Friday, October 9, 2009

Many Nations Suffer Problem of Arsenic in Drinking Water

LONDON -- Arsenic in drinking water is a global threat to health, affecting more than 70 countries and 137 million people, according to new research.
Large numbers of people are unknowingly exposed to unsafe levels of arsenic in their drinking water, Peter Ravenscroft from the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, told an annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday.

The country worst affected is Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of people are likely to die from cancers of the lung, bladder and skin caused by arsenic, the research said.

Arsenic is odorless and tasteless. It enters water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.

World Health Organization guidelines set a safe limit of 10 parts per billion of arsenic in water supplies, but 137 million people drink water with levels higher than that -- and 57 million drink water with a level of more than 50 parts per billion, according to the research.

No comments:

Post a Comment