Tens of thousands of Mainers may face exposure to excessive levels of arsenic

Lewiston Sun-Journal

For centuries, murderers have turned to arsenic as an ideal poison to claim their victims because it doesn’t have any color, odor or taste to alert the unwary when it’s mixed in with food and drink.

So it’s no surprise that arsenic in drinking water is far from ideal.

Yet testing shows that about 15% of Maine wells have water with excessive levels of arsenic – and, since it’s possible any arsenic may pose a threat, the number is likely even higher.

“Arsenic is the sleeping giant that must be addressed," a Washington County teacher, Jim Lemke, told state leaders recently.

Legislators are considering a bill in Augusta that would help low-income Mainers get wells tested for the substance and require the state to consider lowering the currently acceptable contaminant level for arsenic in water provided by municipal systems.

Read more in the Lewiston Sun-Journal.