Arsenic – The Silent Contaminant

Blog, Bottled Water, Environmental Issues, FAQ, Reverse-Osmosis

What is arsenic?  Arsenic is a highly poisonous metallic element and considered a contaminant in the drinking water.  Arsenic is found naturally in rocks and soil, plants, air and water.  It can also be released into the environment from some agricultural and industrial sources. It is primarily found in two forms: trivalent (arsenic III) and pentavalent (arsenic V).  Arsenic is tasteless, colorless and odorless.   Drinking water accounts for most human arsenic exposures worldwide.


According to Des Moines Water Works, the water treatment facility for Des Moines, Iowa, the regulated maximum amount allowable by the EPA is 10 parts per billion (ppb).  Exposure to arsenic, even in lower amounts has been found to be very harmful.  Many of the homes in the rural central Iowa use wells as their source of drinking water, where no treatment process has been done.  These homes are especially at risk for arsenic contamination in their drinking water.


Studies show that exposure to arsenic in the drinking water have found there is a higher risk of cancers of the bladder, kidney, lung, skin, colon and liver.  Studies have found that pregnant woman who drink water with traces of arsenic may give birth to babies with lung damage, respiratory infections and babies are at a higher risk for developing lung disease.  In newer studies being conducted, scientists are finding that water contaminated with arsenic (even at lower levels of contamination) increases susceptibility to H1N1 influenza.


Will reverse osmosis remove arsenic?  The membrane purification used in reverse osmosis removes most impurities of the water, including arsenic.  However, reverse osmosis units are very capable of removing arsenic V, while some forms, such as arsenic III are not able to be removed with reverse osmosis and require a pre-treatment to convert arsenic III to arsenic V which then allows the reverse osmosis to filter out the arsenic V.


Crystal Clear Water’s 5-Gallon bottled water which is purified through deionization contains no arsenic.  Through the deionization process,  any possible traces of arsenic are completely removed.  Visit us at for more information on our bottled water that is free of all contaminants and to learn more information on our pre-treatment and reverse osmosis options.


Until next time at ‘The Water Blog’!!!