State encourages Iowans to test wells for arsenic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State Encourages Iowans to test wells for arsenic

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A recent study shows hundreds of Iowa residents are drinking tap water polluted with arsenic.

Health workers are increasing efforts to have private well owners test their water for the poisonous element, which is found naturally in soil throughout Iowa.   It can seep into ground water, which is the source of tap water for more than half of the state's residents.

Drinking large amounts of water contaminated with arsenic over decades can lead to cardiovascular disease and respiratory problems.  Short term exposure can lead to nausea and vomiting. 

Health officials across the state have gathered to talk about solutions to the problem. 

The University of Iowa study found nearly half of the 475 wells checked between 2006 and 2008 tested positive for arsenic.

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