National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
Trace Elements National Synthesis Project
Arsenic in groundwater of the United States
Arsenic in groundwater is largely the result of minerals dissolving from weathered rocks and soils. Several types of cancer have been linked to arsenic in water. In 2001 the US Environmental Protection Agency lowered the maximum level of arsenic permitted in drinking water from 50 micrograms per liter (ug/L) to 10 ug/L.
The USGS has developed maps that show where and to what extent arsenic occurs in groundwater across the country. The current maps are based on samples from 31,350 wells. Widespread high concentrations were found in the West, the Midwest, parts of Texas, and the Northeast. See Ryker (2001) for more information.
See Focazio and others (2000) for the use of available data for characterizing arsenic concentrations in public-water supply systems.
See Gronberg (2011) for updated arsenic map.
Estimating water supply arsenic levels in the New England Bladder Cancer Study: Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(9). (2011)
In Small Doses: Arsenic: Dartmouth, A ten minute movie about the risks associated with exposure to potentially harmful amounts of arsenic in private well water. (2010)
Assessment of arsenic concentrations in domestic well water, by town, in Maine, 2005-09: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5199, 68 p. (2010)
Modeling the probability of arsenic in groundwater in New England as a tool for exposure assessment: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 40, no. 11, pp. 3578-3585. (2006)
Bladder cancer mortality and private well use in New England: an ecological study: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 60, pp 168-172. (2006)
The influence of geology and land use on arsenic in stream sediments and ground waters in New England, USA: Applied Geochemistry, vol. 21, pp. 1482-1497. (2006)
Arsenic in groundwater in Eastern New England: occurrence, controls, and human health implications: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 37, pp. 2075-2083. (2003)
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