The need for congressional action to finance arsenic reductions in drinking water

J Environ Health. 2012 Nov;75(4):20-5.

Abstract

Many public water systems in the U.S. are unsafe because the communities cannot afford to comply with the current 10 parts per billion (ppb) federal arsenic standard for drinking water. Communities unable to afford improvements remain vulnerable to adverse health effects associated with higher levels of arsenic exposure. Scientific and bipartisan political consensus exists that the arsenic standard should not be less stringent than 10 ppb, and new data suggest additional adverse health effects related to arsenic exposure through drinking water. Congress has failed to reauthorize the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program to provide reliable funding to promote compliance and reduce the risk of adverse health effects. Congress's recent ad hoc appropriations do not allow long-term planning and ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Investing in water infrastructure will lower health care costs and create American jobs. Delaying necessary upgrades will only increase the costs of improvements over time.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis
  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Drinking Water / analysis
  • Drinking Water / standards*
  • Environmental Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation / economics*
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • United States
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*

Substances

  • Drinking Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic