Water Basics

What are the current allowable levels for Arsenic in drinking water according to the EPA?

As of January 17th, 2001, the EPA ordered that allowable levels of arsenic in drinking water be reduced to 10 parts per billion. This represents an 80% reduction from the arsenic standard established in 1942, of 50 parts per billion. Environmentalists have argued for years that the arsenic standard should be lowered. In 2000 the EPA proposed going to 5 parts per billion as demanded by many environmentalists and those in the health field. Mining and chemical industries had opposed changing the standard because it is expected to be used as the standard for cleaning up toxic waste sites. Water municipalities had also complained because of the cost of making improvement, estimated at $5 billion for capital costs alone.

Efforts to tighten the federal requirement gained momentum after a 1999 National Academy of Sciences report found that arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, lung and skin cancer and may cause kidney and liver cancer!

The new standard is now in line with the standard for the World Health Organization. All the 54,000 U.S. community water systems, serving about 254 million people are subject to the new standard but only about 5% or 3,000 systems serving 13 million people, have to upgrade their systems to meet the new standard. Communities in parts of the Midwest and New England that depend on underground sources for drinking water will be affected the most.

Steam-distillation is the best method of removing arsenic from drinking water and Pure Water Appliances have excellent 3rd party tests to back up these claims.

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