[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A direct water intake study was conducted for one year, involving 423 individuals from three arsenic (As) affected villages of West Bengal, India. Average direct water intake per person and per unit body weight was found to be 3.12±1.17L/day and 78.07±47.08mL/kg/day (± SD), respectively. Average direct water intakes for adult males, adult females and children (age <15years) were 3.95, 3.03 and 2.14L/day, respectively. Significant sex differentials were observed between ages 16-55years. For all participants, a sharp increase in water intake up to 15years of age was observed followed by a plateau at a higher intake level. Significant monthly, seasonal, regional, and occupational variability was also observed. Another study involving 413 subjects determined the amount of indirect water intake. Average indirect water intake per person was 1.80±0.64L/day; for adult males, adult females and children, intake was 2.15, 1.81, and 1.10L/day, respectively. Average total (direct + indirect) water intake was 4.92L/person/day; for adult males, adult females and children, total intake was 6.10, 4.84, and 3.24L/person/day, respectively. The overall contribution of indirect water intake to total water consumption was 36.6% for all participants. This study additionally elucidated several factors that contribute to variable water intake, which can lead to better risk characterization of subpopulations and water contaminant ingestion. The study reveals that the water intake rates in the three studied populations in West Bengal are greater than the assumed water intake rates utilized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the establishment of drinking water quality guidelines; therefore, these assumed intake values may be inappropriate for the study population as well as similar ones.
Science of The Total Environment 08/2012; · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Manipur State, with a population of 2.29 million, is one of the seven North-Eastern Hill states in India, and is severely
affected by groundwater arsenic contamination. Manipur has nine districts out of which four are in Manipur Valley where 59%
of the people live on 10% of the land. These four districts are all arsenic contaminated. We analysed water samples from 628
tubewells for arsenic out of an expected total 2,014 tubewells in the Manipur Valley. Analyzed samples, 63.3%, contained >10μg/l
of arsenic, 23.2% between 10 and 50μg/l, and 40% >50μg/l. The percentages of contaminated wells above 10 and 50μg/l are
higher than in other arsenic affected states and countries of the Ganga–Meghna–Brahmaputra (GMB) Plain. Unlike on the GMB
plains, in Manipur there is no systematic relation between arsenic concentration and the depth of tubewells. The source of
arsenic in GMB Plain is sediments derived from the Himalaya and surrounding mountains. North-Eastern Hill states were formed
at late phase of Himalaya orogeny, and so it will be found in the future that groundwater arsenic contamination in the valleys
of other North-Eastern Hill states. Arsenic contaminated aquifers in Manipur Valley are mainly located within the Newer Alluvium.
In Manipur, the high rainfall and abundant surface water resources can be exploited to avoid repeating the mass arsenic poisoning
that has occurred on the GMB plains.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A detailed study in the Sahibganj district of Jharkhand state in the middle Ganga plain was carried out to determine the severity of groundwater arsenic contamination and related adverse health effects due to chronic arsenic exposure. Arsenic was analyzed by flow injection hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (FI-HG-AAS) in water and biological samples in both contaminated and noncontaminated areas. Health effects in three villages where tubewells (n = 178) were highly contaminated (91, 79.8, and 42% above 10, 50, and 300 µg L) were determined. Analyses of a total of 367 biological samples (nail, hair, and urine) from affected villages revealed that an average 88% of samples contained arsenic above normal level. Out of 522 people screened from these three villages, 71 were registered with arsenical skin lesions. A case involving arsenical skin lesions resulting in cancer was noted during the study. A representative histopathological picture of skin biopsy was presented. Out of 40 children examined, nine were registered with arsenical skin lesions. A child of 18 months drinking arsenic concentration water 1150 µg L displayed arsenical skin lesions, indicating arsenical skin lesions may appear earlier if arsenic concentration is high in drinking water. Different clinical and electrophysiological neurological features and abnormal quantitative sensory perception thresholds were noted amongst patients. Provision of safe water, better nutrition, and proper awareness about the arsenic danger to exposed population may save lives and avoid sufferings.