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Arsenic articles - Fall 2012

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  • Laurel Schaider
    ... List of Topics: 1. Health Effects and Exposure 2. Distribution/ Extent of Affected Areas 3. Geochemistry 4. Water Testing, Water Treatment and Alternative
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 28, 2012

      List of Topics:
      1. Health Effects and Exposure
      2. Distribution/ Extent of Affected Areas
      3. Geochemistry
      4. Water Testing, Water Treatment and Alternative Supplies
      5. Agriculture and Food Products
      6. Social aspects

      Association between arsenic
      exposure from drinking water and plasma levels of cardiovascular markers. 2012.
      Wu F, Jasmine F, Kibriya MG, Liu ML, Wojcik O, Parvez F, et al.  Am. J. Epidemiol. 175(12):1252-1261.

      Abstract:  The authors conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the
      relation between arsenic exposure from drinking water and plasma levels of
      markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (matrix
      metalloproteinase-9, myeloperoxidase, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1,
      soluble E-selectin, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and
      soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)) using baseline data from 668
      participants (age, > 30 years) in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal
      Study in Bangladesh (2007-2008). Both well water arsenic and urinary arsenic
      were positively associated with plasma levels of soluble VCAM-1. For every
      1-unit increase in log-transformed well water arsenic (ln mu g/L) and urinary
      arsenic (ln mu g/g creatinine), plasma soluble VCAM-1 was 1.02 (95% confidence
      interval: 1.01, 1.03) and 1.04 (95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.07) times greater,
      respectively. There was a significant interaction between arsenic exposure and
      higher body mass index, such that the increased levels of plasminogen activator
      inhibitor-1 and soluble VCAM-1 associated with arsenic exposure were stronger
      among people with higher body mass index. The findings indicate an effect of
      chronic arsenic exposure from drinking water on vascular inflammation and
      endothelial dysfunction that could be modified by body mass index and also
      suggest a potential mechanism underlying the association between arsenic
      exposure and cardiovascular disease.

      Pre- and Postnatal
      Arsenic Exposure and Body Size to 2 Years of Age: A Cohort Study in Rural Bangladesh. 2012. Saha KK, Engstrom A, Hamadani JD, Tofail F, Rasmussen KM and M Vahter.  Environ.
      Health Perspect.  120(8):1208-1214.

      Abstract: BACKGROUND: Exposure to arsenic via drinking water has been
      associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and infant morbidity and mortality.
      Little is known, however, about the effects of arsenic on child growth.
      OBJECTIVE: We assessed potential effects of early-life
      arsenic exposure on weight and length of children from birth to 2 years of age.
      METHODS: We followed 2,372 infants born in a
      population-based intervention trial in rural Bangladesh. Exposure was assessed
      by arsenic concentrations in urine (U-As) of mothers (gestational weeks 8 and
      30) and children (18 months old). Child anthropometry was measured monthly in
      the first year and quarterly in the second. Linear regression models were used
      to examine associations of U-As (by quintiles) with child weight and length,
      adjusted for age, maternal body mass index, socioeconomic status, and sex (or
      stratified by sex).
      RESULTS: Median (10th-90th percentiles) U-As concentrations
      were about 80 (25-400) mu g/L in the mothers and 34 (12-159) mu g/L in the
      children. Inverse associations of maternal U-As with child's attained weight
      and length at 3-24 months were markedly attenuated after adjustment. However,
      associations of U-As at 18 months with weight and length at 18-24 months were
      more robust, particularly in girls. Compared with girls in the first quintile
      of U-As (< 16 mu g/L), those in the fourth quintile (26-46 mu g/L) were almost
      300 g lighter and 0.7 cm shorter, and had adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence
      interval) for underweight and stunting of 1.57 (1.02-2.40) and 1.58
      (1.05-2.37), respectively, at 21 months.
      CONCLUSIONS: Postnatal arsenic exposure was associated with
      lower body weight and length among girls, but not boys.
      health crisis in peri-urban Moyna and Ardebok villages, West Bengal, India:
      an exposure assessment study.  2012.  Maity JP, Nath B, Kar S, Chen CY, Banerjee S,
      Jean JS et al.  Environ.
      Geochem. Hlth.  34(5):563-574.

