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Arsenic in drinking water

Arsenic may be found in water which has flowed through arsenic-rich rocks. Severe health effects have been observed in populations drinking arsenic-rich water over long periods in countries world-wide.
Source
Arsenic is widely distributed throughout the earth's crust. Arsenic is introduced into water through the dissolution of minerals and ores, and concentrations in groundwater //in some areas are elevated as a result of erosion from local rocks. Industrial effluents also contribute arsenic to water in some areas. Arsenic is also used commercially e.g. in alloying agents and wood preservatives. Combustion of fossil fuels is a source of arsenic in the environment through disperse atmospheric deposition.
Inorganic arsenic can occur in the environment in several forms but in natural waters, and thus in drinking-water, it is mostly found as trivalent arsenite (As(III)) or pentavalent arsenate (As (V)). Organic arsenic species, abundant in seafood, are very much less harmful to health, and are readily eliminated by the body.
Drinking-water poses the greatest threat to public health from arsenic. Exposure at work and mining and industrial emissions may also be significant locally.

Measurement
Accurate measurement of arsenic in drinking-water at levels relevant to health requires laboratory analysis, using sophisticated and expensive techniques and facilities as well as trained staff not easily available or affordable in many parts of the world. Analytical quality control and external validation remain problematic. Field test kits can detect high levels of arsenic but are typically unreliable at lower concentrations of concern for human health. Reliability of field methods is yet to be fully evaluated.

Effects
Immediate symptoms on an acute poisoning typically include vomiting, oesophageal and abdominal pain, and bloody "rice water" diarrhoea.
Following long-term expo
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