Posted by: sgu05ysw | November 6, 2007

World Facing ‘Arsenic Timebomb’

Scientists speaking at the Royal geographical Society (RGS) have warned that around 140 million people in developing countries (with over 50% of cases being found in South and East Asia) are being poisoned by arsenic in their drinking water. The figure was calculated by using drinking water standards in Europe and North America and it is thought that the problem is present in around 70 countries. 

The digging of wells to avoid drinking potentially unsafe surface water has unfortunately lead to some well water emerging with high levels of arsenic, which is naturally present in the soil. There are also concerns about high levels of arsenic in rice, which are grown in fields flooded with water from the same wells. 

Arsenic consumption leads to cancers and lung conditions and with one out of ten people with high concentrations in their water dying from it, an international response is needed. 

Black R, (2007), World facing ‘arsenic timebomb’, [www] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6968574.stm, (6 November 2007)

 

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