Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.Nine districts in West Bengal West Bengal: see Bengal.
State (pop., 2001: 80,176,197), northeastern India. It is bordered by Nepal and Bangladesh and the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya and has an area of 34,267 sq mi (88,752 sq km); , India, and 42 districts in Bangladesh have arsenic levels in groundwater above the World Health Organization maximum permissible limit of 50 [micro]g/L. The area and population of the 42 districts in Bangladesh and the 9 districts in West Bengal are 92,106 [km.sup.2] and 79.9 million and 38,865 [km.sup.2] and 42.7 million, respectively. In our preliminary study, we have identified 985 arsenic-affected villages in 69 police stations/blocks of nine arsenic-affected districts in West Bengal. In Bangladesh, we have identified 492 affected villages in 141 police stations/blocks of 42 affected districts. To date, we have collected 10,991 water samples from 42 arsenic-affected districts in Bangladesh for analysis, 58,166 water samples from nine arsenic-affected districts in West Bengal. Of the water samples that we analyzed, 59 and 34%, respectively, contained arsenic levels above 50 [micro]g/L. Thousands of hair, nail, and urine samples from people living in arsenic-affected villages have been analyzed to date; Bangladesh and West Bengal, 93 and 77% samples, on an average, contained arsenic above the normal/toxic level. We surveyed 27 of 42 districts in Bangladesh for arsenic patients; we identified patients with arsenical ar·sen·i·cal
An agent containing arsenic.
Of, relating to, or containing arsenic.
1. pertaining to arsenic.
2. a compound containing arsenic. skin lesions Skin Lesions Definition
A skin lesion is a superficial growth or patch of the skin that does not resemble the area surrounding it.
Skin lesions can be grouped into two categories: primary and secondary. in 25 districts. In West Bengal, we identified patients with lesions in seven of nine districts. We examined people from the affected villages at random for arsenical dermatologic dermatological, dermatologic
pertaining to dermatology; of or affecting the skin. features (11,180 and 29,035 from Bangladesh and West Bengal, respectively); 24.47 and 15.02% of those examined, respectively, had skin lesions. After 10 years of study in West Bengal and 5 in Bangladesh, we feel that we have seen only the tip of iceberg. Key words: arsenic in water, hair, nail, urine, skin-scale samples; arsenic-affected districts in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India; arsenical skin lesions; combat the arsenic crisis; estimated population drinking arsenic-contaminated water; groundwater arsenic contamination. Environ Health Perspect 108:393-397 (2000). [Online 16 March 2000]
Approximately 20 incidents of groundwater arsenic contamination have been reported from all over the world. Of these, four major incidents were in Asia: in Bangladesh (1-3); West Bengal, India (4-15); Inner Mongolia Inner Mongolia
Chinese Nei Mongol or Nei-meng-ku
Autonomous region (pop., 2002 est.: 23,790,000), China. Stretching some 1,800 mi (2,900 km) across north-northeastern China, it has an area of 454,600 sq mi (1,177,500 sq km); its capital is Hohhot. , China (16,17); and Taiwan (18-20). The world's two biggest cases of groundwater arsenic contamination and those that affected the greatest number of people were in Bangladesh and West Bengal. The magnitude of the arsenic contamination in Bangladesh surfaced only recently (3). A recent report (21) described the magnitude of the arsenic contamination in Bangladesh; the World Bank's local chief stated that tens of millions of people are at risk for health effects and that 43,000 villages of 68,000 are presently at risk or could be at risk in future. In the same report, the World Health Organization (WHO) (21) predicted that, within a few years, death across much of southern Bangladesh (1 in 10 adults) could be from cancers triggered by arsenic. The British Geological Survey The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a partly publicly-funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. (22) analyzed 2,000 hand tube-well water samples from the eastern, southern, and western portions of Bangladesh, and reported that approximately 21 million people in Bangladesh were drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. with arsenic levels [is greater than] 50 [micro]g/L. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and (U.S. EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ) standard for arsenic in drinking water is 50 [micro]g/L (23). The WHO maximum permissible limit for arsenic in drinking water is 50 [micro]g/L (24). It was estimated that at the current EPA standard/WHO maximum permissible limit of 50 [micro]g/L, the lifetime risk of dying from cancer of the liver Noun 1. cancer of the liver - malignant neoplastic disease of the liver usually occurring as a metastasis from another cancer; symptoms include loss of appetite and weakness and bloating and jaundice and upper abdominal discomfort
liver cancer , lung, kidney, or bladder from drinking 1 L water/day could be as high as 13 per 1,000 persons (25). The WHO recommended guideline value of arsenic in drinking water is 10 [micro]g/L (26). In 1996, the WHO (27) reported that in 11 districts in Bangladesh, arsenic levels in groundwater were at higher concentrations in drinking water and that 23 million people were at risk. Those 11 districts with high arsenic concentrations have now become 42 districts.
