Arsenic has been linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. Arsenic is also harmful to the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems. State and federal environmental regulations stipulate safe drinkable water with arsenic level of 10 parts per billion. Currently, arsenic lab results in the area have found 21 parts per billion.
Pueblo Unido CDC is pioneering the introduction of Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System for rural affordable housing in the eastern Coachella Valley where access to municipal water in unavailable. At San Antonio del Desierto, ongoing testing for the last year has successfully demonstrated its effectiveness in removing arsenic from the groundwater.
High arsenic levels can also come from certain fertilizers and animal feeding operations. Industry practices such as copper smelting, mining and coal burning also contribute to arsenic in our environment.
Higher levels of arsenic tend to be found more in ground water sources than in surface water sources (i.e., lakes and rivers) of drinking water. The demand on ground water from municipal systems and private drinking water wells may cause water levels to drop and release arsenic from rock formations.
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