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From: David Gossman <>
Newsgroups: sci.environment
Subject: Re: Nutrients in drinking water
Date: 04 Nov 1998 12:13:54 PST

Jack wrote:
> I heard a couple of years ago that the EPA has determined that very low,
> trace levels of arsenic in drinking water are actually beneficial to
> health.  The EPA was at that time developing a new national arsenic
> monitoring program.  Anyone know anything about it?
> Thanks, Jack

In 1983 the National Academy of Sciences indicated that As is an
essential nutrient and recommended an intake of 25 to 50 micrograms per
day and noted that the average American diet does not meet this need.
EPA examined this and other data in some detail in the 1988 Special
Report on Ingested Inorganic Arsenic - Skin Cancer; Nutritional
Essentiality (EPA/625/3-87/013). They also mention the role of arsenic
as a nutrient in the ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. It is
amusing to note that the 10E-4 cancer based risk level that EPA has set
(as of the 1988 report) for risk analysies is about the same level that
the NAS has set as the recommended intake. I'm afraid that this is
rather typical of EPA "scientific" risk analysies. The clear design is
to artificially increase the percieved risk and continue to justify a
larger and more powerful EPA, irregardles of the science.
|David Gossman  | Gossman Consulting, Inc. |
|President      |  |
|    The Business of Problem Solving       |
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science;
 it is opinion." - Lazarus Long aka Robert Heinlein

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