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Published: Monday, 7/9/2012

Public help sought to test, identify hazardous levels of arsenic in groundwater


COLUMBUS — Water samples from homes and public water systems will help government officials identify parts of Ohio where arsenic in groundwater could threaten residents’ health.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the U.S. Geological Survey plans to develop a model illustrating which parts of the state have hazardous concentrations of the poisonous metal in groundwater. It will be based on data collected by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and on samples from residents.

That effort seeking the public’s help in the project begins Tuesday in Licking County, where a workshop will offer residents sample bottles and free lab tests to show whether their well water contains arsenic.

Bob Frey of the Ohio Department of Health says arsenic in low levels isn’t an acute poison but can increase residents’ risk of chronic illnesses.

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