Arsenic has been made famous by Agatha Christie, who often described arsenic poisoning in her murder mysteries. Arsenic is a highly toxic substance, used in many industrial applications including insecticides and wood preservative, Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, which is often present in our most precious resource: drinking water.
Drinking water contamination, is often caused by fertilizers which are acidic in nature. The acid leaches into the soil releasing arsenic which is present in the soil contaminating it. 120 million people who live in Eastern UP, Bihar and Bengal in India suffer from arsenic poisoning. This is the biggest health problem facing India which is barely acknowledged or tackled.
When arsenic-laced water is applied to food crops like apple trees, or rice, dangerous levels of arsenic make their way into the food supply. A University of Washington analysis showed levels of arsenic in apple juice, which exceeded the safe drinking water exposure limits by more than 30%. In addition, concentrated forms of arsenic-laced food, such as brown rice syrup, can contain toxic levels of arsenic five times greater than the levels deemed safe by the EPA for drinking water. While all types of rice contain some arsenic, organic brown rice has been found to contain the lowest levels. Arsenic can also be absorbed through the skin, but ingestion is the most common method of exposure.