There are certain elements in drinking water that have a significant negative impact on health.
One of these is arsenic, present in some types of water due to minerals dissolving naturally.
Ingesting water containing arsenic for long periods can lead to cancers of the lungs, skin, liver, and other internal organs, hyperpigmentation, circulatory disorders and other illnesses.
With the transposition of European Directive 98/83/EC, which came into force on 25 December 2003 by means of Legislative Decree 31/01, the concentration prescribed for water for human consumption was reduced from 50 to 10 micrograms per litre, µg/l (i.e. ten milligrams per cubic meter of water).
In some regions of the world, in particular Bangladesh, this problem has become an issue of national concern.
In Italy arsenic is mainly present in the wells of some municipalities of Emilia and Lombardy (mainly in the provinces of Mantova and Cremona), of Veneto (Mediobrenta and Basso Veronese), of Alto Adige, of Campania, of Tuscany (Monte Amiata and Colline Metallifere) and in northern Lazio .
Its removal is therefore a necessity in some specific cases, where the nature of the water table means this contaminant is always present. There are various technologies available, some of which are quite costly in terms of initial investment, others instead with high running costs.
The following are a series of documents of public interest that illustrate some of the technologies available for the removal of arsenic.
The document below is available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website:
The documents below are available on the United Nations University website:
Various countries have drawn up regulations on the maximum limits of contaminants permitted in water destined for human consumption.
In Italy Legislative Decree no.31 dated 02/02/2001 is in force regarding the quality of water destined for human consumption.
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