Lower Water Levels May Mean Higher Concentrations of Heavy Metals

August 7, 2000, Atlanta, GA - As water levels continue to drop this summer, levels of contamination in groundwater can become more concentrated, leading to potential health risks for more than one-third of Americans who depend on private wells for drinking water. With August being Water Quality Month and drought predicted to continue, Americans should really become more aware of the contaminants in their drinking water.

While public utilities ensure these contaminants are removed to safe levels prior to use, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate private wells, leaving well owners on their own to assure their water is safe from drought-related concentration of contaminants. The EPA, as well as several state and local governments, does set testing guidelines for well owners, which can be used to help identify contaminant levels and corrective actions.

Rom Papadopoulos, a trained physician and Chairman of Apyron Technologies, Inc., a leading science technologies development company, recommends that private well water users make sure their wells are tested as recommended by the EPA or their state agency, even if the water appears clear and odorless.

"During periods of high demand or drought, the amount of naturally occurring arsenic and other heavy metals can become more concentrated when water levels decrease," said Dr. Papadopoulos. "With the EPA currently recommending a 90 percent reduction in arsenic levels due to associated health risks, people should really be aware of the current levels in their drinking water."

In the United States, drought has devastated farmers, caused sinkholes, affected tourism and left some concerned with the effects of global warming. Because drought has heavily affected parts of the United States that have high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in their groundwater, users of well water in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Utah should take extra precaution to make sure their water is safe. In other parts of the world, Afghanistan and some areas of India and Pakistan are experiencing the most devastating drought in a generation. Low rain levels also have affected China, Kenya, Tanzania, the Balkans, North Korea, Romania, and countries in the Horn of Africa. China, India and some areas of Africa already have problems with high levels of arsenic in their groundwater, leaving the people drinking the contaminated water at even higher levels of risk because of the drought.

"Drought is an international problem," said Dr. Papadopoulos. "It affects countless lives and costs billions of dollars. We are working in the most remote regions of the planet to help eliminate this devastation."

For the past several years, Apyron Technologies has engineered advanced adsorbent media for water filtration systems that remove contaminants such as lead, arsenic, iron, fluoride and other heavy metals. The company also makes anti-microbial technologies that aid in the disinfection and destruction of microorganisms. This technology is capable of killing disease-causing pathogens, viruses, yeast and other microbes, which are common contaminants of drinking and process waters. Areas of water treatment where need for antimicrobial technology is strongest include point-of-use (POU) and small community and public water systems.

The company is currently removing high levels of naturally occurring arsenic from drinking water in India, helping to save numerous lives from what some experts are calling the "largest mass poisoning in history." Currently, Apyron's is the only system to receive technical approval by the Indian government, demonstrating through extensive field studies an ability to meet the World Health Organization's 10 ppb standard. Apyron also has more than 25 pilot test programs throughout the world to remove the poisonous contaminant from drinking water sources.

Apyron's current commercialization efforts are focused on providing advanced adsorbents, catalysts and antimicrobials for a wide variety of water and air treatment applications worldwide. Apyron is located at 4030-F Pleasantdale Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30340.

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