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Study Published on the Health Benefits from the Revised Arsenic Regulation

In 2001, EPA revised the arsenic drinking water standard from 50 ppb to 10 ppb, and the revised standard became effective in 2006. A recently published study assessed the national trends in drinking water arsenic exposure by examining the urinary arsenic concentrations from the 2003-2014 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The researchers used dimethylarsinate (DMA), the primary human metabolite of inorganic arsenic, and total urine arsenic as markers for drinking water arsenic exposure for the participants in the 2003-2014 NHANES cycles.
Using 14,127 NHANES participants between 2003-2014, the researchers found a 17% reduction in DMA between the participants on public water systems with the revised arsenic regulation when compared to participants on well water which are not federally regulated. Based on that reduction, the researchers estimated a reduction of 200-900 lung and bladder cancer cases or 50 cases of skin cancer, depending on the estimation approach. More research is needed to assess the economic benefits of these estimated reductions.