We started our survey for arsenic-affected villages in 1989 in West Bengal. At that time we identified only 22 affected villages in 12 police stations/blocks of 5 districts. In subsequent years, we discovered more and more affected villages. Current statistics from our 10-year survey show that there are 985 arsenic-affected villages in 69 police stations of nine arsenic-affected districts. Even after 10 years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time more districts that we survey yield more affected villages that are added to our list.
We began our work in Bangladesh in 1995. At that time there were three affected villages in two police stations of two districts. Currently our list of arsenic-affected villages includes 492 villages in 141 police stations of 42 districts. Again, more villages are surveyed, and more arsenic-affected villages are discovered.
The apparent increase in affected villages is probably due to more arsenic monitoring and to illness surveillance over time. The physical parameters and the arsenic-affected areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal are shown in Table 1. Figure 1 shows the position of arsenic-affected districts in Bangladesh and West Bengal and the districts where we identified patients with arsenical skin lesions. Of a total of 18 districts in our preliminary survey in West Bengal, nine districts have arsenic levels [is greater than] 50 [micro]g/L in groundwater. Of those nine districts, seven contain people suffering from arsenical skin lesions. However, based on our water analysis report, we expected arsenic patients from all nine districts.
[Figure 1 ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Table 1. Physical parameters and arsenic-affected districts of Bangladesh The divisions of Bangladesh are divided into 64 districts (zila or zilla, Bangla: jela). The districts are further subdivided into 493 sub-districts (upazila).
The districts are listed below in alphabetical order by division. and West Bengal.
West Parameters Bangladesh Bengal Total area ([km.sup.2]) 148,393 89,192.4 Total population (million) 120 68 Total number of districts 64 18 No. of districts with 42 9 arsenic levels in groundwater > 50 [micro]g/L Area of affected 92,106 38,865 districts ([km.sup.2]) Population of affected 79.9 42.7 districts (million) No. of districts with 25 7 patients with arsenical skin lesions to date
Our survey of all 64 districts in Bangladesh (to May 1999) showed 52 districts where the groundwater contained arsenic levels over the WHO guideline value (10 [micro]g/L), and 42 districts where the level was [is greater than] 50 [micro]g/L. Of these 42 districts we have completed a preliminary survey in 27 districts to identify people with arsenical skin lesions; to date we have identified patients in 25 districts. We expect to find arsenic patients in all 42 districts. Even those districts in Bangladesh that presently appear safe may not remain safe in the long run. Until last year, we knew that the districts of Jamalpur and Bogra (Figure 1) had groundwater arsenic levels between 10 and 49 [micro]g/L. In our recent survey, we found villages with high arsenic in groundwater in these two districts, and we also found very serious arsenic patients in Ezarapara (Jamalpur District Jamalpur is a district in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh. The main Jamalpur town consists of 12 wards and 80 mahallas. The municipality was established in 1869. The area of the town is 53.28 km². The town has a population of 116754; male 51.06%, female 48.94%. ) and Ullipur (Bogra District Bogra is a northern district of Bangladesh, in the Rajshahi Division. It is called the gateway to the north Bengal. It is an industrial city where many small and mid sized industries are housed. Bogra is also known for some historical sites including Mahasthangarh. ). These patients had severe spotted melanosis melanosis /mel·a·no·sis/ (mel?ah-no´sis) melanism; disordered production of melanin, with darkening of the skin.
melanosis co´li (n = 25), keratosis keratosis /ker·a·to·sis/ (ker?ah-to´sis) pl. kerato´ses any horny growth, such as a wart or callosity.keratot´ic
actinic keratosis and hyperkeratosis hyperkeratosis /hy·per·ker·a·to·sis/ (-ker?ah-to´sis)
1. hypertrophy of the stratum corneum of the skin, or any disease so characterized.