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In arsenic contaminated areas of the Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra (GMB) plain (area 569,749 sq. km; population over 500 million) where traditionally cow dung cake is used as a fuel in unventilated ovens for cooking purposes, people are simply exposed to 1859.2 ng arsenic per day through direct inhalation, of which 464.8 ng could be absorbed in respiratory tract.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11/2007; 9(10):1067-70. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This communication presents results of our 2-year survey on groundwater arsenic contamination in three districts Ballia, Varanasi and Gazipur of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the upper and middle Ganga plain, India. Analyses of 4,780 tubewell water samples revealed that arsenic concentrations in 46.5% exceeded 10 microg/L, in 26.7%, 50 microg/L and in 10% 300 microg/L limits. Arsenic concentrations up to 3,192 microg//L were observed. The age of tubewells (n=1,881) ranged from less than a year to 32 years, with an average of 6.5 years. Our study shows that older tubewells had a greater chance of contamination. Depth of tubewells (n=3,810) varied from 6 to 60.5 m with a mean of 25.75 m. A detailed study in three administrative units within Ballia district, i.e. block, Gram Panchayet, and village was carried out to assess the magnitude of the contamination. Before our survey the affected villagers were not aware that they were suffering from arsenical toxicity through contaminated drinking water. A preliminary clinical examination in 11 affected villages (10 from Ballia and 1 from Gazipur district) revealed typical arsenical skin lesions ranging from melanosis, keratosis to Bowens (suspected). Out of 989 villagers (691 adults, and 298 children) screened, 137 (19.8%) of the adults and 17 (5.7%) of the children were diagnosed to have typical arsenical skin lesions. Arsenical neuropathy and adverse obstetric outcome were also observed, indicating severity of exposure. The range of arsenic concentrations in hair, nail and urine was 137-10,900, 764-19,700 microg/kg, and 23-4,030 microg/L, respectively. The urine, hair and nail concentrations of arsenic correlated significantly (r=0.76, 0.61, and 0.55, respectively) with drinking water arsenic concentrations. The similarity to previous studies on arsenic contamination in West Bengal, Bihar and Bangladesh indicates that people from a significant part of the surveyed areas in UP are suffering and this will spread unless drives to raise awareness of arsenic toxicity are undertaken and an arsenic safe water supply is immediately introduced.
Science of The Total Environment 12/2006; 370(2-3):310-22. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on several surveys during 1997-2005 and visits of a medical team to Eruani village, Laksham upazila, Comilla district, Bangladesh, the arsenic contamination situation and consequent clinical manifestations of arsenicosis among the villagers, including dermatology, neuropathy, and obstetric outcome, are reported here. Analysis of biological samples from patients and non-patients showed high body burden of arsenic. Even after eight years of known exposure, village children were still drinking arsenic-contaminated water, and many of them had arsenical skin lesions. There were social problems due to the symptoms of arsenicosis. The last survey established that there is a lack of proper awareness among villagers about different aspects of arsenic toxicity. The viability of different options of safe water, such as dugwells, deep tubewells, rainwater harvesting, and surface water with watershed management in the village, was studied. Finally, based on 19 years of field experience, it was felt that, for any successful mitigation programme, emphasis should be given to creating awareness among villagers about the arsenic problem, role of arsenic-free water, better nutrition from local fruits and vegetables, and, above all, active participation of women along with others in the struggle against the arsenic menace.
Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 07/2006; 24(2):129-41. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of high concentrations of arsenic in drinking-water has emerged as a major public-health problem. With newer-affected sites discovered during the last decade, a significant change has been observed in the global scenario of arsenic contamination, especially in Asian countries. This communication presents an overview of the current scenario of arsenic contamination in countries across the globe with an emphasis on Asia. Along with the present situation in severely-affected countries in Asia, such as Bangladesh, India, and China, recent instances from Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Cambodia, etc. are presented.
Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 07/2006; 24(2):142-63. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A detailed study was carried out in a cluster of villages known as Sagarpara Gram Panchayet (GP), covering an area of 20 km2 and population of 24,419 to determine the status of groundwater arsenic contamination and related health effects. The arsenic analysis of all hand tubewells (n = 565) in working condition showed, 86.2% and 58.8% of them had arsenic above 10, and 50 microgl(-1), respectively. The groundwater samples from all 21 villages in Sagarpara GP contained arsenic above 50 microgl(-1). In our preliminary clinical survey across the 21 villages, 3,302 villagers were examined and 679 among them (20.6%) were registered with arsenical skin lesions. A total of 850 biological samples (hair, nail and urine) were analysed from the affected villages and, on average, 85% of them contained arsenic above the normal level. Thus, many people of Sagarpara might be sub-clinically affected. Our data was compared with the international one to estimate population in Sagarpara GP at risk from arsenical skin lesions and cancer. Proper watershed management and economical utilization of available surface water resources along with the villagers' participation is urgently required to combat the present arsenic crisis.
Journal of Water and Health 10/2005; 3(3):283-96. · 1.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the recent past, arsenic contamination in groundwater has emerged as an epidemic in different Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, and China. Arsenic removal plants (ARP) are one possible option to provide arsenic-safe drinking water. This paper evaluates the efficiency of ARP projects in removing arsenic and iron from raw groundwater, on the basis of our 2-year-long study covering 18 ARPs from 11 manufacturers, both from home and abroad, installed in an arsenic affected area of West Bengal, India, known as the Technology Park Project (TP project). Immediately after installation of ARPs on August 29, 2001, the villagers began using filtered water for drinking and cooking, even though our first analysis on September 13, 2001 found that 10 of 13 ARPs failed to remove arsenic below the WHO provisional guideline value (10 microg/L), while six plants could not achieve the Indian Standard value (50 microg/L). The highest concentration of arsenic in filtered water was observed to be 364 microg/L. Our 2-year study showed that none of the ARPs could maintain arsenic in filtered water below the WHO provisional guideline value and only two could meet the Indian standard value (50 microg/L) throughout. Standard statistical techniques showed that ARPs from the same manufacturers were not equally efficient. Efficiency of the ARPs was evaluated on the basis of point and interval estimates of the proportion of failure. During the study period almost all the ARPs have undergone minor or major modifications to improve their performance, and after our study, 15 (78%) out of 18 ARPs were no longer in use. In this study, we also analyzed urine samples from villagers in the TP project area and found that 82% of the samples contained arsenic above the normal limit.
Environmental Science and Technology 07/2005; 39(11):4300-6. · 5.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the severity of related health effects of chronic arsenic exposure in West Bengal, a detailed 3-year study was carried out in Murshidabad, one of the nine arsenic-affected districts in West Bengal.
We screened 25,274 people from 139 arsenic-affected villages in Murshidabad to identify patients suffering from chronic arsenic toxicity for evidence of multisystemic features and collected biological samples such as head hair, nail, and spot urine from the patients along with the tubewell water they were consuming.
Out of 25,274 people screened, 4813 (19%) were registered with arsenical skin lesions. A case series involving arsenical skin lesions resulting in cancer and gangrene were noted during this study. Representative histopathological pictures of skin biopsy of different types of lesions were also presented. Out of 2595 children we examined for arsenical skin lesions, 122 (4%) were registered with arsenical skin lesions, melanosis with or without keratosis. Different clinical and electrophysiological neurological features were noticed among the arsenic-affected villagers. Both the arsenic content in the drinking water and duration of exposure may be responsible in increasing the susceptibility of pregnant women to spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, preterm births, low birth weights, and neonatal deaths. Some additional multisystemic features such as weakness and lethargy, chronic respiratory problems, gastrointestinal symptoms, and anemia were also recorded in the affected population.
