Arsenic Water Filter
Why and When You Need One
by Nancy Hearn, CNC

dangers of arsenic exposure

An arsenic water filter can significantly reduce the health risks associated with extended exposure to arsenic in drinking water.

Arsenic is considered to be a highly toxic carcinogen.  It is not readily dissolved in water and it has no color, taste or odor. Thus, it is hard to detect without testing the water.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Studies have linked long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.”

Other health risks of ingesting arsenic include cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological and endocrine effects.


Arsenic Standards for Drinking Water

Arsenic  is found naturally in soil, rocks, air, water, plants and animals. Unnaturally high levels of arsenic get into the environment as a by-product of mining, smelting, or agricultural  applications where arsenic is used as an industrial poison. 

In 2001, the EPA lowered the standard for arsenic in drinking water to 10 parts per billion (ppb).  Previously, the standard was 50 ppb. 

However, a more recent study published by the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Geisel School of Medicine ant Dartmouth showed that the current arsenic limit of 10 ppb may still cause significant harm to pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers and their babies.


How Arsenic Gets Into the Water

High levels of arsenic are more likely to be found in ground water than in surface water sources (lakes and rivers) of drinking water around the world.

In the U.S., municipal water facilities must meet the EPA standards for drinking water. Thus, arsenic is usually not a problem with tap water.  The most common source of arsenic exposure is from drinking water from private wells.

In fact, arsenic in well water is considered the most significant health issue related to drinking water quality in the U.S. Private water wells in the U.S. provide drinking water to about 43 million people.

For this reason, we recommend that everyone who has a private well get their water tested regularly for arsenic.   If a high level of arsenic is detected, the solution is to get an arsenic water filter.


Arsenic Water Filter Recommendations

Arsenic is removed with most fluoride water filters, which have the specific media required for fluoride removal.  The fluoride cartridge is usually offered as an add-on to multi-stage water filter systems.

Our highest recommended products for arsenic filtration are the Crystal Quest and Berkey water filters.

Crystal Quest

Crystal Quest is a reputable, long-term company that offers a number of options for several filter types, including countertop, under sink, inline, refrigerator, and whole house.

Read more about the Crystal Quest arsenic removal filters here.


Berkey

Berkey offers a variety of portable water dispensers that provide clean drinking water for daily home and emergency use.

The Berkey fluoride filter cartridge effectively reduces fluoride, arsenic, MTBE, and other heavy metal ions, as well as removing all the other contaminants with their comprehensive filtration media.

Read more about the Berkey water filters here.

Note:  Be sure to add on the Fluoride Filter set of 2 cartridges to the Berkey water dispenser system you choose so that you get the added arsenic and fluoride removal.


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