2. hypertrophy of the cornea. (n = 23), and gangrene gangrene, local death of body tissue. Dry gangrene, the most common form, follows a disturbance of the blood supply to the tissues, e.g., in diabetes, arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, or destruction of tissue by injury. (n = 1). Twenty children younger than 11 years of age from these two villages also had arsenical skin lesions.
A detailed survey of Bangladesh The Survey of Bangladesh (SOB) is the National Mapping Authority of Bangladesh. The agency functions under the Ministry of Defence and is headed by the Surveyor General of Bangladesh. and West Bengal is necessary to paint an accurate picture of arsenic contamination. Although the total population of the 42 districts in Bangladesh and the nine affected districts in West Bengal are approximately 80 million and 42 million, respectively, it does not mean that all of the individuals are drinking arsenic-contaminated water and will suffer from arsenic toxicity. However, they are undoubtedly at risk. To estimate the population that is drinking arsenic-contaminated water and suffering from arsenical skin lesions in West Bengal, we surveyed one of the nine affected districts [North 24-Parganas (Figure 1)] for 4 years. There are 22 police stations in North 24-Parganas; the district is 4,134 [km.sup.2] in total area and has a population of 7.28 million. We also surveyed in detail a few more police stations from other affected districts. We extrapolated our data for the nine affected districts and estimated that approximately 5 million people are drinking arsenic-contaminated water at levels [is greater than] 50 [micro]g/L and that nearly 300,000 people may have arsenical skin lesions. After we examined approximately 29,000 people from 200 villages in seven affected districts, we applied our theoretical calculations to our preliminary dermatologic field survey report. The comparative study indicated that we had not overestimated. We have not yet studied the data from Bangladesh in detail, but based on the analysis of our 4-year water and biologic samples and dermatologic study in the affected villages, we believe that Bangladesh is more affected than West Bengal (Table 1, Figure 1, Table 2, Figure 2). Although there have been some epidemiologic studies in West Bengal, (14), none have been done in Bangladesh to date. Thus, the actual public health burden of drinking water arsenic exposure in West Bengal and in Bangladesh are not yet known. Detailed epidemiologic research to characterize and quantify the arsenic-related public health burden is badly needed in these two areas.
[Figure 2 ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Table 2. Parametric presentation of arsenic in urine (metabolites Metabolites
Substances produced by metabolism or by a metabolic process.
Mentioned in: Interactions ), hair, nail, and skin-scale samples collected from the arsenic-affected areas of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Urine ([micro]g/L)(a) Parameters West Bengal Bangladesh No. samples 9,795 1,043 Mean 180 495 Maximum 3,147 3,086 Minimum 10 24 Median 115 302 Standard deviation 268 493 Percent of samples 89 95 with arsenic above normal/toxic level (hair) Hair ([micro]g/kg)(b) Parameters West Bengal Bangladesh No. samples 7,135 3,332 Mean 1,480 4,050 Maximum 20,340 28,060 Minimum 180 280 Median 1,320 2,490 Standard deviation 1,550 4,040 Percent of samples 57 81.2 with arsenic above normal/toxic level (hair) Nail ([micro]g/kg)(c) Parameters West Bengal Bangladesh No. samples 7,381 3,321 Mean 4,560 9,250 Maximum 44,890 79,490 Minimum 380 260 Median 3,870 6,740 Standard deviation 3,980 8,730 Percent of samples 83 93.7 with arsenic above normal/toxic level (hair) Skin scale ([micro]g/kg)(d) Parameters West Bengal Bangladesh No. samples 165 373 Mean 6,820 5,730 Maximum 1,550 53,300 Minimum 1,280 600 Median 4,460 4,800 Standard deviation 4,750 9,790 Percent of samples - - with arsenic above normal/toxic level (hair)
(a) Normal excretion of arsenic in urine ranges from 5 to 40 [micro]g/day (28).
(b) Normal level of arsenic in hair ranges from 80 to 250 [micro]g/kg; 1,000 [micro]g/kg is the indication of toxicity (29).
(c) Normal level of arsenic in nail ranges from 430 to 1,080 [micro]g/kg (30).
(d) There is no normal value in the literature for skin scale.
