Handbook of Advanced Approaches Towards Pollution Prevention and Control: Chapter 14 - Arsenic Pollution and Human Health Issues

Elsevier, Handbook of Advanced Approaches Towards Pollution Prevention and Control, 2021, Pages 281-305
Shresthashree Swain, Amrita Biswas, and Dilip K.Maiti

Groundwater arsenic contamination and its effects on human health in the Bengal basin is a saga of 45 years of negligence (1976–2020). The situation is at its worst in the Bengal delta, with over 100 million people living in zones with arsenic above 0.05 mg/L. Natural groundwater arsenic contamination and the sufferings of people as a result has become a crucial water-quality problem in many parts of the world, but especially in the Bengal delta. Today, consumption of drinking water is the raised up source of arsenic in arsenic affected areas. Using arsenic-contaminated groundwater in cultivation has led to arsenic accumulation in soil and therefore in crops and vegetables grown in these soils. The people living arsenic-endemic regions are severely malnourished or undernourished and tend to be highly susceptible to health issues (e.g., arsenicosis, cancer, cognitive disorders, etc.).