Arsenic and Lead

General Information

Arsenic may be present in well water from natural deposits in rocks and soil, water, air, and plants, or as a contaminant from semiconductor manufacturing, petroleum manufacturing, wood preservatives, animal feed additives, or herbicides.

It has the potential to cause skin damage, circulatory system, pulmonary, immunological, neurological, and endocrine problems, and increased risk of bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate cancer.

Lead is typically present in drinking water due to corrosion of brass fixtures and lead solder used to join copper tubing. High levels can cause developmental problems in infants and children, and kidney and blood pressure problems in adults.

Corrective Action

If you have high levels of lead, flush your water before drinking. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain.

Hot water generally contains more lead than cold water. Use only cold water for drinking and cooking. Never use hot water to make baby formula. Rather, make it with cold water and then heat the formula.

Most arsenic and lead can be removed from water by reverse-osmosis filtration.

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