      Abstract:  Drinking of arsenic (As)-contaminated groundwater has
      adverse effects on health of millions of people worldwide. This study aimed to
      determine the degree of severity of As exposure from drinking water in
      peri-urban Moyna and Ardebok villages, West Bengal, India. Arsenic
      concentrations in hair, nail and urine samp les of the individuals were
      determined. Arsenical dermatosis, keratosis and melanosis were investigated
      through medical evaluation. We have evaluated the association between As
      exposure from drinking water, and keratosis and melanosis outcomes. The results
      showed that 82.7 % of the sampled tube wells contain As concentrations above 10
      mu g/L, while 57.7 % contain As concentrations above 50 mu g/L. The hair, nail
      and urine As concentrations were positively correlated with As concentrations
      in drinking water. In our study population, we observed a strong association
      between As concentrations ranging 51-99 mu g/L and keratosis and melanosis
      outcomes, although the probability decreases at higher concentration ranges
      perhaps due to switching away from the use of As-contaminated tube wells for
      drinking and cooking purposes. High As concentrations in hair, nail and urine
      were observed to be associated with the age of the study population. The level
      of As concentrations in hair, nail and urine samples of the study population
      indicated the degree of severity of As exposure in the study region.
      C-14 dating of deep
      groundwater in the Bengal Aquifer System, Bangladesh: Implications for aquifer
      anisotropy, recharge sources and sustainability. 2012. Hoque MA and WG Burgess.  J.
      Hydrol.  444:209-220.

      Abstract:  Environmental isotopes and C-14 dating were applied to
      estimate ages and recharge sources of deep groundwater (>= 150 m bgl) in
      south-east Bangladesh.
      With one exception, deep groundwater is shown to have been recharged more
      recently than 10 Ka (range 3-9 Ka, mean 7.6 Ka), under climatic conditions
      indicated by delta O-18 and delta H-2 as similar to the present day.
      Groundwater age distributions have been used to infer the scale of aquifer
      hydraulic anisotropy. 2D groundwater flow modelling is able to reproduce the
      observed vertical profiles of groundwater age, as determined at two locations,
      when the aquifer is assigned a permeability anisotropy (K-x/K-z) of at least
      10(3). Under these conditions, deep groundwater originates as recharge in the
      hill regions at the eastern boundary of the basin. Recharge rates estimated
      from the groundwater ages are close to an estimate of the current rate of deep
      groundwater abstraction. Cautious development and careful monitoring are
      therefore necessary, as excessive deep groundwater pumping could draw dissolved
      arsenic from the shallow levels of the Bengal Aquifer System (BAS) and
      contaminate the deep groundwater resource.

      contrast between brown and grey sand aquifers in shallow depth of Bengal Basin:
      Consequences for sustainable drinking water supply. 2012. Biswas A, Nath B,
      Bhattacharya P, Haider D, Kundu AK, Mandal U et al.  Sci. Tot. Env.  431:402-412.

      Abstract: Delineation of safe aquifer(s) that can be targeted by cheap
      drilling technology for tubewell (TW) installation becomes highly imperative to
      ensure access to safe and sustainable drinking water sources for the arsenic
      (As) affected population in Bengal Basin. This study
      investigates the potentiality of brown sand aquifers (BSA) as a safe drinking
      water source by characterizing its hydrogeochemical contrast to grey sand
      aquifers (GSA) within shallow depth (<70 m) over an area of 100 km(2) in
      Chakdaha Block of Nadia district, West Bengal, India. The results indicate that
      despite close similarity in major ion composition, the redox condition is
      markedly different in groundwater of the two studied aquifers. The redox
      condition in the BSA is delineated to be Mn oxy-hydroxide reducing, not
      sufficiently lowered for As mobilization into groundwater. In contrast, the
      enrichments of NH4+, PO43-, Fe and As along with lower Eh in groundwater of GSA
      reflect reductive dis-solution of Fe oxy-hydroxide coupled to microbially
      mediated oxidation of organic matter as the prevailing redox process causing As
      mobilization into groundwater of this aquifer type. In some portions of GSA the
      redox status even has reached to the stage of SO42- reduction, which to some
      extent might sequester dissolved As from groundwater by co-precipitation with
      authigenic pyrite. Despite having low concentration of As in groundwater of the
      BSA the concentration of Mn often exceeds the drinking water guidelines, which
      warrants rigorous assessment of attendant health risk for Mn prior to
      considering mass scale exploitation of the BSA for possible sustainable
      drinking water supply.