By May 1999, we had analyzed 12,135 and 58,166 hand tube wells for arsenic from 64 districts of Bangladesh and nine affected districts of West Bengal There are 18 districts in West Bengal, namely:
Formation of new and distinct species, whereby a single evolutionary line splits into two or more genetically independent ones. One of the fundamental processes of evolution, speciation may occur in many ways. of water samples indicated that monomethylarsonic acid and dimethylarsinic acid were not present in groundwater: the existing species were arsenate ar·se·nate
A salt of arsenic acid.
an uncommon garden pesticide, as lead arsenate, or as antifungal spray on fruit trees or cattle tick dip as sodium arsenate. and arsenite.
To date, we have analyzed 3,332 hair; 3,321 nail; 1,043 urine; and 373 skin-scale samples from arsenic-affected villages in Bangladesh, and 7,135 hair; 7,381 nail; 9,795 urine; and 165 skin-scale samples in West Bengal. Approximately 60 and 20% of the samples (except skin scale) from Bangladesh and West Bengal, respectively, were from patients with arsenical skin lesions. An analysis of these samples (Table 2) shows that 81, 94, and 95% of hair, nail, and urine samples, respectively, in Bangladesh and 57, 83, and 89% of the samples in West Bengal have arsenic levels above the normal levels for nail, urine, and toxic levels for hair samples. All skin scales contained elevated levels of arsenic. Many villagers may not be suffering from arsenical skin lesions but may have elevated levels of arsenic in hair and nails. Many more may be subclinically affected.
In West Bengal, we found arsenical neuropathy neuropathy
Disorder of the peripheral nervous system. It may be genetic or acquired, progress quickly or slowly, involve motor, sensory, and/or autonomic (see autonomic nervous system) nerves, and affect only certain nerves or all of them. in 37.2% of 413 arsenicosis patients that we examined clinically. Eletrophysiologic study on 20 patients showed an affliction of the sensory nerves Sensory nerves
Sensory or afferent nerves carry impulses of sensation from the periphery or outward parts of the body to the brain. Sensations include feelings, impressions, and awareness of the state of the body. in nine patients (45%) and an affliction of the motor nerves Motor nerves
Nerves that cause movement when stimulated.
Mentioned in: Neurogenic Bladder in four patients (25%).
In the last 10 years, we completed a preliminary survey in 200 villages of seven districts of the nine arsenic-affected districts. This survey counted arsenical dermatologic features among villagers. We examined 29,035 people (including children) at random from the affected villages. We identified 151 villages where people were suffering from arsenic-induced skin lesions, and we registered 4,420 (15.02%) people with arsenical skin lesions. In Bangladesh, we found arsenic patients in 112 of the 118 villages that have been surveyed to date. These villages were from 27 districts of the 42 where groundwater arsenic levels were [is greater than] 50 [micro]g/L. We examined 11,180 people (including children) at random; we registered 2,736 (24.47%) people with arsenical skin lesions. More people are suffering from arsenical skin lesions in Bangladesh than in West Bengal. In Bangladesh, 6.36% of the children examined from affected villages have arsenical skin lesions, whereas in West Bengal 1.7% of the children of a total of 6,695 examined have arsenical skin lesions. Children younger than 11 years of age normally do not exhibit arsenical skin lesions. Exceptions are found when the arsenic concentration in water is very high ([is greater than or equal to] 1,000 [micro]g/L) or when the arsenic concentration is low (around 500 [micro]g/L) but the children get poor nutrition. Normally, we found arsenical skin lesions among adult villagers in West Bengal and Bangladesh when the water contained arsenic above 300 [micro]g/L. The average water intake is 4 L/day for adults (31). However, if the nutrition status is poor, lower arsenic levels may cause arsenical skin lesions, and if the nutrition status is good, even 400 [micro]g arsenic/L may not show skin lesions. We did not find people suffering from arsenical skin lesions who drank water with [is less than] 100 [micro]g/L arsenic.
Symptomatology symptomatology /symp·to·ma·tol·o·gy/ (simp?to-mah-tol´ah-je)
1. the branch of medicine dealing with symptoms.
2. the combined symptoms of a disease.
n. of arsenical toxicity may develop insidiously after 6 months to 2 years or more, depending on the amount of water intake and the arsenic concentration in the water sample. The higher the concentration of arsenic in water and the higher the amount of daily water intake, the earlier one of clinical features may appear. Darkening dark·en
v. dark·ened, dark·en·ing, dark·ens
a. To make dark or darker.
b. To give a darker hue to.
