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Water, we all familiar with it as the most essential need of all living things, if I would say it has more important role for us then just being a drink, will not be wrong. 70% of human body made up of water and in our surroundings, on earth water occupy 70% of the earth but the drinking water characteristics are different then the water present commonly around us. We get drinking water from the source of underground water or collected on the surface for drinking, having different healthy minerals and as well as contains some percentage of inadequate water minerals for humans.
Arsenic is one of the chemical found in more percentage in groundwater then in the surface water. As the major amount of people around the world use groundwater like water available in wells or the water pump out to drink and to use in the other routine works.
Arsenic which is consider as a notoriously poisonous metalloid, found free in nature and it is use as pesticides, herbicides and in various alloys. Arsenic although found sometimes native in nature but also can be found in metals like silver, nickel, sulfides etc. the more percentage of Arsenic has also found in food also.
The toxicity of Arsenic to insects, bacteria and fungi led its use ad a wood preservative, due to the high level of toxicity use of Arsenic as wood preservation has been banded.
Other applications of Arsenics are still in use as it consider helpful in animal feed particularly in US, in various agricultural insecticides and especially up to 2% of Arsenic is used in lead alloys for lead shot and bullets.
In matter of fact, Arsenic and many of its components are potent poisons.
The report from Congress emphasizes on the Arsenic in drinking water as it is the direct source of taking it in with more percentage therefore, struggling to investigate the lower level of Arsenic which could be less harmful for the common people, with in the cost effective measure for research.
Arsenic contamination of groundwater has led to a massive epidemic of Arsenic poisoning in different countries around the world as compare to United States wich is found 1ppb( part per billion), and in rest of the countries it has been found around 10ppb and even 50ppb in some countries like in Taiwan.
The high level of Arsenic causes Caner specially the risk of skin caner is high. EPA which is US Environment Protection Agency, adopted different standards and issued drinking water regulatory since 1975 to till now. There are other originations also which are helping in this matter some of them are EPA, SOWA, SAB and other heath related and water authorities. All are investigating to adopt the level of Arsenic in water and to assess the risks in such a drinking water.
The different levels and standards are 3, 5, 10 to 20ppb, but rules are being delayed till now due to unsatisfactory reports , therefore the matter has become controversial and is in debates.
Concluding my summary I would say, from 1942 to till now the risk of health on drinking water has been increase and no rules has been passed for the standard level of Arsenic and this can be consider as the failure of the technology and organizations according to this Congress report till November, 2001. However the investigation is essential to assess the level of risk in order to minimize the risk of health.