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Assessing the distribution of arsenic in ground water from community-water supplies, private supplies, or monitoring wells is part of the process of determining the risk of arsenic contamination of drinking water in Illinois. Lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors make certain members of the population more susceptible to adverse health effects from repeated exposure to drinking water with high arsenic concentrations (Ryker, 2001). In addition, such factors may have geographic distribution patterns that complicate the analysis of the relation between arsenic in drinking water and health effects. For example, arsenic may not be the only constituent affecting the quality of drinking water in a region (Ryker, 2001); however, determining the extent and distribution of arsenic in ground water is a starting place to assess the potential risk for persons drinking from a community or private supply. Understanding the potential sources and pathways that mobilize arsenic in ground water is a necessary step in protecting the drinking-water supply in Illinois.
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USGS Numbered Series
Arsenic in Illinois ground water : community and private supplies