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Arsenic in drinking water

than 1 million (above 0.05 mg/L) and is 1.3 million (above 0.01 mg/L) (Chowdhury, et al, 1997).

Bangladesh
According to a British Geological Survey study in 1998 on shallow tube-wells in 61 of the 64 districts in Bangladesh, 46% of the samples were above 0.010 mg/L and 27% were above 0.050 mg/L. When combined with the estimated 1999 population, it was estimated that the number of people exposed to arsenic concentrations above 0.05 mg/l is 28-35 million and the number of those exposed to more than 0.01 mg/l is 46-57 million (BGS, 2000).Arsenic in drinking-water in Bangladesh is attracting much attention for a number of reasons. It is a new, unfamiliar problem to the population,including concerned professionals. There are millions of people who may be affected by drinking arsenic-rich water. Last, but not least, fear for future adverse health effects as a result of water already consumed.

In Bangladesh, West Bengal (India) and some other areas, most drinking-water used to be collected from open dug wells and ponds with little or no arsenic, but with contaminated water transmitting diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. Programmes to provide "safe" drinking-water over the past 30 years have helped to control these diseases, but in some areas they have had the unexpected side-effect of exposing the population to another health problem - arsenic.

United States of America
Environment Protection Agency of The United States of America has estimated that some 13 million of the population of USA, mostly in the western states, are exposed to arsenic in drinking- water at 0.01 mg/L, although concentrations appear to be typically much lower than those encountered in areas such as Bangladesh and West Bengal. (USEPA, 2001)
Arsenic in Bangladesh
Background
In recent years, extensive well drilling programme has contributed to a significant decrease in the incidence of d
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