Messmer has helped protect New Hampshire from arsenic

To the Editor: I want to thank Executive Council candidate Mindi Messmer for the work she did to pave the way for passage of the bill that will make New Hampshire the second state to adopt an arsenic drinking water standard lower than the federal level of 10 ppb.

When EPA set the limit at 10 ppb in 2001, it was already known that a 10 ppb limit would present a health risk that was orders of magnitude higher than what was allowed for other cancer-causing drinking water contaminants. New Jersey has been enforcing its 5 ppb standard since 2006.

The new standard, implemented by my House Bill 261, followed Mindi Messmer’s bill, HB 1592, enacted in 2018, which directed the state Department of Environmental Services to review the science to determine whether the arsenic rules should be stronger to protect public health.

Arsenic exposure has been tied to bladder and lung cancers, adverse pregnancy outcomes, increased illnesses during infancy, increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and neuro-cognitive effects, including potentially reduced childhood IQ. New Hampshire has the highest bladder cancer rate in the nation; an order of magnitude higher than New Jersey. Preventing exposure to arsenic in our drinking water will likely result in lower levels of bladder and lung cancer here.

Without her dedication and hard work this would have never happened. We need her on the Executive Council to continue to lead New Hampshire forward on environmental and safe drinking water issues.



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