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Hunterdon News

Partnership Aims to Reduce Arsenic in Drinking Water Join the Conversation on Facebook about Arsenic on April 26th – Learn About Free Well Water Testing

April 10, 2018

Arsenic is a chemical that naturally occurs in the groundwaters of New Jersey and can be harmful for families drinking untreated private well water. The Columbia University Program on the Health Effects of Arsenic, NJ Departments of Health and Environmental Protection and Hunterdon Healthcare have teamed up in honor of Earth Day to help people understand the impact of arsenic on health and for the need to test, and if necessary treat, private well water.  Arsenic cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled in water. The only way to make sure that well water is safe for drinking is to have it tested.

You can learn about arsenic and its effects on health by joining a live conversation on the Hunterdon Healthcare Facebook page on April 26 at 12:30pm. Participants will have their questions answered by a Carla Jardim, M.D., family practice physician at Hunterdon Family Medicine at Delaware Valley  and Steve Spayd, PhD,  NJDEP Scientist who is an authority on groundwater contamination and treatment. For a limited time, free private well arsenic testing will also be available to Hunterdon County families with children or pregnancies, or who are expecting a pregnancy in the future. You can find more information about the free testing and the Facebook chat, as well as videos, FAQs, and guidance about arsenic testing and treatment in New Jersey at https://tinyurl.com/arsenichelp.

Nearly one in five private wells in Hunterdon County contains arsenic at levels higher than the state drinking water standard.  In many parts of Hunterdon County the portion of private wells with arsenic is much higher.  Exposure to arsenic through drinking water can increase risks for several types of cancers, heart diseases, lung diseases, unhealthy pregnancies and learning problems for children. Columbia researchers have shared information on the health effects of arsenic to Hunterdon Healthcare physicians and to the staff of several Hunterdon Family Medicine practices, and have created posters and pamphlets reminding patients to test their well water.

The Columbia University Superfund Research Program on the Health Effects and Geochemistry of Arsenic has been collaborating with the New Jersey Departments of Health (NJDOH) and Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for several years to raise awareness about arsenic in New Jersey and for the need to test, and if necessary treat, private well water.

 

Log onto Hunterdon Healthcare’s Facebook page at 12:30 p.m. on April 26th or send your questions in advance to Kseelig@hhsnj.org.

 

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