Arsenic Concentrations in Ground and Surface Waters across Arizona Including Native Lands
Author: M.C. Jones, J.M. Credo, J.C. Ingram, J.A. Baldwin, R.T. Trotter, Jr., and C.R. Propper,
Parts of the Southwestern United States report arsenic levels in water resources that are above the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s current drinking water limits. Prolonged exposure to arsenic through food and drinking water can contribute to significant health problems including cancer, developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, and diabetes. In order to understand exposure risks, water sampling and testing have been conducted throughout Arizona. This information is available to the public through often non-overlapping databases that are difficult to access and in impracticable formats. The current study utilized a systemic compilation of online databases to compile a spreadsheet containing over 33,000 water samples. The reported arsenic concentrations from these databases were collected from 1990-2017. Using ArcGIS software, these data were converted into a map shapefile and overlaid onto a map of Arizona. This visual representation shows that arsenic levels in surface and ground water exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water limits for many sites in several counties in Arizona, and there is an underrepresentation of sampling in several tribal jurisdictions. This information is useful for water managers and private well owners throughout the State for determining safe drinking water sources and limiting exposure to arsenic.
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