Arsenic Problem

Topics: Groundwater, Squamous cell carcinoma, Arsenic poisoning Pages: 17 (4372 words) Published: February 16, 2010
1 Introduction:

Arsenic is a ruthless killer in Bangladesh's drinking water is making millions of people sick and may be causing as many as 3,000 deaths each year. That killer--naturally occurring arsenic in the water drawn from family wells--appears to have been released through a process involving crop irrigation, at least in one part of the country. At a research site in the southern part of Bangladesh, scientists calculated that irrigation pumping, which began in the last several decades, has dramatically altered groundwater flow through the aquifer. They show that the resulting changes to the chemistry of the groundwater have the potential to either increase or decrease arsenic levels, in a paper written by an MIT-led team of scientists in the Nov. 22 issue of Science. Arsenic poisoning, usually characterized by sores on the chest, or blackened knotty palms, and cases of skin, lung, liver, bladder and pancreas cancers have been linked to arsenic in the drinking water. In 1998 the World Bank agreed to provide Bangladesh a $32.4 million credit to develop a method of controlling the arsenic. But today, most Bangladeshis continue to drink arsenic-laced water. The World Bank describes the problem as one of the world's primary environmental challenges. The World Health Organization refers to it as "the largest mass poisoning of a population in history" in a fact sheet published in March. The mass poisoning began, sadly enough, with a well-meaning attempt to provide clean drinking water for Bangladeshis, who suffered from cholera and other diseases caused by bacteria in water taken from surface reservoirs. To remedy that problem, the Bangladesh government, with the help of international aid organizations, drilled between 6 and 10 million wells at depths ranging from 50 to 300 feet to provide clean, safe water for individual households. At about the same time, farmers in this largely rural country began irrigating land so that rice, the country's main food staple, could be grown during all six of the dry months when monsoon flooding abates. Cholera deaths dropped. But about 10 years into the use of the tube wells, villagers started displaying symptoms consistent with arsenic-related illnesses, and incidents of skin cancer and internal cancers became common.

2 Purposes:
We have some purposes of this report. These are given below: ➢ To find out the causes of arsenic problem of Bangladesh. ➢ To analyze how arsenic comes in food chain.
➢ To find out the arsenic affected areas.
➢ To find out the implications of arsenic poisoning.
➢ To find out the impact of the arsenic crisis on agriculture. ➢ To analyze the arsenic content of rice in Bangladesh and impacts on rice productivity. ➢ To analyze how we can mitigate of arsenic.

➢ To find out the role of private sector in arsenic mitigation.

3 Limitations:
We faced some limitations to research our project, these are given below: ➢ Shortage of time.
➢ No financial support.
➢ It was very tough for our group members to fix a same time to group work.

4 Causes of Arsenic Problem of Bangladesh:
Intermittent incidents of arsenic contamination in groundwater can arise both naturally and industrially. The natural occurrence of arsenic in groundwater is directly related to the arsenic complexes present in soils. Arsenic can liberate from these complexes under some circumstances. Since arsenic in soils is highly mobile, once it is liberated, it results in possible groundwater contamination. The alluvial and deltaic sediments containing pyrite has favored the arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh. Most regions of Bangladesh are composed of a vast thickness of alluvial and deltaic sediments, which can be divided into two major parts – the recent floodplain and the terrace areas. The floodplain and the sediments beneath them are only a few thousand years old. The terrace areas are better known as Madhupur and Barind Tracts...
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