If iron and its cohorts are personified as a gang, consider
arsenic a ninja.
Tasteless. Odorless. Damaging.
Arsenic may sound like the poison of choice for a sinister James
Bond-type villain, but it should also be of concern for private
well water owners. In fact, the James Bond analogy is not that far
off given the consequences of excessive arsenic contamination. The
Natural Resources Defenses Council (NRDC) lists multiple forms of
cancer and skin damage among the very worst effects of prolonged
exposure to incredibly high levels of arsenic.
As a contaminant, it can occur naturally in soil and plants, or
be found in industrial applications.
According to the EPA, "[a]pproximately 90 percent of industrial
arsenic in the U.S. is currently used as a wood preservative, but
arsenic is also used in paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps and
semi-conductors. High arsenic levels can also come from certain
fertilizers and animal feeding operations. Industry practices such
as copper smelting, mining and coal burning also contribute to
arsenic in our environment…"
On top of its multiple sources, arsenic is found in many forms.
The two most common of those variations are arsenic
+3 and arsenic +5. Arsenic +3
is actually the more toxic of the pair, but a process called
chemical speciation is needed to determine the difference between
Arsenic continues to be a master of deception, and also has more
than one way to find its way into private well systems. Most
frequently, natural deposits in the earth can bleed into
underground aquifers. Groundwater supplies in Minneapolis,
Minnesota for instance can have very high readings of arsenic in
part due to its location on a glacial path. In British Columbia, arsenic-containing bedrock formations are
to be blamed.
What nature starts, pesticides, herbicides and
agricultural/industrial runoff can finish. That runoff becomes
particularly aggressive during the spring, after snow melts and
rains cause low-level flooding. Groundwater can then be an
unsuspecting highway for arsenic transportation as it dumps into
wells, both private and municipal.
People worried about arsenic should first invest in a test. The
Culligan man specializes in targeting and neutralizing clans of
contaminants like the arseninja…we mean arsenic. If arsenic
is found in a water source, a Culligan Whole House Arsenic Reduction Filter can offer
peace of mind from these unseen water warriors.
Remember, the Culligan Man is only one click or call away and can be at your home faster than
a throwing star.