New report finds dangerous levels of arsenic across Minnesota wells

arsenic_CPI.jpg
The Center for Public Integrity
Minnesotans are at risk of consuming dangerous levels of arsenic in their food and water, according to weekend report released by the Center for Public Integrity.
 
Whether there's such a thing as a safe level of arsenic is debatable, though even small amounts of the toxin have been linked to lower IQ scores in children and instances of cancer in adults. At home, researchers found that the concentration of arsenic in an alarming number of groundwater wells exceeded 10 parts per billion -- the ceiling set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dozens tested positive for more than 50 parts per billion.

See also:
How undercover animal rights activists are winning the Ag-Gag war


More depressing still, the EPA has known since at least 2008 that arsenic is far more toxic than it officially states. But the agency has been paralyzed by pesticide lobbyists and lawmakers from creating stricter drinking water standards.
The roadblock: a single paragraph inserted into a committee report by a member of Congress, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found. The paragraph essentially ordered the EPA to halt its evaluation of arsenic and hand over its work to the National Academy of Sciences.

The congressman, Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republican, said he was concerned that small communities couldn't meet tougher drinking water standards and questioned the EPA's ability to do science. But a lobbyist for two pesticide companies acknowledged to CPI that he was among those who asked for the delay. As a direct result of the delay, a weed killer the EPA was going to ban at the end of 2013 remains on the market.
Judge the report for yourself. In documenting the problem, reporters looked at arsenic readings collected by the United States Geological Survey. Minnesota was among the two states that offered up its own data on private wells.

We'll stick to whiskey, thank you. Hold the ice.

-- Send story tips to the author or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse



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31 comments
Christine Schmidt
Christine Schmidt

It's not an accurate story! No reason to panic.. not every state gave the same stats and some didnt report their stats at all, so this story shouldn't have been written.

Becky Schack
Becky Schack

Mn is delineated because the state supplied data on wells. Only two states provided data. This report is great! Lets rile people up when pretty much the entire metro, where most minnesotans live, is on city water.

Arlene Victor
Arlene Victor

Native medicine men have predicted this and much worse.

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

New? Nice regurgitated stats from a decade ago. So why do we tout the fact we are one of the healthiest states per capita in the country? With so much arsenic, don't you think we would be at the bottom. Ya, I see the poison. It's stories like this and their effect on the minds of the week and easily manipulated.

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

So, what happened to Iowa and Kansas? Were they spared?

John Farmer
John Farmer

It would be interesting to see what the map would look like if MN had the same amount of data as other states, or if all the states had the same amount of data as MN. As it sits right now, it would be difficult to actually say if Minnesotans are at a higher risk or not.

Christopher Simmons
Christopher Simmons

1) Arsenic is naturally occurring in many glacial drift aquifers. 2) if the water sample is unfiltered it would skew results as filtering would remove the large portion of arsenic.

Anita Clark
Anita Clark

That explains Michelle Bachmanns district!

Hydrologist
Hydrologist

There's also a difference between "private wells" and "Public Water Supply Wells". 

Kayla Corin
Kayla Corin

Idk if this even matters, it's all lake water

Lorie Haddad
Lorie Haddad

Are you sure this isn't the Duck, duck, gray duck map??

Steven James Røste
Steven James Røste

It has to do with how much and how accurate their well water sampling is, and then whether or not they apply values to an entire county or to a smaller parcel of land. Maps can be very deceiving.

Ryan Hulshizer
Ryan Hulshizer

Could someone explain why are the state's borders so sharply delineated? If it would be because of ag chemicals, virtually the entire midwest would be bright red. Even the forested portions of the state are red.

Steven James Røste
Steven James Røste

Actually, arsenic occurs in groundwater naturally. Please do your research before opening your mouth.

KaiLogan
KaiLogan

Minnesota has higher reporting of arsenic in our water tables if we are one of only two states to have studied its private wells, perhaps. Don't blame corporations simply because you're a hipster.

jruha
jruha

Arsenic doesn't poison people, people poison people.


OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

Good. I've been trying to build up an immunity to arsenic. This is just the way!

Warren G James
Warren G James

yeah the Red Lake Indian Reservation. It's in our Drinking Water.

Tim Standaert
Tim Standaert

Blame the agricultural companies using all the chemicals.

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