Recently in New York City, there has been reports of serious arsenic contamination of the drinking water. Several residents in an apartment complex have been complaining for several years of various symptoms related to the exposure. How does arsenic get into the drinking water and what are the ramifications?
Arsenic is an odorless,tasteless heavy metal that can be white, grey or silver.
While it occurs naturally in the earth, arsenic exposure is most common in industrialized areas, the United States being among the most common.
Arsenic is present in treated wood, in industrial plants where exposure can be airborne, rice, wine and in pesticides. Landfills contain high levels of arsenic.
The runoff from all these sources will eventually seep into our drinking water.
Symptoms are wide and varied but usually begin with red skin rashes or worst, generally all over the body. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, heart arrhythmias, muscle cramps, and tingling in the hands and feet are also common symptoms.
Long term exposure will cause skin darkening, chronic digestive issues and constant sore throat.
Arsenic can enter the body through eating or drinking contaminated items, by inhalation and potentially by skin exposure.
While choosing wines, particularly red wines it is best to search organic types. Similarly, rice should be organically sourced whenever possible.
What makes the situation in New York City particularly problematic is that we have been told New York water is among the cleanest and tastiest water around. Patrons of several apartment complexes there have been complaining of symptoms for a long while. It wasn’t till recently that the drinking water was tested and showed extreme levels of arsenic!
How do we test for arsenic exposure in patients?
At the Salerno Center in New York arsenic is measured both in the blood and in the urine by a test called a heavy metal challenge.
Why both tests?
The blood test will show acute arsenic exposure over the last three months.
The heavy metal challenge test, which is done by administering chelating agents to draw out the metals, and then urine is collected at home over seven hours.
This test is extremely valuable as it measures arsenic and other heavy metals such as mercury lead, etc. which is stored in body tissues and goes back a long while in time.
When either level is high, intravenous chelation is administered on our patients.
We will use caedta, which is an agent that binds arsenic and will allow it to be excreted through the kidneys. Chelation is done in a series of weekly Ivs and is retested again after 10.
Oral vitamin E and selenium Is given to our patients as well as our Detox Factor. Infra-red saunas and sweating help to detox as well as garlic, cilantro and chlorella.
Colonics and proper bowel health and probiotics also help to eliminate arsenic.
Of course, as importantly the source of exposure must be eliminated.
Arsenic can lead to many chronic health conditions and can be fatal!
We at the Salerno Center will be happy to test anyone suspected of chronic or acute exposure to arsenic and at least 12 other heavy metals and design a logistical treatment course to eliminate them.
These toxic metals are often the source of so many serious health conditions!
If you’re wondering how much arsenic is in your body and how dangerous it may be to your health, we invite you to call the Salerno Center for an appointment.