Lots of arsenic has been found in the deeper groundwater at several locations in the Netherlands that exceed the recommended threshold values. The locally high concentrations most likely have a natural cause. They mainly occur in natural groundwater types that have not been influenced by humans via fertilization from agriculture.
What is arsenic?
Arsenic, also often referred to as arsenic, is a heavy metal with a gray color. It often occurs in nature bound to other elements, plants and animal tissues, and rocks, water, or earth. There are 41 isotopes of arsenic, but only one is stable; the rest is radioactive. Arsenic is in the periodic table with symbol As and atomic number 33.
How does arsenic enter drinking water?
The WHO guidelines for drinking water quality states that arsenic concentration in drinking water may not exceed 10 μg (micrograms) per liter. This is an absolute maximum: the aim is to have no arsenic in drinking water at all. The European Food Safety Authority does not establish a tolerable intake whatsoever; arsenic is so toxic that the intake must be As Low As Reasonable Achievable (ALARA). Because arsenic is very common in nature, it can be found in the air, soil, and water. Arsenic is found almost everywhere in the soil. In some countries, such as India and Bangladesh, the concentration of arsenic in groundwater is so high that chronic arsenic poisoning occurs, resulting in many deaths each year.
Traces of arsenic can also be found in certain foods such as rice and Chinese medicines (often banned in the Netherlands).
What are the health effects of arsenic?
Arsenic is extremely poisonous: it is not without reason that it is most commonly used in history for poison murder. Napoleon Bonaparte, among others, was killed by arsenic poisoning.
In acute arsenic poisoning, the patient starts vomiting and experiencing diarrhea after about thirty minutes. The blood pressure drops, the iron level in the blood drops, the patient becomes confused, tired, and may have seizures. The patient may go into a coma a few hours after ingestion. Death often occurs quickly.
Ingestion of small amounts of arsenic over a long period causes symptoms resembling gastrointestinal inflammation:
- abdominal cramps.
There are also other symptoms that may indicate chronic arsenic poisoning:
- paved patches on the skin;
- dark spots on the skin (hyperpigmentation);
- hair loss;
- excessive sweating;
- excessive saliva;
- blood in the urine.
It is very important not to drink water with high arsenic concentrations because of the high toxicity of arsenic; only drink purified water and make sure your tap water is healthy. Filter your tap water with ZeroWater to ensure that the water is clean.
Does ZeroWater filter arsenic from tap water?
Yes, ZeroWater filters 93% arsenic from tap water. The Premium 5-stage Ionization Changer Filtration System removes more impurities than the standard 2-stage filters. During the test, ZeroWater had 150 liters of filtered water (double the prescribed use) tested by an independently certified external laboratory. The test results are based on the NSF/ANSI test protocol of flow-through equipment for contaminants listed under the national primary drinking water standards.