arsenic in drinking water

Arsenic In Drinking Water – Detection,Prevention & Management


Water, the elixir of life, is an essential component for our well-being. However, lurking in some water sources is a silent threat – arsenic. In this blog, we will dive into what arsenic is, its effects on health, how to identify its presence at home, methods to remove it, and the permissible limits according to global health standards.

What is arsenic in water?

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, soil, and water. While it has various forms, inorganic arsenic is the most harmful, especially when present in drinking water.

Effects of Arsenic in Drinking Water

Consuming water contaminated with arsenic can lead to serious health issues. Long-term exposure has been linked to skin lesions, cancers of the skin, bladder, and lungs, as well as developmental issues in children.

Identifying Arsenic in water at Home

Detecting arsenic in your water is crucial. Some signs include a metallic taste, unusual odor, or changes in water color. However, these are not foolproof methods, so testing is necessary.

You can use arsenic testing kits available in the market or opt for professional testing services. These tests provide accurate results and are relatively simple to use.

How to Remove Arsenic from Drinking Water?

Once arsenic is identified, swift action is necessary to safeguard your health. Several methods can effectively remove arsenic from water:

  1. Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems: These systems use a semipermeable membrane to filter out contaminants, including arsenic.
  2. Activated Alumina Filters: This type of filter adsorbs arsenic and other impurities as water passes through.
  3. Distillation: Boiling water and collecting the vapor can also eliminate arsenic.
  4. Ion Exchange: This method involves swapping arsenic ions with less harmful ions.

What is WHO Recommended limit of arsenic in drinking water?

The permissible limit of arsenic in drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb) according to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. This stringent limit underscores the serious health risks associated with arsenic exposure.

UV Water Purifiers: How they help in removing arsenic?

Ultraviolet (UV) water purifiers are an innovative technology designed to deactivate bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms in water. While they are effective against many contaminants, including some bacteria, viruses, and parasites, they may not be as effective in removing chemical contaminants like arsenic.

UV water purifiers work by exposing water to UV light, which damages the DNA of microorganisms, rendering them incapable of reproduction. However, they do not physically remove contaminants like arsenic. Therefore, for arsenic removal, it’s recommended to use a comprehensive water purification system that specifically targets chemical pollutants in addition to microbial threats. Always ensure that the purification method you choose aligns with the specific contaminants present in your water source.

In conclusion, staying informed about the quality of your drinking water is essential for maintaining good health. Regular testing and choosing appropriate water purification methods will go a long way in safeguarding you and your family from the potential dangers of arsenic contamination.

Also read : Heavy Metals in drinking water

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