Superfund Research Program

September 2023

Paper of the Month or Year

A federal regulation lowering the amount of arsenic allowed in public water systems reduced arsenic exposure among communities across the U.S., found researchers at the Columbia University Northern Plains SRP Center.

In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reduced the maximum amount of arsenic allowed in public water systems from 50 to 10 micrograms per liter. In this study, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to track whether the new standard lowered participants’ arsenic exposures.

Among one third of the participants classified as most exposed to arsenic at baseline, the team observed an average 9% decrease in urinary metabolite levels from 2003-2014. Within that group, they saw even greater reductions among Mexican American participants, people living in the South and West, and those with the least education.

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