2. To fill with sadness; make gloomy.
3. of skin (diffuse melanosis) in the whole body or on the palm of the hand is the earliest symptom. People suffering from arsenic toxicity do not necessarily show symptoms of diffuse melanosis. Spotted pigmentation pigmentation, name for the coloring matter found in certain plant and animal cells and for the color produced thereby. Pigmentation occurs in nearly all living organisms. (spotted melanosis) is an early symptom that is common and is usually seen on the chest, back, or limbs. Leucomelanosis (white and black spots side by side) is also seen on many patients. Leucomelanosis is common in persons who have stopped drinking arsenic-contaminated water but who previously had spotted melanosis. Buccal buc·cal
1. Of, relating to, adjacent to, or in the direction of the cheek.
2. Of or relating to the mouth cavity.
buccal mucus membrane melanosis (diffuse, patchy PATCHY - A Fortran code management program written at CERN. , or spotted melanosis) on the tongue, gums, lips, etc. may also be manifestations of arsenic toxicity. Keratosis is a late feature of arsenical dermatosis dermatosis /der·ma·to·sis/ (der?mah-to´sis) pl. dermato´ses any skin disease, especially one not characterized by inflammation. . Diffuse or nodular nodular
marked with, or resembling, nodules.
see nodular fasciitis (below).
a firm painless nodular swelling, 0. keratosis on the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot is a sign of moderately severe toxicity. Rough dry skin, often with palpable nodules Nodules
A small mass of tissue in the form of a protuberance or a knot that is solid and can be detected by touch.
Mentioned in: Leprosy (spotted keratosis), in dorsum dorsum /dor·sum/ (dor´sum) pl. dor´sa [L.]
1. the back.
2. the aspect of an anatomical structure or part corresponding in position to the back; posterior in the human. of hands, feet, and legs are symptoms seen in severe cases. However, pigmentation or nodular rough skin alone may not confirm arsenic patients until hair/nail samples show elevated levels of arsenic, but a combination of pigmentation (melanosis) and nodular rough skin (spotted palmoplanter keratosis) in a victim is a sure sign of arsenic toxicity. Other symptoms of arsenic toxicity that are sometimes found are conjunctival con·junc·ti·val
Relating to the conjunctiva.
pertaining to or emanating from conjunctiva.
congenital conjunctival membrane congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. and non-pitting swelling (solid edema edema (ĭdē`mə), abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body tissues or in the body cavities causing swelling or distention of the affected parts. ) of the feet. Complications such as liver enlargement (hepatomegaly hepatomegaly /hep·a·to·meg·a·ly/ (hep?ah-to-meg´ah-le) enlargement of the liver.
The abnormal enlargement of the liver. Also called megalohepatia. ), spleen spleen, soft, purplish-red organ that lies under the diaphragm on the left side of the abdominal cavity. The spleen acts as a filter against foreign organisms that infect the bloodstream, and also filters out old red blood cells from the bloodstream and decomposes enlargement (splenomegaly splenomegaly /sple·no·meg·a·ly/ (-meg´ah-le) enlargement of the spleen.
congestive splenomegaly Banti's disease; splenomegaly secondary to portal hypertension. ), and fluid in the abdomen (ascitis) are seen in severe cases. Squamous cell carcinoma squamous cell carcinoma
A carcinoma that arises from squamous epithelium and is the most common form of skin cancer. Also called cancroid, epidermoid carcinoma. ; basal cell carcinoma basal cell carcinoma
A slow-growing, locally invasive, but rarely metastasizing neoplasm of the skin derived from basal cells of the epidermis or hair follicles. Also called basal cell epithelioma. ; Bowen disease; and carcinoma affecting the lung, uterus, bladder, genitourinary genitourinary /gen·i·to·uri·nary/ (jen?i-to-u´ri-nar-e) pertaining to the genital and urinary organs.
adj. Abbr. tract, or other sites are often seen in patients with advanced cases that have suffered for many years.
