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WHAT IS ARSENIC?
Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical element within the Earth’s crust. Arsenic’s symbol is As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has various allotropes, but only the gray form, which has a metallic appearance, is important to industry
WHAT IS ARSENIC USED FOR?
The primary use of arsenic is in alloys of lead (for example, in car batteries and ammunition). Arsenic is a common n-type dopant in semiconductor electronic devices. It is also a component of the III-V compound semiconductor gallium arsenide. Arsenic and its compounds, especially the trioxide, are used in the production of pesticides, treated wood products, herbicides, and insecticides. These applications are declining with the increasing recognition of the toxicity of arsenic and its compounds [Wikipedia].
Arsenic was used as a poison because it is odorless and tasteless. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that manufacturers voluntarily stopped producing arsenic-treated wood products after learning about its high toxicity.
WHERE IS ARSENIC FOUND?
Arsenic is present in the atmosphere and soil. It makes its way into groundwater, air, and soil. Low levels of arsenic in the soil, water, and air can be ingested by plants as they grow, thereby arsenic may exist in the foods we consume.
HOW DOES ARSENIC GET INTO WATER?
Arsenic can find its way into your water through natural means, industrial and agricultural runoff. Water supply sites near a manufacturing center, industrial plant, or large farm can get contaminated with Arsenic.
Arsenic often accumulates in water supplies surrounded by bedrock. “According to a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Michigan are prone to high concentrations of arsenic-heavy bedrock. According to an article published in the Arizona Water Resource, aquifers in the Southwest are susceptible to arsenic contamination due to the area’s geological and climate conditions.”
Private well owners are susceptible to arsenic water contamination near orchards that use old pesticides and industrial equipment. Natural phenomena like wildfires can spread ash containing high levels of arsenic.
HOW TO FILTER ARSENIC IN DRINKING WATER
The EPA set the maximum contaminant level for arsenic in your drinking water at 10 parts per billion or 10 micrograms per liter. If the arsenic concentration in your private well exceeds or is at that level, take action per the EPA’s recommendation.
According to the EPA, the best arsenic reduction method depends on the level of iron in your drinking water. Many effective point-of-use (POU) systems and point-of-entry (POE) systems exist that can treat your drinking water for arsenic contamination.
In situations where it is not feasible or too costly, homeowners should consider installing water filters designed to reduce or eliminate harmful contaminants like Arsenic from the water supply.
Water filtration systems that use Reverse Osmosis effectively reduce the amount of lead in contaminated water. These RO systems reduce or eliminate majority of contaminants like microscopic level compounds, PFAs, Micro-plastics, bacteria, viruses, chlorine, lead, and microorganisms. These are available as counter top or under the sink models. The filtered water is good for drinking and cooking.
Some owners believe that a RO based water purifier is expensive to maintain. However with proper monitoring of the system it need not be expensive. The TDSBot makes your RO System smart. It monitors water quality in real time, alert you for changes in quality, gives predictive maintenance alerts and most important it lets you know when to change filters based on water quality and volume of water filtered.