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A map showing estimated lithium concentrations in groundwater that supplies public and private drinking water wells across the nation. The estimates are from a study led by the USGS.

The first national estimates of naturally occurring lithium in groundwater that can be used for drinking water were recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS-led study focuses on groundwater that supplies water to both public and private wells. 

Ongoing research by health organizations has linked the low-level occurrence of natural lithium in drinking water to positive human-health outcomes such as reduced suicide mortality and other mental-health benefits in addition to potential negative outcomes such as autism and thyroid hormone levels. There are limited data, however, on where and at what concentrations lithium occurs in drinking water, or on what levels can lead to different health impacts. 

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