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Arsenic Crisis News Apr 03 V3 N06

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  • dr_sara_bennett
    ================================================================= Arsenic Crisis News April 2003 V3 N06
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2003
      Arsenic Crisis News
      April 2003 V3 N06

      + From the Editor
      ** Update On Keeping ACIC Alive Past June 2003
      ** Deep Tube Wells For Arsenic Mitigation?

      + Recent & Upcoming Meetings & Conferences
      Updated Conference Web Pages & Sites

      + Selected Recent Media Articles Online

      + New & Newly-Discovered Scientific & Technical
      Publications On & Off Line

      + New & Newly-Discovered Web Sites & Web Pages
      Updated Web Sites & Web Pages

      + New & Newly Discovered Real World Stuff

      + Publication & Other Details


      ACN is published by the Arsenic Crisis Info Centre, (c) ACIC.
      Website http://www.bicn.com/acic. Editor Sara Bennett.

      Email addresses appear in this newsletter with a space before &
      after the @ symbol. To send email to an address, you must first
      remove the spaces.

      To visit long URLs that spill over onto more than one line, cut
      and paste the *entire* URL (all lines of it) into the address
      pane of your browser. Generally clicking on such URLs does *not*

      See end of message for how to subscribe, unsubscribe, submit,


      ** Update On Keeping ACIC Alive Past June 2003

      We have submitted a proposal to the Arsenic Policy Support Unit
      requesting funding to continue, institutionalize, and upgrade
      ACIC/ACN, initially for one year. We understand that such
      proposals must first gain the approval of an committee of experts
      established for this purpose; approved proposals are then
      forwarded to the foreign donor for their consideration.

      Any support, suggestions, or feedback you can provide, if you are
      involved in this process, or if you know someone who is, will be
      greatly appreciated. (I am speaking here of legitimate/licit
      forms of support, needless to say).

      The current thinking is that should this proposal meet with
      success, the project start date would be in Q4 2003. Therefore
      whatever the outcome, ACIC/ACN will be dormant over the summer
      and early fall.

      ** Deep Tube Wells For Arsenic Mitigation?

      I've heard that significant numbers of DTWs are being drilled in
      arsenic-affected areas to provide alternative safe water

      And I've heard/read reservations expressed by scientists about
      the potential for arsenic contamination of the deep aquifer from
      DTWs, and the need for safeguard measures to prevent and monitor

      I thought I also heard that the Government had declared a
      moratorium of some sort of DTW development (for this purpose, or
      for any purpose, I couldn't say.) But I can't find any explicit
      reference to the Government's actual position or actions.

      I have asked some colleagues and looked around on the WWW for the
      latest on this "DTW as arsenic mitigation" issue, but have struck

      Anyone out there up to date on this? If so, please enlighten me…

      email acic @ bicn.com .


      [None this issue.]


      [No articles from sources other than News From Bangladesh this

      [Last article in the previous issue was dated 2003-02-20.]


      VMS6 and clean water can be effective treatment for arsenic
      victims: Study - 6 Apr 03

      A combination of antioxidants (VMS6) and clean water could be an
      effective treatment for the arsenic victims, reports BSS. This
      was revealed in a study on "Control Clinical Trial of Antioxidant
      in Arsenicosis in Bangladesh" conducted by a research group of
      the Bangladesh Arsenic Control Society (BACS). VMS6 is a mixture
      caplet of six vitamins and minerals (beta carotene, ascorbic
      acid, alpha tocopherol, folic acid, zinc and selenium).

      The study, however, said the proposed solution required further
      exploration to determine the optimum dose of drugs, duration of
      treatment and best combination of antioxidants. "Vitamins and
      minerals were proved useful and safe in reducing arsenic
      toxicity," President of BACS and Project Director of Principal
      Investigator Dr G H Rabbani said in a dissemination seminar on
      the research.

      The research was carried out on 300 men and women in Hajiganj
      Upazila of Chandpur District, known as a highly arsenic
      contaminated area in the country. "However, these should not be
      considered as specific cure, although these can benefit patients
      substantially when used as an adjunct to arsenic free water," he

      Health and Family Welfare Minister Khandkar Mosharraf Hossain
      attended the inaugural session of the seminar as the chief guest
      at the ICDDR,B auditorium in the city Saturday. The Health
      Minister termed the research sponsored by UNICEF and Government
      of Bangladesh as "very timely" and said, "Arsenic poisoning is
      not only a risk to human health, it also affects our society,
      environment and economic structure."