During our last 10 years of field experience in West Bengal and 4 years in Bangladesh, we have observed that those suffering from diffused melanosis and light spotted melanosis can recover after drinking safe water, eating nutritious food, and taking vitamins. Normally, diffused melanosis disappears easily after drinking safe water. However, if keratosis is appreciably visible, it may be reduced by drinking safe water and eating nutritious food, but it may not disappear. In arsenic patients with keratosis, the appearance of keratosis does not stop even after drinking safe water over a long period of time and even when hair, nail, and skin scales contain safe level of arsenic. Those suffering from severe keratosis may develop skin cancer in the long run (Figure 3). We are obtaining more information about arsenic patients dying of cancers other than skin cancer, such as lung, liver, and bladder cancer bladder cancer
Malignant tumour of the bladder. The most significant risk factor associated with bladder cancer is smoking. Exposure to chemicals called arylamines, which are used in the leather, rubber, printing, and textiles industries, is another risk factor. . With the present health service facilities in West Bengal and Bangladesh villages, it is difficult to diagnose internal cancers in those affected. The villagers cannot afford to travel to major cities for diagnosis without financial assistance. Figure 4 shows an arsenic patient with several keratoses and who died of lung cancer lung cancer, cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States in both men and women. Like other cancers, lung cancer occurs after repeated insults to the genetic material of the cell. . We do not know how many people are suffering from internal cancers.
[Figures 3-4 ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
To combat the present arsenic crisis, we urgently need the following:
* In most of the villages surveyed in West Bengal and Bangladesh, an average of 35% of the tube wells contain water that is safe to drink. The mouths of the safe tube wells must be colored green and the unsafe ones red so that the villagers can use green tube wells for drinking and cooking, and red tube wells for bathing, washing, toilet, etc. The safe tube wells should be tested for arsenic every 3-6 months.
* Epidemiologic research is needed in the arsenic-affected areas of West Bengal and Bangladesh to characterize and quantify the arsenic-related public health burden and to document the long-term health benefits of arsenic exposure reduction.
* When groundwater was first extracted from the ground in the Nadia District
Nodia is a district of the state of West Bengal, in the north east of the Republic of India. Important towns
v. taint·ed, taint·ing, taints
1. To affect with or as if with a disease.
2. To affect with decay or putrefaction; spoil. See Synonyms at contaminate.
3. by the devil. Even now, many villagers believe that their skin lesions are due to curse of God or are the consequence of the wrath of God. The people should be made aware that their arsenic disease is due to the arsenic-contaminated groundwater they are using for drinking and cooking.
* In Bangladesh and West Bengal, the surface resources of sweet water such as rivers, wetlands, flooded river basins, and oxbow lakes Oxbow Lakes is a single by ambient house artist The Orb. It featured remixes from artists such as Carl Craig, Sabres of Paradise and A Guy Called Gerald. It also includes an acoustic version performed by the string sextet Instrumental. are among the largest in the world. These two delta areas are known as the land of rivers and have approximately 2,000 mm annual rainfall. Proper watershed management and villager participation are needed to assist in the utilization of these huge bodies of water.
* We must understand that there is no medicine for chronic arsenic toxicity; safe water, nutritious food, and physical exercise are the only preventive measures to fight chronic arsenic toxicity. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are readily available in Bangladesh and West Bengal. However, the villagers cook the vegetables in such a way that their nutrition value is lost. The villagers are also reluctant to consume quantities of seasonal fruits. The villagers believe that it is necessary to eat fish, meat, and eggs for nutritious food. The elephant, the strongest animal, is a vegetarian.
* The scientific community and medical professionals all over the world must work to find a solution to the problem that has put more than 100 million people at risk in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
(1.) Dhar RK, Biswas BK, Samanta G, Mandal BK, Chakraborti D, Roy S, Jafar A, Islam A, Ara G, Kabir S, et al. Groundwater arsenic calamity in Bangladesh. Curr Sci 73(1):48-59 (1997).
(2.) Biswas BK, Dhar RK, Samanta G, Mandal BK, Chakraborti D, Faruk I Fa·ruk I
See Farouk I.
Noun 1. Faruk I - king of Egypt who in 1952 was ousted by a military coup d'etat (1920-1965)
Farouk I , Islam KS, Chowdhury MM, Chowdhury M, Islam A, et al. Detailed study report of Samta, one of the arsenic-affected villages of Jessore District Jessore (or Jashahor) is a district in south western region of Bangladesh. It is located in the Khulna administrative division. History
Jessore was the first Independent district of Bangladesh. It gained independence from Pakistan on 6 December, 1971. , Bangladesh. Curr Sci 74(2):134-145 (1998).
