Ohio Begins Testing of Arsenic Levels in Drinking Water

July 23, 2012

The state of Ohio is collecting water samples from homes and public water systems to determine arsenic levels throughout the region

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Test kit

The state of Ohio is determining regions with elevated arsenic levels in groundwater by collecting water samples from homes and public water systems. State health officials are using workshops to educate the public about the dangers of ingesting arsenic and offering tests for arsenic contamination in well water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public water systems, but it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Some state and local governments have rules to protect these supplies; ultimately private owners are responsible for the safety and maintenance of their drinking water.

Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in soil in many parts of the world that leaks into groundwater. Long-term exposure to the inorganic forms causes multiple health issues. Inorganic arsenic is toxic and carcinogenic, harming the central and peripheral nervous systems. It also can cause birth defects and reproductive problems, and is a hazardous byproduct of copper smelting, mining and coal burning. Arsenic has no smell, taste or color when dissolved in water, even in high concentrations. Frequent water testing is imperative to verify its presence and concentration.

Industrial Test Systems Inc. has developed smaller versions of the popular EPA/ETV-verified Quick Arsenic Test Kits to help private well owners test the presence of inorganic arsenic (As+3/As+5) quickly without waiting for lab results. These kits provide accurate results at affordable prices and require no technical expertise. Testing can be done in less than 15 minutes at home using their safe patented chemistry.

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