      The government has mobilised its limited resources through
      various ministries, he said expressing the hope that the study of
      the BACS would be a landmark for the treatment of the arsenic
      patients. Chaired by ICDDR,B Director David A Sack the function
      was addressed, among others, by Secretary of the Forest and
      Environment Ministry Sabiuddin Ahmed, Patron in Chief of BACSA K
      Azad Khan, Head of the Health and Nutrition, UNICEF Bangladesh
      Kayode S Oyegbite and General Secretary of BACS Afzal Hossain.
      Meanwhile, another report from Meherpur adds: Arsenic
      contamination in 60 per cent tubewells water has been detected in
      three upazilas and two pourasavas of the district, official
      sources said.

      The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) conducted a
      survey in the water of 3,975 tubewells out of 7,995 tubewells in
      the district and noted with concern that water of 1,685 tubewells
      was found arsenic contamination. During the survey, the PHED has
      marked the arsenic affected tubewells and advised people of the
      area not to drink water of the red marked tubewells. But people
      are using water of these tubewells as there is no other
      alternative source of drinking water in the affected villages of
      the district.

      According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 0.05 mg arsenic
      per litre of water is the tolerable unit for Bangladesh. But
      sample collected from different parts of the district indicated
      that the high percentage of the arsenic contents like that of
      0.51 mg to 0.56 mg in the tubewells water is extremely dangerous
      for public health. Non-availability of medicine and kit box in
      the local Public Health Engineering Department offices for
      testing arsenic contamination in tubewells water increased the
      sufferings of the people.

      A survey recorded that ring-well popularly known, as `patkua'' is
      free from arsenic contamination. Local people urged the concerned
      authorities to conduct arsenic test free of cost and setup ring-
      well `patkua'' in the affected villages of the district. (BSS)


      Case Against British Geological Survey (BGS) Underway In London -
      1 Apr 03

      By Sylvia Mortoza

      The case against the British Geological Survey (BGS) is, it was
      negligent in not testing for arsenic when it conducted a pilot
      project assessing ground water in central and north-eastern
      Bangladesh in 1992. The water quality survey on 19 wells was
      recorded in Davies J and Exley C, 1992. BGS Technical Report
      WD/92/43R. Hydrochemical Character of the Main Aquifer Units of
      Central and North-eastern Bangladesh and Possible Toxicity of
      Groundwater to Fish and Humans and "The Hydrogeochemistry of
      Alluvial Aquifers in Central Bangladesh" by J. Davies. In:
      Groundwater Quality; H.Nash and GJH McCall (eds). Chapman Hall,

      The abstract to the second paper states "The groundwaters are all
      of Ca(HCO3)2 type, suitable for crop irrigation and domestic
      use." This paper appeared three years after the Indian PHED
      Report of 1991 into the arsenic crisis in West Bengal and in the
      same year as: Das et al. 1994. Arsenic contamination of six
      districts in West Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in
      the World. Analyst, 199, 168-170. Yet neither of these BGS
      articles mentions arsenic although, according to experts, the
      data contains many very clear chemical pointers to its presence
      (high phosphorus and iron, highish bicarbonate)
      Although we have no wish to try this case in the media, from the
      above it would seem the victims of arsenic poisoning do have a
      strong case against BGS and we will be watching the legal
      proceedings now underway in London with interest.
      At the time that a team of British lawyers visited Bangladesh in
      mid-2001, the number of people suffering from arsenic poisoning
      was estimated to be 8,000. Since then the number has risen and
      over 10,000 confirmed cases of poisoning has been recorded. As
      arsenic poisoning, gangrene, internal damage and many other
      diseases are some of the effects of drinking arsenic contaminated
      water on a daily basis, even one case is a case too many.

      As 2,000 of these patients are from those areas surveyed by BGS
      in 1991-92, the lawyers for the Bangladesh Government will argue
      at a preliminary hearing that the British Geological Survey (BGS)
      does have a case to answer. A brief idea of events and the legal
      process is given below to update our readers on developments.

      Bangladesh International Action Network (BIAN) indicated they
      would file a writ petition with the High Court seeking a ban on
      the installation of new shallow tubewells in the country, after
      which they would initiate a process for compensation for families
      of the dead and the affected. They also said they would take the
      issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
      Barrister Ajmalul Hossain said BIAN was quoted as saying they
      were equipped with enough facts and figures for proceeding with a
      public interest case on arsenic poisoning.

      Coming closely on the heels of this, the group of British lawyers
      who came to Bangladesh on a fact-finding mission began to prepare
      thousands of legal claims on behalf of Bangladeshis suffering
      from arsenic related illnesses. The team of lawyers from Leigh,
      Day & Co met 15 arsenic victims in two villages of Chandpur
      district in May and July, 2001 when the victims asked them to
      begin the legal action in London.

