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Infographic: An Elemental Concern—Arsenic in Drinking Water

Arsenic is both naturally occurring and artificially produced, and the toxin is very dangerous since it often has no color, taste, or smell. This graphic breaks down how arsenic gets into drinking water supplies and how arsenic affects the U.S. on the state level.

California, Texas, Michigan, and Arizona top the list of U.S. states with public water systems in violation of the federal standard for arsenic. Joining these states are Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada, and Illinois at the top of the list of states with more than 30,000 people potentially affected by high arsenic levels.

Click through the interactive infographic below to learn more about where arsenic comes from, how human health is affected, and how your state stacks up.

Infographic: American Arsenic
Graphic © Kelly Shea/Circle of Blue
Interactive Infographic: Arsenic in drinking water is an elemental concern in the U.S. Click through the graphic for an introduction to what arsenic is and how each state is effected. Click here for the HTML version of American Arsenic.

Infographic by Kelly Shea, a recent graduate of Ball State University’s journalism graphics program and a Traverse City-based designer for Circle of Blue. She can be reached at

This graphic was made to accompany Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton’s article, American Arsenic: After a Decade, Small Communities Still Struggle to Meet Federal Drinking Water Standards.

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