Arsenic and Old Laws
A Scientific and Public Health Analysis of Arsenic Occurrence in Drinking Water, Its Health Effects, and EPA's Outdated Arsenic Tap Water Standard
Top of Report
Paul Mushak, Ph.D.
Maps and Occurrence Data Analysis
Matthew McKinzie, Ph.D.
Erik Olson, J.D.
NRDC Director of Communications
The bulk of this paper, except the arsenic occurrence data and maps, was prepared by Dr. Paul Mushak as a pro bono professional courtesy to the Natural Resources Defense Council, without remuneration and in the interest of public health. It contains Dr. Mushak's independent analysis of key issues related to drinking water arsenic and human health and its critical conclusions about the inadequacy of current arsenic regulation and the need for the much lower indicated standard. The author gratefully acknowledges the editorial help of Betty Mushak, co-principal, PB Associates. The survey of arsenic levels in the drinking water of Americans and the maps of arsenic occurrence were prepared using EPA's 25-state arsenic database by Dr. Matthew McKinzie of NRDC. Erik Olson assisted in this data analysis, and thanks Anne, Chris, and Luke for their support in completing this project.
This report would not have been possible with the support of NRDC's more than 400,000 members. NRDC also thanks The Henry Philip Kraft Family Memorial Fund of The New York Community Trust, The McKnight Foundation, and Town Creek Foundation, Inc. for supporting our work on drinking water.
About the author
Paul Mushak, Ph.D., is a toxicologist and health risk assessment specialist working in the area of toxic environmental metals. He is a co-principal in PB Associates, Durham, NC, and is a visiting professor of pediatric toxicology and environmental health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. His work examining arsenic and other toxic substances spans almost 33 years. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications in metals and served in numerous advisory roles on the health effects of arsenic and other elements with federal, state, international, and independent scientific agencies. He is a member of many scientific societies, including the Society of Toxicology. He served as a member of several National Academy of Sciences committees on metal contaminants and has testified twice before Congress on child environmental health matters. He was a principal co-author of the Environmental Protection Agency's 1984 health assessment document for arsenic, and a member of the external advisory panel of experts for EPA's 1988 special report on arsenic risk assessment issues. Dr. Mushak also chaired the 1995-1996 peer review panel evaluating EPA's report to Congress on hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from fossil-fueled power plants. Arsenic was one of the key contaminants for HAP evaluation in that EPA report.
Get Updates and Alerts
Water on Switchboard
NRDC experts write about water efficiency, green infrastructure and climate on the NRDC blog.
Recent Water Posts
- After South Carolina Floods, We Must Act to Prevent Similar Disasters
- posted by Ben Chou, 10/8/15
- There's Still Time for the California Energy Commission to Fix the Drought Rebate Program
- posted by Ben Chou, 10/7/15
- Let's Be Honest About Environmental Safeguards
- posted by Jon Devine, 10/6/15
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.