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Arsenic In Los Angeles Water: Should You Be Concerned?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate about 2.1 million people in the U.S. may be getting their drinking water from private wells with high concentrations of arsenic. While arsenic naturally occurs in nature, high levels can be a cause for worry, especially when it comes to the drinking water you consume. 

How to Remove Arsenic From Well Water

The most effective way to treat arsenic contaminated water is through a specialty filter customized to a whole home water filter, so that any accompanying contaminants, like fluoride or TDS, can be effectively removed along with the arsenic. Culligan offers a variety of products with layers of media filtration specifically designed to treat and reduce arsenic in water.

Effects of Arsenic 

According to the Public Health Department of Los Angeles County, the toxicity of arsenic to humans varies across the different forms of arsenic. It is difficult to predict whether arsenic in your drinking water may affect you. The risks depend on: 

  • The amount of arsenic in the water.
  • How much of the contaminated water you consume. 
  • For how long you have been consuming contaminated water. 
  • Your individual sensitivity to arsenic. 

The CDC states, “Long-term exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic in drinking water has been associated with skin disorders and increased risks for diabetes, high blood pressure, and several types of cancer.”

Carcinogenicity Of Arsenic

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), arsenic is the only carcinogen known to cause cancer through respiratory and gastrointestinal exposure. NLM also reports several studies noting arsenics association to the following: 

  • Skin Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Leukemia

Non-carcinogenic Effects Of Arsenic

In addition to its well-known carcinogenic effects, according to NLM arsenic exposure has been associated with various non-carcinogenic health effects. Arsenic’s impact extends beyond cancer, causing diseases and disorders including: 

  • Diabetes
  • Skin Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Fetal Mortality and Preterm Birth
  • Verbal Deficits in Children
  • Long-Term Memory Deficits 
  • Neurobehavioral Abnormalities 

How Arsenic Enters Your California Drinking Water

You may be wondering how arsenic made its way into your drinking water in the first place. Arsenic is a natural element found in rocks, soil, air, water, plants, and animals. However, it can also be found as a part of inorganic and organic chemical compounds. 

  • Organic – In this case, the term simply means the arsenic compound contains carbon. There is no relation to organic farming practices.
  • Inorganic – Research indicates that toxicity levels are higher and associated health effects are more severe with inorganic arsenic.

Arsenic in drinking water is a widespread concern, with higher levels often found in groundwater sources like wells compared to surface sources such as lakes or reservoirs. Various factors contribute to the increased presence of arsenic in drinking water, including contamination from mining and fracking, coal-fired power plants, arsenic-treated lumber, and the use of arsenic-containing pesticides. These activities can lead to water, air, and soil contamination, ultimately finding its way into your home’s drinking water. 

How Do You Know If Your Drinking Water Is Contaminated With Arsenic?

A simple water test will determine if your water is contaminated with arsenic. However, it’s as simple as setting up an appointment with your local Culligan dealer and letting the water experts do the rest! Culligan offers FREE water tests that don’t require you to leave the house. Once your water expert arrives, the process of completing an analysis of your water, fixtures, plumbing and water-using appliances only takes 30 minutes. If you prefer to go the contactless route, Culligan can test an outdoors spigot, pick up your sample, or you can drop a sample off at your local dealer. This quick and easy process will tell you what contaminants are plaguing your home’s water.