The findings from this survey on different health effects of arsenic exposure were compared to those from previous studies carried out on arsenic-affected populations in India and Bangladesh as well as other affected countries.
Multisystemic disorders, including dermal effects, neurological complications, and adverse obstetric outcomes, were observed to be associated with chronic arsenic exposure in the study population in Murshidabad, West Bengal. The magnitude of severity was related to the concentration of arsenic in water as well as duration of the exposure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the severity of the arsenic crisis in West Bengal, India, a detailed, 3-year study was undertaken in Murshidabad, one of the nine arsenic-affected districts in West Bengal. The district covers an area of 5324 km2 with a population of 5.3 million.
Hand tubewell water samples and biologic samples were collected from Murshidabad and analyzed for arsenic by FI-HG-AAS method. Inter laboratory analysis and analyses of standards were undertaken for quality assurance.
During our survey we analyzed 29,612 hand tubewell water samples for arsenic from both contaminated and non-contaminated areas, and 26% of the tubewells were found to have arsenic above 50 microg/L while 53.8% had arsenic above 10 microg/L. Of the 26 blocks in Murshidabad, 24 were found to have arsenic above 50 microg/L. Based on our generated data we estimated that approximately 0.2 million hand tubewells are installed in all 26 blocks of Murshidabad and 1.8 million in nine arsenic-affected districts of West Bengal. It was estimated on the basis of our data that about 2.5 million and 1.2 million people were drinking arsenic-contaminated water with concentrations above 10 and 50 microg/L levels respectively in this district. The analysis of total 3800 biologic (nail, urine, and hair) samples from arsenic-affected villages revealed that 95% of the nail and 94% of the urine samples contained arsenic above the normal levels and 75% of the hair samples were found to have arsenic above the toxic level. Thus, many villagers in the affected areas of Murshidabad might be subclinically affected.
Comparing our extrapolated data with international dose response results, we estimated how many people may suffer from arsenical skin lesions and cancer. Finally, if the exposed population is provided safe water, better nutrition, and proper awareness about the arsenic problem, lives can be saved and countless suffering of the affected population can be avoided.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of arsenic removal plants (ARPs) to provide safe water was evaluated based on a study of 577 ARPs out of 1900 installed in 5 arsenic-affected districts of West Bengal, India. Out of 577, 145 (25.1%) were found in defunct condi- tion. Both raw and filtered water from 305 ARPs were analyzed for total arsenic concentration. Forty-eight ARPs were installed despite raw water arsenic concentrations below the Indian standard (50 µg/L) and in 22 cases even below the WHO guideline value (10 µg/L). Among the 264 ARPs having raw water arsenic above 50 µg/L, 140 (53.1%) and 73 (27.7%) failed to remove arsenic below the WHO guideline value and Indian standard, respectively. The highest arsenic concentra- tion in treated water was 705 µg/L. Analysis of 217 treated water samples for iron showed that 175 (80.6%) failed to remove iron below 300 µg/L. The treated water became coloured on standing 6 to 8 h, for 191 (44.2%) ARPs and 25 (5.8%) produced bad-odoured water. Overall, the study showed that 475 (82.3%) of the ARPs were not useful. The rea- sons for ineffectiveness and poor performance of these ARPs include improper maintenance, sand gushing problems, a lack of user-friendliness and absence of community participation. A comparative study of ARPs in two different blocks (Domkol in Murshidabad district and Swarupnagar in North 24 Parganas) showed that 39 (80%) and 38 (95%) ARPs, respectively, were not useful. Further study in Gram Panchayet Kolsur, Deganga block, North 24 Parganas, showed that 14 (87.5%) ARPs were not useful. Proper watershed management with active participation from the villagers is urgently required for successful mitigation.