208637 Point-of-entry arsenic water treatment provided greater urinary arsenic reduction than point-of-use water treatment at New Jersey homes with arsenic in well water

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:30 PM

Steven E. Spayd, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Mark G. Robson, PhD, MPH, ATS , School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Michael Gochfeld, MD, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ
Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Perry D. Cohn, PhD, MPH , Div. Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, NJ Dept Health and Senior Services, Trenton, NJ
Pamela Ohman-Strickland, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Ruimin Xie, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Brian Buckley, PhD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
BACKGROUND: Thousands of people in New Jersey and millions worldwide have been affected by arsenic contamination of drinking water from wells. Special water treatment systems can remove arsenic from drinking water and can be configured to treat all the water in the home (point-of-entry) or water at only a single tap for drinking and cooking (point-of-use).

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of point-of-entry and point-of-use arsenic water treatment systems in reducing arsenic exposure from well water.

METHODS: A study was conducted with 51 subjects having elevated arsenic in their residential home well water in New Jersey. The subjects obtained either point-of-entry or point-of-use arsenic water treatment. Prior ingestion exposure to arsenic in well water was determined. A series of urine samples were collected from the subjects starting before water treatment was installed. Urine samples were analyzed for water-related arsenic concentrations. Propensity scores were calculated to reduce bias resulting from the non-randomized assignment of water treatment systems. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the association between urinary arsenic and urinary arsenic reduction, by treatment group, while controlling for correlation among family members, and the propensity score as a covariate.

RESULTS: After nine months of water treatment, the adjusted mean water-related arsenic concentrations were significantly lower in the point-of-entry treatment group (2.7 g/g creatinine) than in the point-of-use treatment group (6.1 g/g creatinine).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that point-of-entry arsenic water treatment systems provide a more effective reduction of arsenic exposure from well water than that obtained by point-of-use treatment.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the most effective water treatment systems for reducing arsenic exposure from well water.

Keywords: Drinking Water Quality, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on the topic for eight years as a student and as an employee of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. I have an M.P.H., and this research is part of my doctoral dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.