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Arsenic in drinking water

iarrhoeal diseases. It has been suggested that there are between 8-12 million shallow tube-wells in Bangladesh. Up to 90% of the Bangladesh population of 130 million prefer to drink well water. Piped water supplies are available only to a little more than 10% of the total population living in the large agglomerations and some district towns. Until the discovery of arsenic in groundwater in 1993, well water was regarded as safe for drinking. It is now generally agreed that the arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh is of geological origin. The arsenic derives from the geological strata underlying Bangladesh. Situation

The most commonly manifested disease so far is skin lesions. Over the next decade, skin and internal cancers are likely to become the principal human health concern arising from arsenic. According to one estimate, at least 100,000 cases of skin lesions caused by arsenic have occurred and there may be many more (Smith, et al, 2000). The number of people drinking arsenic-rich water in Bangladesh has increased dramatically since the 1970s due to well-drilling and population growth. The impact of arsenic extends from immediate health effect to extensive social and economic hardship that effects especially the poor. Costs of health care, inability of affected persons to engage in productive activities and potential social exclusion are important factors. The national standard for drinking-water in Bangladesh is 0.05 mg/L, same as in India. District and sub-district health officials and workers lack sufficient knowledge as to the identification and prevention of arsenic poisoning. The poor availability of reliable information hinders action at all levels and may lead to panic, exacerbated if misleading reports are made. Effective information channels have yet to be established to those affected and concerned.

Remedial Actions
Within Bangladesh, a number of governmental technical and advisory
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