The primary mission of the NH Arsenic Consortium is to help the public, primarily private well users, become aware of (1) the presence and health implications of arsenic in the food and water supply, (2) the importance of testing private wells for arsenic and other common contaminants and (3) how to take the appropriate next steps to reduce their exposure to arsenic from their food and water supply.
Composed of academic and agency researchers, and representatives from health and environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and local towns, the Consortium seeks to provide the latest information to its members and the public, coordinate outreach and other intervention efforts, and prioritize tasks to have the greatest possible impact on reducing exposure to arsenic in food and drinking water and ultimately improving public health.
The 6th NH Arsenic Consortium meeting was held on March 22, 2019 at the headquarters of NH Department of Environmental Services and NH Department of Health and Human Services in Concord. Along with hearing research, outreach and legislative updates, about 70 stakeholders from the water industry, local, state and federal government, research and education and private well owners collaborated to develop a plan for a “Road map to Reduce Arsenic Exposure in NH.”
The 2017 meeting of the NH Arsenic Consortium, held on October 13, drew 80 attendees from federal, state and local agencies, town government, academia, water industries and the private well community. Presentations on the latest arsenic research and outreach were well received and afternoon small group discussions prioritized actions to improve awareness and reduce public exposure to arsenic in water and food.
Our website, Arsenic and You, originally conceived by the Arsenic Consortium, was launched in 2017 to help people learn whether they are exposed to arsenic, and provides simple steps to reduce how much arsenic they may be getting into their bodies through water, food, smoking and other sources. Access it on your phone or tablet at www.ArsenicandYou.org.
The 2016 meeting had a record number of attendees and diversity of organizations represented. Almost 70 people heard updates on arsenic research, outreach and education; reviewed Consortium accomplishments and discussed next steps regarding arsenic in private well water in NH.
Twenty-five attendees from the USGS, NH DES, NH DHHS, U.S. EPA, local towns, the medical community, the Dartmouth SRP program and the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth gathered at Dartmouth to set new priorities for the group and hear presentations on the latest agency and academic research and activities.
Stakeholders from New Hampshire’s Departments of Environmental Services and Health and Human Services, the National Groundwater Association, the US Geological Survey, Plymouth State University and the Holderness Conservation Commission gathered for a day-long meeting to share information about the latest research, regulations and community needs concerning arsenic as an environmental contaminant. The Consortium, which was originally formed in 2001, developed a list of top priorities for moving forward. The meeting in February built on the success of the 2010 Red River Theatre event in which stakeholders assembled to screen and celebrate the premier of the short movie In Small Doses: Arsenic which was a collaboration between the Dartmouth Superfund Program and stakeholders.