News of the WeekToxicology

Science Only One Part Of Arsenic Standards

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Science  30 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5513, pp. 2533
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5513.2533a

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When the Bush Administration decided last week to withdraw new standards that require lower arsenic levels in U.S. drinking water, it brandished scientific uncertainty as a shield against environmental protesters. But the reality is that setting safe levels of very small amounts of toxicants such as arsenic is not a question that science alone can answer. It's a judgment call, and that means a role for politics.