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J Hazard Mater. 2009 Aug 30;168(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.02.031. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Perspectives of low cost arsenic remediation of drinking water in Pakistan and other countries.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad, Pakistan.


Arsenic concentrations above acceptable standards for drinking water have been detected in many countries and this should therefore is a global issue. The presence of arsenic in subsurface aquifers and drinking water systems is a potentially serious human health hazard. The current population growth in Pakistan and other developing countries will have direct bearing on the water sector for meeting the domestic, industrial and agricultural needs. Pakistan is about to exhaust its available water resources and is on the verge of becoming a water deficit country. Water pollution is a serious menace in Pakistan, as almost 70% of its surface waters as well as its groundwater reserves have contaminated by biological, organic and inorganic pollutants. In some areas of Pakistan, a number of shallow aquifers and tube wells are contaminated with arsenic at levels which are above the recommended USEPA arsenic level of 10 ppb (10 microg L(-1)). Adverse health effects including human mortality from drinking water are well documented and can be attributed to arsenic contamination. The present paper reviews appropriate and low cost methods for the elimination of arsenic from drinking waters. It is recommended that a combination of low cost chemical treatment like ion exchange, filtration and adsorption along with bioremediation may be useful option for arsenic removal from drinking water.

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