      The palaeosol model
      of arsenic pollution of groundwater tested along a 32 km traverse across West
      Bengal, India.  2012.  Hoque MA, McArthur JM, and PK Sikdar.  Sci. Tot. Env.  431:157-165.  
      Abstract: The distribution of As-pollution in groundwater of the
      deltaic aquifers of south-eastern Asiamay be
      controlled by the subsurface distribution of palaeo-channel sediments
      (As-polluted groundwaters) and palaeo-interfluvial sediments (As-free
      groundwaters). To test this idea, termed the palaeosol model of As-pollution, we
      drilled 10 sites, analysed groundwater from 249 shallow wells (screened <
      107 mbgl), field-tested another 149 for As, and used colour as a guide to the
      presence or absence of As-pollution in a further 531 wells. Our work was
      conducted along a 32-km traverse running W to E across southern West Bengal,
      India. At seven drill sites we logged a palaeo-interfluvial sequence, which
      occurs as three distinct units that together occupy 20 km of the traverse.
      These palaeo-interfluvial sequences yield As-free groundwaters from brown sands
      at depth < 100 m. The palaeo-interfluvial sequences are separated by two
      deep palaeo-channels, which were logged at 3 sites. The palaeo-channel deposits
      host As-polluted groundwater in grey sands. Our findings confirm the predictions
      of the palaeosol model of As-pollution. We show again that well-colour can be
      used both to successfully predict the degree of As-pollution in groundwater,
      and to locate regions of buried palaeo-interfluve that will yield As-free
      groundwater for the foreseeable future.
      Organic carbon
      mobilization in a Bangladesh aquifer explained by seasonal monsoon-driven storativity changes.  2012.  Planer-Friedrich
      B, Hartig C, Lissner H, Steinborn J, Suss E Hassan MQ et al.  Appl. Geochem.  27(12):2324-2334.  

      Currently, the most widely accepted hypothesis to explain
      high As concentrations in Bangladesh ground-waters is that dissolved organic C (DOC) reduces solid Fe (hydr)oxides
      and mobilizes sorbed arsenate. The nature of the DOC and its release mechanism
      are still controversial. Based on weekly to biweekly sampling over the course
      of one monsoon cycle at six monitoring wells of different depths, it is
      proposed that storativity changes drive natural DOC release from clay-peat
      layers to the adjacent aquifers. With a decrease in hydraulic heads during the
      dry season, total mineralization and DOC concentrations increased. With the
      onset of the rainy season and an increase in hydraulic heads, release of
      clay-peat derived components stopped and vertical water displacement due to
      groundwater recharge from rainwater occurred, causing aquifer flushing and a
      decrease in total mineralization and DOC concentrations. Total As and DOC
      concentrations correlated over depth. However, at the depth of maximum
      concentrations, the As peak was observed during the rainy season. At present,
      the reason for this inverse seasonal trend between As and DOC is unclear.
      Higher mineralization or DOC concentrations could lead to increased As sorption
      or the increased arsenite release is a time-lag abiotic or microbial response
      to the DOC peak. The vulnerability of the Pleistocene aquifer towards increased
      As concentrations was found to be much higher than previously assumed. Though
      sorption capacities were determined to be higher than in the Holocene aquifer,
      probably due to intact Fe (hydr) oxides, long-term continuous As input from
      overlying clay and peat layers by the proposed seasonal storativity changes has
      led to increased aqueous As concentrations of 85 mu g/L, considerably higher
      than drinking water standards. Until now, aquifer and especially aquitard and
      aquiclude hydraulics have not been considered sufficiently when attempting to
      explain As mobilization in Bangladesh.
      Technological options
      for the removal of arsenic with special reference to South East Asia. 2012.  Jain CK and RD Singh. J.
      Environ.  Manage.  107:1-18.

