contamination
Arsenic does not have any color, taste or odor. Because of this it can enter the body without getting detected and harm it. The initial symptoms can be stomach aches, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, discoloring skin, numb limbs and can even lead to paralysis & blindness.
Long-term exposure to arsenic, which can happen either due to drinking water contaminated with arsenic or the ingestion of food cooked with arsenic contaminated water has the possibility to end up with chronic arsenic poisoning. As the World Health Organization states this can lead to skin lesions and skin cancer which are the main symptoms.
A 2000 US study done by the country’s Natural Resources Defense Council discovered that over 55 million people in 25 of their states have a high risk of cancer due to drinking water contaminated with arsenic. These numbers have said to be reduced over the last few years due to their Environmental protection agency changing the regulations regarding arsenic control, but they are still concerned about the arsenic levels prevalent today.
How to Remove Arsenic from Water
With Arsenic being such a huge threat to human health, there is a lot of interest as to how to remove arsenic from water. A normal carbon filter that would work with other contaminants such as pesticides, chlorine or pollen will not work with a contaminant such as arsenic. This process will require a water filtration system that is as advanced as a Reverse Osmosis System or an even advanced one.
A Reverse Osmosis System uses a process where high pressure water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane. This captures the contaminants and filters out clear & pure healthy drinking water. The effectiveness of the membrane might be reduced over time but with regular maintenance your RO system will continue to filter out the arsenic out of the water as normal.