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             18 June, 2018
 

    
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Arsenic Contamination in Drinking water in India

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2010-03-08 05:24:46     
Article by Jaceline Peirrera

The danger of arsenic, a fatal metalloid contaminating the water reserves in the entire world is on the rise. The metalloid has poisoned about 140 million people though out the world and has the highest toll in developing countries such as India. The risk has found existence from large-scale tube well drinking water facility initiated in the 20th century.

The drinking water program started with the aim of protecting surface water against the bacterial contamination found in high levels. The research done did not pay attention to the fact that arsenic; a soil ingredient leaches into the underground water resulting in vast population effected by the deadly contaminated water mostly in Vietnam, Cambodia and China. The population in North America saved through the utilities that purified this water.

The rice cultivation in such areas affected due to high level of arsenic found in the irrigation water. Nearly a majority of population in South and East Asia is exposed to high arsenic poisoning. Arsenic found in pesticides and insecticides also used as wood preservative and for combustion of fossil fuels.

Contaminated drinking water forms the base of arsenic poisoning in the human body. Tumor in lungs, skin, kidney and urinary bladder are the result of Arsenic infection. Cancer and skin problems observed in people exposed to arsenic infection found in 0.05mg/L drinking water. The starting effects occur on the skin that worsens to caner conditions. Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and reproductive disorders are some of health problems that occur due to high-level arsenic poisoning in drinking water.

Arsenic contamination can lead to a number of problems depending upon the effect on the potassium in the body. High level of Arsenic in drinking water held responsible for hypertension, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, depression, obesity and other conditions leading to alteration of intercellular potassium volume. Long exposure and intake of arsenic infected water has irreversible effects on people. People working in industries have high chances of infected with arsenic leading to premature death and long-term illness.

Farmers using pesticides and insecticides have high chances of arsenic exposure. Mining workers often accumulate high level of arsenic in their respiratory systems leading to liver cancer, lung cancer.

In India, the first case of arsenic contamination came in West Bengal during 80's when tube wells held responsible for the contamination. The wells were having depth between 20-150 meters. According to Dipankar Chakraborty, head of school of environment studies in Jadavpur universities the situation started by arsenic polluted drinking water in eastern India was of alarming rate. More than 1000 villages in West Bengal infected with arsenic contaminated drinking water.

Chakraborty and his team adopted measures to control the amount of arsenic contamination in water such as

Thirty five percent of villages in West Bengal have tub wells with safe drinking water, and tested every 3-6 months.

Epidemiological research is required to know the arsenic contaminated areas to know the health hazard and report the benefits in exposure of arsenic.

People made aware about the danger of arsenic infected drinking water.

Arsenic contamination in drinking water reserves both in India and Bangladesh has reached critical levels and needs to be tackled before the situation gets out of control.

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