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Study Links Arsenic in Northern New England Wells to Bladder Cancer

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

Drinking water from private wells in northern New England may increase the risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study from the National Cancer Institute, Dartmouth and the state health departments in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

For the past 50 years, rates of bladder cancer in men and women in northern New England have been about 20 percent higher than those in the rest of the country.

The study finds the high cancer rates correlate with high rates of arsenic in private wells.

The Department of Environmental Services says the study is a reminder that homes on well water should test for arsenic and add filters if the levels exceed the EPA threshold.

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.
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