Research ties arsenic to tumor growth

Tuesday, August 9th 2005, 6:24 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center reveals that arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer tumors to grow and spread.

The study is significant for residents of central Oklahoma because it has some of the highest arsenic levels in the nation.

Head researcher Michael Ihnat says it is unclear if arsenic in drinking water causes tumors to develop, but arsenic levels between 10 and 200 parts per billion causes pre-existing tumors to grow.

The national standard for arsenic in drinking water will be lowered from 50 parts per billion to ten parts per billion on January 23rd, 2006.

Until then, Ihnat says there isn't much Oklahomans can do to avoid water with high arsenic levels except to buy bottled water. He says standard filters do not remove arsenic.