Arsenic is tasteless and odorless. It occurs naturally in the earths crust, commonly found in soil, bedrock and water. 


Very little is known about Arsenic concentrations in Oregon. Chronic exposure to Arsenic can have devastating health effects, and children and pregnant women are more susceptible, due to their greater water consumption on a per unit body weight basis. Since arsenic poisoning is preventable, the first step is identifying and documenting areas with increased arsenic exposure. Treatment plans that include reverse osmosis systems or anion exchange units can be easily designed to fit your needs. 


Dr. Molly Kile began studying arsenic in Bangladesh, following the transition from obtaining drinking water from surface water and river to obtaining drinking water from wells accessing groundwater. The transition was designed to decrease illness from from the contaminated surface water and polluted rivers, but the groundwater was never analyzed. Dr. Molly Kile and colleagues conducted a study in Pabna, Bangladesh and found that 34% of the participants exceeded the World Health Organization daily limit for arsenic. The health problems in Bangladesh are well-documented, and new health effects are continually being discovered. There is now a link to increased Type II diabetes in individuals with chronic arsenic exposure. 

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Dietary arsenic exposure in Bangladesh. Kile ML, Houseman EA, Breton CV, Smith T, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani, DC.



EHSC and the Harney County Health Department have formed a partnership to increase arsenic education in Harney County. Events include community meetings and increased access to arsenic testing. Please contact us for more information about bringing arsenic education to your area.



Map of Arsenic in Harney County

Arsenic concentrations in Harney County
Image courtesy of Harney County Health Department