The state of New Hampshire has adopted a new, lower drinking water standard for arsenic after University of New Hampshire (UNH) researchers found Granite Staters would be willing to invest in water treatment infrastructure improvements that make drinking water safer and avoid the substantial negative health effects of high arsenic levels.
Arsenic naturally occurs in ground water, surface water, and many foods. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies arsenic as a human carcinogen; consuming water containing arsenic over a long period of time increases risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer as well as cardiovascular disease. It also has been linked to increased risk of adverse birth outcomes, developmental disabilities, and loss of cognitive skills.
In 2018, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services asked UNH researchers to estimate the economic value of lowering allowable arsenic content in New Hampshire’s municipal water systems from 10 ppb to 5 ppb. While beneficial for health reasons, tightening the water standard would result in additional treatment costs.
This material is based upon work supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, under award number 1015411, and the state of New Hampshire.
For the full story read the UNH article.