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Arsenic Still Taints Some California Drinking Water

More than 55,000 California residents get public water that's tainted with unsafe levels of arsenic, according to the nonprofit advocacy organization Environmental Integrity Project. The chemical is a carcinogen that's been linked to cancer, developmental difficulties, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Arsenic Still Taints Some California Drinking Water

GUESTS:

Tom Pelton, communications director, Environmental Integrity Project

Andrea Sissons, chief business official, Warner Unified School District

Environmental advocates say California isn't doing enough to protect residents who have too much arsenic in their public drinking water supplies.

Photo credit: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Running water flows out of a faucet.

"The longer you are exposed, the more likely you are to suffer serious health effects," said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project. "As is done now with private well users, really you ought to take steps to protect your family and try to avoid the water until its clean again."

Schaeffer argues California needs to stop suggesting water is safe if arsenic levels are high.

"We hope California, and other states, amend those public notice rules and warn consumers to avoid drinking or cooking with water that violates public health standards year after year," Schaeffer said.

The Warner Unified School District is the only public system with high arsenic levels in San Diego County. The district serves 250 customers.

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