      These two groups joined hands and Brotee gave Leigh, Day and Co,
      a British Law firm, full support. In addition, the British Legal
      Aid System gave the go-ahead for preparing the legal claims of
      those suffering from arsenic related illness against the British
      Geological Survey (BGS). Others involved in the action include
      The Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and the
      Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA).
      Compensations ranging from 5000 pounds to 100,000 pounds could be
      claimed for an arsenic victim of the region depending on the
      graveness of the damage caused by arsenic poisoning.

      Although a BBC reports says, "For many people in Bangladesh it
      can sometimes be a choice between death by arsenic poisoning or
      death by diarrhoea," this we dispute because diarrhoea can be
      prevented and treated whereas arsenic poisoning although
      preventable by stopping the intake of contaminated water, once
      the victim reaches the point of no return, he/she cannot be saved
      and his/her fate is long suffering and a painful death.

      Although the case brought by two Bangladeshi residents, Binod
      Sutradhar and Lucky Begum, who allege that BGS' failure to detect
      high levels of arsenic in ground water endangered their lives
      will not bring back the dead, it will give their families a sense
      of justice served. The only fear now is for a bureaucratic cover-

      Sylvia Mortoza writes from Dhaka , Her email is zainah @


      Arsenic contamination detected in 597 tubewells - 2 Mar 03

      UNB, Chapainawabganj - Arsenic beyond permissible limit has been
      detected in 597 tubewells in the pourashava area here recently.
      Public Health Engineering Department sources said water of 1738
      tubewells were examined in the area under Arsenic Mitigation
      Water Supply Project and it was detected in 597 tubewells.

      Besides, arsenic contamination has been detected in the waters of
      two deep tubewells of the water supply system of the pourashava.
      Locals said these tubewells have been sealed off without any
      alternative arrangement of supply of pure water in the area. The
      sources said some 38 arsenic related disease affected people have
      been identified in the area. (UNB)


      Dupitila formation free of arsenic - 1 Mar 03

      Experts said here on Thursday that extensive mapping of Duptila
      formation, an arsenic free geological layer, should be done for
      safe groundwater extraction in the country. Hydro geologist and
      executive member Bangladesh Geological Society Nurun Nabi told
      BSS that the geologists are almost unanimous that country's
      Dupitila formations are free from arsenic contamination.

      The experts said Dupitila formations are found at 600 to 900 feet
      depths depending on different areas of the country. The formation
      in this part of the region is in progress since Pleistocene
      period that is the first epoch of the Quaternary period including
      the great ice age from about 1,700,000 to 8000 years ago.
      Quaternary period is the last of the period of geological time,
      it includes the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs that is the last
      2,00,000 years and still in progress.

      Mr Nurun Nabi said the local geologists should come forward to
      assist the authorities to map out the entire Dupitla formation of
      the country to facilitate the evolution and introduction of a
      national tubewell protocol. Geologist Kazi Matin said the
      tubewells at present are being mostly installed on the need basis
      which might hurt the underground aquifer and create another
      environmental hazard.

      Mr Nunur Nabi mapping of Dupitila formation would be a first step
      forward towards doing something in real terms to ensure pure
      drinking water supply to arsenic contaminated areas. He said in
      real terms the country was yet to find out a safe and effective
      solution to avail potable water as arsenic contamination has
      become a sever problem exposing more than 35 million people to

      The experts were of the view that indiscriminate and unplanned
      installation of the tubewells of all kinds would create yet
      another crisis. "There is no way other than mapping out arsenic
      free aquifers, introducing tubewells installation protocol and
      above all framing out national water distribution policy to
      ensure environment hazard free potable water supply in the
      future, " he said. (BSS)


      Arsenic detected in tube-wells water - 1 Mar 03

      Arsenic beyond limit has been detected in the waters of 15,000
      tube-wells in Rajarhat and Ulipur upazilas of the district. A
      total of 387 people have been identified as attacked with arsenic
      related disease. After the detection of arsenic in tube-wells
      waters, no pragmatic measures have been undertaken to find a
      solution to the menace during the last one year except the work
      of marking the tube-wells red and green under Arsenic Mitigation
      Water Supply Project through an NGO in collaboration with Public
      Health Engineering Department. The work involved lakhs of taka.

