Arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) both appear in group 15 of the periodic table, with antimony appearing directly under antimony. They have complex chemical behaviours and are commonly used as alloying agents. There are various methods available for removing arsenic and antimony from water, and the effectiveness of each method varies with concentration, pH, and oxidation state.
High concentrations of arsenic and antimony can be found in:
- Acid mine drainage (AMD) water
- Mining process water or wastewater
- Certain industrial wastewater
- Groundwater in certain areas
Arsenic is detrimental to human health, with main long-term ingestion associated with cancer, skin lesions, developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes. The World Health Organisation guidelines for drinking water are 20 ppb for antimony, and 10 ppb for arsenic.