      Abstract:  Arsenic contamination in ground water, used for drinking
      purpose, has been envisaged as a problem of global concern. However, arsenic
      contamination of ground water in parts of South East Asia is assuming greater proportions and posing a serious threat to the health of
      millions of people. A variety of treatment technologies based on oxidation,
      co-precipitation, adsorption, ion exchange and membrane process are available
      for the removal of arsenic from ground water. However, question remains
      regarding the efficiency and applicability/appropriateness of the technologies,
      particularly because of low influent arsenic concentration and differences in
      source water composition. Some of these methods are quite simple, but the
      disadvantage associated with them is that they produce large amounts of toxic
      sludge, which needs further treatment before disposal into the environment.
      Besides, the system must be economically viable and socially acceptable. In
      this paper an attempt has been made to review and update the recent advances
      made in the technological development in arsenic removal technologies to explore
      the potential of those advances to address the problem of arsenic contamination
      in South East Asia.

      Evaluation of an
      Arsenic Test Kit for Rapid Well Screening in Bangladesh.  2012.  George
      CM, Zheng Y, Graziano JH, Bin Rasul S, Hossain Z, Mey JL and A van Geen.  Environ.
      Sci. Technol.  46(20):11213-11219.

      Abstract:  Exposure to arsenic in groundwater via drinking remains
      unabated for millions of villagers in Bangladesh. Since a blanket testing
      campaign using test kits almost a decade ago, millions of new wells have been
      installed but not tested; thus affordable testing is needed. The performance of
      the Arsenic Econo-Quick (EQ.) kit was evaluated by blindly testing 123 wells in Bangladeshand comparing with laboratory measurements; 65 wells were tested twice. A
      subset of the same 123 wells was also tested using the Hach EZ kit in the field
      and the Digital Arsenator in the laboratory in Bangladesh. The EQ kit correctly
      determined the status of 110 (89%) and 113 (92%) out of 123 wells relative to
      the WHO guideline (10 mu g/L) and the Bangladeshstandard (SO mu g/L),
      respectively. Relative to the WHO guideline, all misclassifications were
      underestimates for wells containing between >10 and 27 mu g/L As. Relative
      to the BangladeshAs standard, over- and underestimates were evenly distributed. Given its short
      reaction time of 10 min relative to the Hach EZ and its lower cost compared to
      the Arsenator, the EQ kit appears to have several advantages for well testing
      in Bangladeshand elsewhere.

      Digital analysis
      technique for uncertainty reduction in colorimetric arsenic detection method.  2012.  Perez MEC and FM Francisca. J. Environ.
      Sci. Heal. A.  48(2):191-196.  

      Abstract: This article proposes an alternative to increase the
      reliability and reproducibility of a colorimetric method to measure arsenic
      (As) concentrations. The method of analysis developed incorporates a digital
      analysis technique to eliminate the operator dependence of results, and As
      concentrations are quantitatively determined from digital levels computed from
      photographs of the colorimetric reaction that emerges during the test. This
      technique allows the sensitivity of the detection to be increased at low
      concentration ranges, which is of fundamental importance for the detection of
      As given the current acceptable limit for drinking water. The results obtained
      show a very good correlation between As concentrations determined by means of
      analytical laboratory techniques and the method proposed in this research.

      The Role of
      Irrigation Techniques in Arsenic Bioaccumulation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.).
      2012.  Spanu A, Daga
      L, Orlandoni AM and G Sanna. Environ. Sci. Technol.  46(15):8333-8340.

