Health officials in Massachusetts are warning residents to avoid tap water with an arsenic content exceeding 25 parts per million.
The arsenic in the water has been linked to a variety of illnesses, including anemia, kidney problems, skin cancer, heart disease, liver and kidney failure, and even the death of a toddler.
The state’s health department has issued warnings about the arsenic in water from the Great Lakes and in the surrounding communities of Boston, Worcester and Springfield.
Health officials say tap water is safe for drinking if it meets a standard set by the state.
The standards are based on arsenic levels in drinking water.
The department says there is no link between drinking water with arsenic levels above the state standard and any health problems.
But the state’s drinking water standards don’t apply to tap water that is already in people’s homes, according to the department.
The health department says the arsenic levels have not been found in people drinking the water, but that it’s possible some people might be drinking it because they are too lazy to wash their hands.
The state Department of Public Health says there’s no known risk of exposure from drinking tap water contaminated with arsenic.
Health experts say the water may have a pH that’s too acidic, causing the water to become cloudy, and the presence of arsenic is a concern because it’s considered a food preservative.
It also has been found to cause skin problems in children.