The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality should better explain the health risks of exposure to water with a high level of arsenic.
The commission sends its “Drinking Water Arsenic Violation” notice to homes with high levels of arsenic in their water and warns that “over many years [residents] could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system.” The notice suggests consulting a doctor about health concerns.
The notice says “you do not need to use an alternative water supply,” and it’s “not an emergency.”
Although a high arsenic level (anything over 10 parts per billion) might not be an emergency, it’s cause to seek an alternative water supply. Water in some rural areas of Texas has arsenic at more than 50 parts per billion.
“Because it targets widely dispersed enzyme reaction, arsenic affects nearly all organ systems,” the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry says. Arsenic exposure can increase cancer risks.
The state notice should better explain the ramifications of repeated exposure to arsenic.