What is Antimony and how did it get in my drinking water? Antimony is a silvery white metal of medium hardness that breaks easily. Antimony is usually mixed with other metals such as lead and zinc to form mixtures of metals called alloys. These alloys are used in lead storage batteries, solder, sheet and pipe metal, bearings, castings, type metal, ammunition, and pewter.
You may be exposed to antimony by drinking water and eating foods that contain it. You may be exposed by skin contact with soil, water, and other substances that contain antimony. You may breathe and have skin contact with high levels of antimony in dust if you live or work near antimony mines or processing companies. Children may also be exposed to antimony by eating dirt.
The amount of antimony in rivers and lakes is usually very low (less than 1 microgram per liter). Antimony does not appear to accumulate in fish or other aquatic animals. Soil usually contains very low concentrations of antimony. Soils near mines and other work sites may contain high levels of antimony.
Food may contain small amounts of antimony. Antimony levels as high as 9.7 µg/L have been reported in drinking water. Water in PET bottles may contain higher levels of antimony.
How can Antimony impact my health?
Antimony in the air can cause lung effects in workers and laboratory animals. Antimony can also cause heart problems. It can damage the heart muscle and cause changes in electrocardiogram (EKG) readings. High levels of antimony in drinking water can cause vomiting and abdominal pain. These effects have also been reported by antimony workers. Stomach ulcers have been seen in animals exposed to antimony in drinking water for several months. Antimony can also cause eye irritation if it gets in the eye.
Lung cancer has been observed in some studies of workers, and mice breathing high concentrations of antimony. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that antimony trioxide is possibly carcinogenic to humans and antimony trisulfide is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity. Antimony has not been classified for cancer effects by the Department of Health and Human Services or the EPA.
Currently Epic Water Filters has not tested any products for the removal of Antimony.