      The people of the two upazilas after the marking of tube-wells
      started using waters from ponds, rivers and canals and were
      attacked with water borne diseases. At one stage, they removed
      the red marks from the tube-wells and began to use waters from
      them, exposing themselves to arsenic poisoning. The people, in
      fact, fell in trouble as no programmes were undertaken for the
      supply of safe water to the people after execution of tube-wells
      marking programme. The people did not know how to remove arsenic
      if found in the waters of the newly sunk tube-wells. Nor could
      they be certain about the existence of arsenic in the newly sunk

      The correspondent during his spot visit to the arsenic affected
      areas found no red and green marks on any tube-wells. The local
      people told the correspondent that they were using waters from
      the tube-wells after removing red marks from those as they had no
      means to sink tube-wells anew. Informed sources said an NGO,
      BDSC started testing arsenic beyond limit in the waters of tube-
      wells in Rajarhat upazila under Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply
      Project since December 11, 2000. The NGO after examining 23,156
      tube-wells in seven unions under the upazila found arsenic beyond
      limit in the waters of 4,534 tube-wells and identified 137 people
      as attacked with arsenic related diseases.

      The programme of marking tube-wells green in Rajarhat upazila
      involved Tk 11 lakh. Besides, the NGO after examining 35,487
      tube-wells in 13 unions under Ulipur upazila found arsenic beyond
      limit in the waters of 9,787 tube-wells and identified 250 people
      as attacked with arsenic related disease. The limit of arsenic in
      the waters of those tube-wells was 02.1 to 05.1. (The

      ON & OFF LINE

      Sorted by year (newest first), alphabetical by title within each

      The previous issue mentioned that the Journal of Environmental
      Science and Health Volume 38, Issue 1, 2003, is a "Special Issue
      On Arsenic: Environment And Health Aspects With Special Reference
      To Groundwater In South Asia." In this issue of ACN, citations
      to each of the articles in this issue of JESH appear below.
      [Table of Contents at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/productid/ESE/toc?nb=#1 ]

      Antioxidants in detoxification of arsenic-induced oxidative
      injury in rabbits - preliminary results. Golam Hassan Rabbani,
      Shyamal Kumar Saha, Mastura Akhtar, Farzana Marni, Amal Krishna
      Mitra, Shamsir Ahmed, Mohammad Alauddin, Maya Bhattacharjee,
      Shamima Sultana, A. K. Azad Chowdhury. Journal of Environmental
      Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances &
      Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 273 - 287. [Free abstract
      & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016894 ]

      Abstract: To assess the oxidative injuries caused by arsenic
      toxicity in rabbits and evaluate the detoxifying effects of
      exogenous antioxidants, we administered arsenic trioxide (3-5
      mg/kg/day) in rabbits through a feeding tube for seven days.
      These rabbits were then treated with a recipe of vitamins, zinc,
      selenium (VZS) or a plant polyphenol or a placebo for the next
      seven days. Blood samples were collected from ear vein for
      spectrophotometric assay of reduced glutathione (GSH),
      thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and
      nitrite/nitrate (NOx; index of nitric oxide formation) before
      arsenic administration, seven days after arsenic administration,
      and seven days after antioxidant treatment. The total arsenic
      concentrations in hair and spot urine samples of rabbits before
      arsenic administration were 0.6 ± 0.21 µg/g and 34.0 ± 5.9
      µg/L, respectively. Administration of arsenic trioxide
      increased arsenic concentrations in hair and in urine to 2.8 ±
      0.40 µg/g (p<0.001) and 7372 ± 1392.0 µg/L (p<0.001),
      respectively. Arsenic administration to rabbits significantly
      reduced GSH concentration (post-arsenic,17.5 ± 0.81 mg/dL vs.
      pre-arsenic, 32.0 ± 0.76 mg/dL, p<0.001), increased TBARS
      concentration (post-arsenic, 8 ± 1.1 µM vs. pre-arsenic, 5 ±
      0.7 µM, p<0.05), and NOx concentration (post-arsenic, 465 ± 38.5
      µM vs. pre-arsenic, 320 ± 24.7 µM, p<0.001) as compared to
      the pre-
      arsenic levels. There was a negative correlation between TBARS
      and GSH concentrations (r = -0.464, p<0.01) and between NOx and
      GSH concentrations (r = - 0.381, p<0.05) of intoxicated rabbits.
      The recovery of the depleted GSH was significantly greater in the
      polyphenols (77.0 ± 12.0%) or VZS (67.0 ± 17.0%) treatment
      groups compared with the placebo group (36.0 ± 7.0%). The decrease
      in NOx level of arsenic-treated rabbits was significantly greater in
      polyphenols treatment group than the placebo group (60.0 ± 9.0%
      vs. 17.0 ± 6.0%, p<0.001). These results indicate that arsenic
      induces toxicity in rabbits associated with an increase in lipid
      peroxidation. Arsenic toxicity increases nitric oxide production
      in the body. Exogenous antioxidants such as polyphenols and
      recipe of vitamins, zinc, and selenium are useful for arsenic