(3.) Dhar RK, Biswas BK, Samanta G, Mandal BK, Chowdhury RT, Chanda CR, Basu G, Chakraborti D, Roy S, Kabir S, et al. Groundwater arsenic contamination and sufferings of people in Bangladesh may be the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Arsenic Pollution of Groundwater in Bangladesh: Causes, Effects and Remedies, 8-12 February 1998, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dhaka, India:Dhaka Community Hospital, 1998;86-87.
(4.) Das D, Chatterjee A, Samanta G, Mandal B, Chowdhury RT, Samanta G, Chowdhury PP, Chanda C, Basu G, Lodh D, et al. Arsenic contamination in groundwater in six districts of West Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. Analyst 119:168N-175N (1994).
(5.) Das D, Chatterjee A, Mandal BK, Samanta G, Chakraborti D, Chanda B. Arsenic in groundwater in six districts of West Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. Part II: Arsenic concentration in drinking water, hair, nail, urine, skin-scale and liver tissue (biopsy) of the affected people. Analyst 120:917-924 (1995).
(6.) Chatterjee A, Das D, Mandal BK, Chowdhury TR, Samanta G, Chakraborti D. Arsenic in groundwater in six districts of West Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. Part I: Arsenic species in drinking water and urine of the affected people. Analyst 120:643-650 (1995).
(7.) Das D, Samanta G, Mandal BK, Chowdhury RT, Chanda CR, Chowdhury P, Basu BK, Chakraborti D. Arsenic in groundwater in six districts of West Bengal, India. Environ Geochem Health 18:5-15 (1996).
(8.) Mandal BK, Chowdhury TR, Samanta G, Basu GK, Chowdhury PP, Chanda CR, Lodh D, Karan NK, Dhar RK, Tamili DK, et al. Arsenic in groundwater in seven districts of West Bengal, India--the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. Curr Sci 70(2):976-986 (1996).
(9.) Bagla P, Kaiser J. India's spreading health crisis draws global arsenic experts. Science 274:174-175 (1996).
(10.) Guha Mazumder ON, Das Gupta J, Santra A, Pal A, Ghosh A, Sarkar S Sarkar could mean:
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of :Chapman and Hall Chapman and Hall was a British publishing house, founded in the first half of the 19th century by Edward Chapman and William Hall. Upon Hall's death in 1847, Chapman's cousin Frederic Chapman became partner in the company, of which he became sole manager upon the retirement of 1997;112-123.
(11.) Mandal BK, Chowdhury TR, Samanta G, Basu GK, Chowdhury PP, Chanda CR, Lodh D, Karan NK, Dhar RK, Tamili DK, et al. Chronic arsenic toxicity in West Bengal. Curr Sci 72(2):114-117 (1997).
(12.) Chowdhury RT, Mandal BK, Samanta G, Basu GK, Chowdhury PP, Chanda CR, Karan NK, Dhar RK, Lodh D, Das D, et al. Arsenic in groundwater in seven districts of West-Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. The status report up to August 1995. In: Arsenic: Exposure and Health Effects (Abernathy CO, Calderon RL, Chappell WR, eds). New York:Chapman and Hall, 1997;91-111.
(13.) Mandal BK, Chowdhury TR, Samanta G. Impact of safe water for drinking and cooking on five arsenic affected families for 2 years in West Bengal, India. Sci Total Environ 218:185-201 (1998).
(14.) Guha Mazumder DN, Haque R, Ghosh N, De BK, Santra A, Chakraborti D, Smith AH. Arsenic levels in drinking water and prevalence of skin lesions in West Bengal-India. India J Epidemiol 27:871-877 (1998).
(15.) Mandal BK, Biswas BK, Dhar RK, Chowdhury RT, Samanta G, Basu G, Chanda CR, Saha KC, Chakraborti D, Kabir S, et al. Groundwater arsenic contamination and sufferings of people in West Bengal, India and Bangladesh: status report up to March, 1998. In: Metals and Genetics (Sarkar B, ed). New York:Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1999;41-66,
(16.) Lian FW, Jian ZH. Chronic arsenism from drinking water in some areas of Xinjiang, China. In: Arsenic in the Environment. Part II: Human Health and Ecosystem effects (Nriagu JO, ed). New York:John Wiley John Wiley may refer to:
(17.) Xiao JG. 96% well water is underintakable. Asia Arsenic Network Newslett 2:7-9 (1997).
