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Environ Int. 2002 Feb;27(7):597-604.

Arsenic poisoning in groundwater: health risk and geochemical sources in Bangladesh.

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1
Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Ikarashi, Japan. hma201@yahoo.com

Abstract

Of the 2508 water samples analyzed in 10 districts of Bangladesh, 51%, on an average, contained arsenic levels of 0.05 to 2.50 mg/l. 95% of nail, 96% of hair, and 94% of urine samples contained arsenic above the normal level. Approximately 3.58 million people out of a total of 17.92 million who are drinking water containing arsenic levels >0.20 mg/l are potentially exposed to high risk of health hazard. Eight thousand and five hundred arsenic patients are identified; they are suffering from various skin lesions, gangrene in leg, skin, lung, bladder, liver, and renal cancer. A big portion of the total population is highly vulnerable to various internal cancers. Lowest arsenic concentration in drinking water producing dermatological disease is found to be 0.103 mg/l. However, the exposure time to develop arsenicosis varies from case to case reflecting its dependence on arsenic level in drinking water and food, nutritional status, genetic variant of human being, and compounding factors. This study has determined the high intensity of fluorescent humic substances in drinking water containing elevated concentrations of arsenic and very low concentrations of heavy metals. The synergistic/antagonistic effect of fluorescent compounds present in drinking water may aggravate the toxicity of arsenic. Geochemical study suggests that arsenic may be released from both reductive dissolution of Fe and Mn (oxy)hydroxide and microbial oxidation of organic matter.

PMID:
11871394
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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