How are people exposed to arsenic?

  • Naturally occurring arsenic in groundwaterused for drinking is a major source of inorganic arseni exposure. Groundwater contamination occurs when, under certain conditions, naturally occurring arsenic deposits in bedrock dissolve and seep into groundwater.
  • Arsenic is poorly absorbed through the skin, if at all. Showering, bathing and washing dishes using arsenic-contaminated water is safe. 
  • During gestation, the developing fetus is exposed to arsenic via passage across the placenta from mother's blood to the baby's blood. In contrast, breast milk is safe, and does not contain inorganic arsenic.