(18.) Tseng WP, Chen WY, Sung JL, Chen JS. A clinical study of blackfoot disease in Taiwan: an endemic peripheral vascular disease Peripheral Vascular Disease Definition
Peripheral vascular disease is a narrowing of blood vessels that restricts blood flow. It mostly occurs in the legs, but is sometimes seen in the arms. . Mere Coll Med Natl Taiwan Univ 7:1-17 (1961).
(19.) Yeh S. Relative incidence of skin cancer in Chinese in Taiwan: with special reference to arsenical cancer. Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 10:81-107 (1963).
(20.) Tseng WP, Chu HM, How SW, Fond JM, Lin CS, Yen S. Prevalence of skin cancer in an endemic area Endemic area
A geographical region where a particular disease is prevalent.
Mentioned in: Leprosy, Scrub Typhus of chronic arsenicism in Taiwan. J Natl Cancer Inst 40:453-463 (1968).
(21.) Pearce F. Arsenic in the water. The Guardian (UK), 19/25 February 1998;2-3.
(22.) British Geological Survey. Groundwater Studies for Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh. Final Report. London:UK British Geological Survey, Mott MacDonald The Mott MacDonald Group was formed in 1989 when Mott, Hay and Anderson, renowned for its contribution to transportation engineering, merged with Sir M MacDonald & Partners, distinguished by a long tradition of water-related projects. Ltd., UK, 1999.
(23.) U.S. EPA. Drinking Water Regulations and Health Advisories. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, 1993.
(24.) WHO. Guideline for Drinking Water Quality, Vol 1 and 2. Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. :World Health Organization, 1984.
(25.) Smith AH, Hopenhayn-Rich C, Bates Bates , Katherine Lee 1859-1929.
American educator and writer best known for her poem "America the Beautiful," written in 1893 and revised in 1904 and 1911. MN, Goeden HM, Hertz-Picciotto I, Duggan HM, Wood R, Kosnett MJ, Smith MT. Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. Environ Health Perspect 97:259-267 (1992).
(26.) WHO. Guideline for Drinking Water Quality, Recommendation, Vol 1. 2nd ed. Geneva:World Health Organization, 1992;41.
(27.) Dave JM. Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water in Bangladesh. SEA/EH/500. New Delhi New Delhi (dĕl`ē), city (1991 pop. 294,149), capital of India and of Delhi state, N central India, on the right bank of the Yamuna River. , India:South East Asia East Asia
A region of Asia coextensive with the Far East.
East Asian adj. & n. Region, World Health Organization, 1996.
(28.) Farmer JG, Johnson LR. Assessment of occupational exposure to inorganic arsenic based on urinary concentrations and speciation of arsenic. Br J Ind Meal 47:342-348 (1990).
(29.) Arnold HL, Odam RB, James WD. Disease of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology dermatology (dûrmətŏl`əjē), branch of medicine concerned with diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the skin. . Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1990.
(30.) Ionid N, Bors G, Pope I. Beitrage Zur kenntnis des normalen Arsengehaltes von Nageln und des Gehaltes in den Faillen von Arsenpolyneuritis [in German]. Zeit Gesamte Gerichtl Med 52:90-94 (1961).
(31.) Mandal BK. Status of arsenic problem in two blocks out of sixty in eight groundwater arsenic affected districts of West Bengal, India [PhD Thesis]. Calcutta, India:Jadavpur University Jadavpur University (Bengali: যাদবপুর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়) (JU) is a premier educational and research institution in India. , 1998.
Address correspondence to D. Chakraborti, School of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University, Calcutta 700032, India. Telephone: 91 33 473 5233. Fax: 91 33 473 4266. E-mail: email@example.com
Received 18 August 1999; accepted 17 November 1999.
Uttam K. Chowdhury,(1) Bhajan K. Biswas,(1) Tarit Roy Chowdhury,(1) Gautam Samanta,(1) Badal K. Mandal,(1) Gautam C. Basu,(1) Chitta R. Chanda,(1) Dilip Lodh,(1) Khitish C. Saha,(1) Subhas K. Mukherjee,(2) Sibtosh Roy,(3) Saiful Kabir,(3) Quazi Quamruzzaman,(3) and Dipankar Chakraborti(1)
(1) School of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India;
(2) Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, Calcutta, India;
(3) Dhaka Community Hospital Trust, Bara Maghbazar, Bangladesh