      Abstract:  The bioaccumulation of arsenic compounds in rice is of great
      concern worldwide because rice is the staple food for billions of people and
      arsenic is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic elements at even trace
      amounts. The uptake of arsenic compounds in rice comes mainly from its
      interaction with system soil/water in the reducing conditions typical of paddy
      fields and is influenced by the irrigation used. We demonstrate that the use of
      sprinkler irrigation produces rice kernels with a concentration of total
      arsenic about fifty times lower when compared to rice grown under continuous
      flooding irrigation. The average total amount of arsenic, measured by a fully
      validated ICP-MS method, in 37 rice grain genotypes grown with sprinkler
      irrigation was 2.8 +/- 2.5 mu g kg(-1), whereas the average amount measured in
      the same genotypes grown under identical conditions, but using continuous
      flooding irrigation was 163 +/- 23 mu g kg(-1). In addition, we find that the
      average concentration of total arsenic in rice grains cultivated under
      sprinkler irrigation is close to the total arsenic concentration found in
      irrigation waters. Our results suggest that, in our experimental conditions, the
      natural bioaccumulation of this element in rice grains may be completely
      circumvented by adopting an appropriate irrigation technique.
      Arsenic Contamination
      in Soil-Water-Plant (Rice, Oryza sativa L.) Continuum in Central and
      Sub-mountainous Punjab, India.  2012.  Sidhu
      SS, Brar JS, Biswas A, Banger K, and GS Saroa.  Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol.:
      In the present study, Arsenic (As) concentrations in underground
      water, soil, and plants (rice) and their inter-relationships in central and
      sub-mountainous Punjab, India were studied. Approximately,
      32 % of the tubewell water samples had As concentrations greater than the
      maximum permissible limit (10 mu g As L-1) set by the World Health Organization
      (WHO) whereas in hand pump waters, As concentrations were within the safe range
      (i.e. < 10 mu g As L-1). As concentrations in tubewell waters were
      significantly correlated with As concentrations in surface soil (r = 0.57; P
      < 0.05) and plant samples (r = 0.27-0.82; P < 0.05) in central and
      sub-mountainous Punjab. The estimated daily
      intake of As through human consumption in rural and urban population was 0.016
      and 0.012 mu g day(-1) kg(-1) body weight respectively.

      Quality of Life and
      Mental Health Status of Arsenic-affected Patients in a Bangladeshi Population.  2012.  Syed EH, Poudel KC, Sakisaka K, Yasuoka J,
      Ahsan H and M Jimba.  J. Health Popul. Nutr.  30(3):262-269.

      Abstract:  Contamination of groundwater by inorganic arsenic is one of
      the major public-health problems in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional
      study was conducted (a) to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) and mental health
      status of arsenic-affected patients and (b) to identify the factors associated
      with the QOL. Of 1,456 individuals, 521 (35.78%) were selected as case and
      control participants, using a systematic random-sampling method. The selection
      criteria for cases (n=259) included presence of at least one of the following:
      melanosis, leucomelanosis on at least 10% of the body, or keratosis on the
      hands or feet. Control (non-patient) participants (n=262) were selected from
      the same villages by matching age (+/- 5 years) and gender. The Bangladeshi
      version of the WHOQOL-BREF was used for assessing the QOL, and the
      self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ) was used for assessing the general mental
      health status. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test and analysis of
      covariance (ANCOVA), and the WHOQOL-BREF and SRQ scores between the patients
      and the non-patients were compared. The mean scores of QOL were significantly
      lower in the patients than those in the non-patients of both the sexes.
      Moreover, the mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients (mean score
      for males=8.4 and females=10.3) showed greater disturbances than those of the
      non-patients (mean score for males=5.2 and females=6.1) of both the sexes. The
      results of multiple regression analysis revealed that the factors potentially
      contributing to the lower QOL scores included: being an arsenic-affected
      patient, having lower age, and having lower annual income. Based on the
      findings, it is concluded that the QOL and mental health status of the
      arsenic-affected patients were significantly lower than those of the
      non-patients in Bangladesh.
      Appropriate interventions are necessary to improve the well-being of the

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    • Crelis Rammelt
      http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/isbn/9781742233451.htm The uncertainties and inequalities of groundwater use in Bangladesh. 2012. Rammelt CF. In: Conservation
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 30, 2012
        The uncertainties and inequalities of groundwater use in Bangladesh. 2012. Rammelt CF. In: Conservation in a Crowded World: Case studies from the Asia-Pacific, J Merson, R Cooney, P Brown (ed.), p. 147-166, Sydney: UNSW Press

        Abstract: This chapter reflects on the notion of sustainable use of natural resources in the context of water management in Bangladesh. Polluted and irregular surface water resources have prompted a national shift to groundwater for both agricultural and domestic sectors in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. About a decade ago, natural occurring arsenic was detected in the shallow groundwater supplies, putting at risk drinking water and food security for an estimated 20-60 million people. Although progress is extremely slow, the sinking of deep groundwater tube-wells seems to be the most popular response. The strategy is not without risk: this chapter explores how a range of geological, technological, political, institutional and cultural factors are likely to affect continued and equitable access to adequate water resources.
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