University of San Diego Professor to Discuss Potential Hazards from Arsenic in Drinking Water

The discovery of trace amounts of arsenic in some California wines recently has gained media attention and excessive use of groundwater to irrigate crops during the drought has also raised questions about the concentration of arsenic in ground and drinking water.

On Monday, March 14, University of San Diego geochemist Bethany O’Shea will discuss potential health implications of exposure to this naturally occurring poison. The free talk takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the university’s Rosalie Hill Hall in the Warren Auditorium.

O’Shea’s talk “Pick Your Poison: Is Arsenic in California Wine and Drinking Water Affecting Your Health?” will look at the natural cycling of arsenic through rocks and water that is linked to arsenic found in some California wines and other products. She will give an overview of arsenic in drinking water supplies both globally and locally, and explain the source and potential health implications of exposure to the substance.

The free lecture is part of the Illume Speaker Series offered by the University of San Diego’s College of Arts and Sciences that features its own renowned faculty scholars, invited thought leaders and prominent public figures to advance the liberal arts and inspire lifelong learning. For more information go to


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.