Millions of people all over the world are affected by the contamination of groundwater with arsenic. Most of them live in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Vietnam.

 A study in 2017 revealed that over 60 million Pakistanis who live in the Indus River Valley are at risk from arsenic poisoning their drinking water.

Arsenic is a chemical element that has no odour or taste, making it difficult for a lay person to detect. Trace quantities of arsenic are essential in the human diet, but is dangerous in large amounts. Long-term exposure can lead to skin lesions, cancer, developmental defects, heart disease and diabetes.

While 10 mcg per litre is the safe limit recommended by WHO, in the Indus Valley, the concentration exceeded 200 mcg in many places!

Arsenic occurs naturally in the Earth’s crust, but it stays locked in the rocks and sediment. When people draw too much water from underground aquifers, it causes the water tables to drop drastically. The water deep down is often tainted by arsenic.

Picture Credit : Google