University of Oregon researcher used Creswell to study arsenic levels. (Credit: Scott C. Maguffin)
A new study has shown that organic forms of arsenic are naturally occurring in groundwater, and should be measured separately, according to a release from the University of Oregon. Qusheng Jin, a geologist at the school, conducted the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Jin conducted his research in Creswell, Oregon, where arsenic levels were reportedly high in recent years. According to Jin, human factors such as pumping and drilling are not taken into account when measuring arsenic.
Jin also found there are no previous studies of organic versus inorganic arsenic compounds in water; it’s simply measured by the total amount. He found this to be a critical error when testing because the presence of organic arsenic poses less threat to consumers.
In his research, Jin advises scientists to seek the presence of organic arsenic when testing drinking water. He hopes his work may lead to new treatment methods for water with high levels of arsenic, a challenge worldwide and in the United States.
Top image: University of Oregon researcher used Creswell to study arsenic levels. (Credit: Scott C. Maguffin)