Research on arsenic can be broken down into three general areas -- health effects, treatment options and cost evaluations.There are more than 1,000 published research papers on health effects alone. This section provides an over-view of the most prominent research related to these areas which have impacted EPA’s decisions. There also are links to research organizations that can provide access to the specific projects conducted.
Historical and On-going Research
Current Legislative Issues
In addition to officially sponsored research projects being performed throughout the world (see Section V for more information on research), many universities, government organizations and industry professionals are active in providing solutions to this issue. The following papers have been presented on arsenic treatment, health effects or policy issues at various tradeshows and conferences throughout the United States.
White papers on Arsenic
Consumers unwilling to drink arsenic contaminated water are demanding a more rapid implementation. Publicly owned utilities, however, will be held hostage from implementing a more rapid solution due to government approval cycles, annual budgets, required biding processes and slow implementation schedules. As a result, in-home treatment systems, which immediately can be installed, are a very popular treatment option for individual homeowners. Other advantages such as low implementation/operating costs and improved flexibility make the POU/POE approach option appealing.
Current Solutions and Practices
Arsenic is a naturally occurring metal found in rocks and soil, which can be released into the environment through geological events such as volcanic activity and erosion. Other releases of arsenic into the environment occur through industrial processes such as production of paints, metals, soaps, dyes, drugs, semi-conductors and wood preservatives, as well as in mining and smelting.
General Information and Background
A wide range of technologies, some new and some more traditional, is being marketed and applied for arsenic treatment. Each of these technologies has specific properties impacting its suitability for any particular scale of application. While rare, the ability of a single water treatment technology to perform effectively across many treatment platforms is not unique.
Cross-platform viability of treatment technologies
In February, NSF International arranged for many experts to cover the issues and facets of point-of-use and point-of-entry (POU/POE), how they can be used for PWS compliance and other opportunities for the manufacturers and users. This article is intended to provide opinions and a broad conference overview.
Some really important research going on right now, which is critical for the point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) industry in order for POU/POE treatment to become an accepted practice for small public water system compliance. It seems as though we are closer than ever to finding acceptance in this arena.
No one wants to drink radium, nitrates or arsenic. However, if not for some technologically advanced methods of removing these contaminants, we all might be sipping on some very unhealthy water.
While high concentrations of arsenic are found mostly in the Western region of the United States, parts of the Midwest and New England show levels of arsenic
that exceed the newly approved U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb). Individuals not willing to wait for their water system's compliance with the arsenic standard currently are looking for treatment systems to use in their homes. POU and even point-of-entry (POE) treatment systems are an attractive solution for these individuals. The process should begin with a basic understanding of arsenic contamination and the element's chemistry, a complete water quality analysis of the application-specific water and the knowledge of available technologies.