NRDC: Arsenic and Old Laws
A Scientific and Public Health Analysis of Arsenic Occurrence in Drinking Water, Its Health Effects, and EPA's Outdated Arsenic Tap Water Standard
This February 2000 report analyzes data collected by water systems in 25 states between 1980 and 1998 and compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The study finds that millions of Americans drink tap water from systems that have been shown to contain arsenic, a known toxin and carcinogen, at average levels that pose unacceptable cancer risks. This report includes a summary of the adverse health effects of arsenic in drinking water by Dr. Paul Mushak, an eminent expert on the subject, based upon a 1999 National Academy of Sciences report. The report also contains detailed recommendations on what the EPA and water systems should do to reduce arsenic in drinking water and safeguard the health of the American public.
NOTE: While the information concerning the arsenic standard was correct at the time this report was published, the EPA has since reduced the arsenic standard for drinking water from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb.