Kate Cline is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Cline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.391.1007.
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.