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5 TH International Conference on Arsenic Exposure and Health Effects SPEAKERS ' ABSTRACTS PRESENT GROUNDWATER ARSENIC CONTAMINATION STATUS IN

By Dipankar Chakraborti, Ph. D, Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, M. Sc and Uttam Kumar

Abstract

Arsenic contamination in groundwater and consequent human suffering in West Bengal, India was first reported in December 1983 when 63 arsenic patients from 3 villages were identified. At present 3000 villages are arsenic affected. Even after 14 years of our field survey we believe our study reflects only the tip of the iceberg in identifying the extent of arsenic contamination. The area and population of these 9 arsenic affected districts of West Bengal are 38865 km 2 and 42.7 million respectively. Till to-date, we have analyzed by FI-HG-AAS 1,10,000 hand tube well water samples from 9 arsenic affected districts. Out of them, 51 % are unsafe to drink according to the WHO recommended value of arsenic in drinking water (10 µg/L). In our preliminary study, 95000 people were clinically examined from arsenic affected districts of West Bengal and 10100 people (9.4 % including 2 % children) were registered with arsenical skin lesions. At least 100 cancer and few hundreds suspected Bowens disease were detected. Peripheral neuropathy is a common finding to those having arsenical skin lesions. We have analyzed around 3500

Year: 2010
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