      Arsenic groundwater contamination and sufferings of people in
      North 24-Parganas, one of the nine arsenic affected districts of
      West Bengal, India. Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, Badal Kumar
      Mandal, Tarit Roy Chowdhury, Mrinal Kumar Sengupta, Uttam Kumar
      Chowdhury, Dilip Lodh, Chitta Ranjan Chanda, Gautam Kumar Basu,
      Subhash Chandra Mukherjee, Kshitish Chandra Saha, Dipankar
      Chakraborti. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part
      A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 25 - 59. [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016658 ]

      Abstract: To understand the magnitude of the arsenic calamity in
      West Bengal, a detailed study spanning 7 years was made in North
      24-Parganas, one of the nine arsenic affected districts. Area and
      population of North 24-Parganas district are 4093.82 sq. km and
      7.3 million, respectively. Fourty eight thousand and thirty water
      samples were analyzed from hand tubewells of North 24-Parganas in
      use for drinking, cooking and 29.2% of the tubewells were found
      to have arsenic above 50 µg/L, the maximum permissible limit of
      World Health Organization (WHO) and 52.8% have arsenic above 10
      µg/L, WHO recommended value of arsenic in drinking water. Out of
      the 22 blocks of North 24-Parganas, in 20 blocks arsenic has been
      found above the maximum permissible limit and so far in 16 blocks
      people have been identified as suffering from arsenical skin
      lesions. From the generated data, it is estimated that about 2.0
      million and 1.0 million people are drinking arsenic contaminated
      water above 10 µg/L and 50 µg/L level, respectively in North 24-
      Parganas alone. So far, in our preliminary study 33,000 people
      have been examined at random from arsenic affected villages in
      North 24-Parganas and 2274 people have been registered with
      arsenical skin lesions. Extrapolation of the available data
      indicates about 0.1 million people may be suffering from
      arsenical skin lesions from North 24-Parganas alone. A sum of
      21,000 hair, nail, and urine samples analyses from arsenic
      affected villages show 56%, 80%, and 87% people have arsenic in
      biological specimen more than normal/toxic (hair) level,
      respectively. Thus, many may be subclinically affected. Due to
      use of arsenic contaminated groundwater for agricultural
      irrigation, rice and vegetable are getting arsenic contaminated.
      Hence there is an additional arsenic burden from food chain.
      People from arsenic affected villages are also suffering from
      arsenical neuropathy. A followup study indicates that many of the
      victims suffering from severe arsenical skin lesions for several
      years are now suffering from cancer or have already died of

      Arsenic in Australian environment - an overview. E. Smith, J.
      Smith, L. Smith, T. Biswas, R. Correll, R. Naidu. Journal of
      Environmental Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous
      Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 223 - 239.
      [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016891 ]

      Abstract: The most common source of elevated As concentrations
      in the Australian environment are attributable to anthropogenic
      activities. Mining activities have contributed to the
      contamination of soil and water primarily in Western Australia
      and Victoria. However, other anthropogenic activities such as
      agriculture, forestry and industry have also contaminated soil
      and water at a localized scale. Currently there are over 1000 As
      contaminated sites previously used as cattle dips for eradicating
      cattle ticks. Although As contamination of the environment may be
      severe enough to limit plant growth there appears to be few other
      reports identifying the impacts of the contaminants on other
      organisms, such as fish, mammals and humans. In Australia the
      impacts of metal/metalloid contamination of the environment are
      often unnoticed or ignored. However, the impacts of elements such
      as As may pass unnoticed by the public or regulators due to the
      perception of the minimal impact a contaminant has on the
      environment. This paper presents an overview of As in the
      Australian environment including the sources of As contamination,
      soil, water and plant As content, and the pathways of exposure.

      Chemical fate of arsenic and other metals in groundwater of
      Bangladesh - experimental measurement and chemical equilibrium
      model. A. Hussam, M. Habibuddowla, M. Alauddin, Z. A. Hossain,
      A. K. M. Munir, A. H. Khan. Journal of Environmental Science and
      Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental
      Engineering, 2003 38(1), 71 - 86. [Free abstract & article
      purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016882 ]

      Abstract: The presence of toxic level of inorganic arsenic in
      groundwater used for drinking in Bangladesh and neighboring India
      is unfolding as one of the worst natural disaster in the region.
      The purpose of this work is to ascertain the chemical fate of
      arsenic and other metals in groundwater of Bangladesh. A
      combination of techniques was used to measure 24 metals, 6
      anions, Eh, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and temperature
      to understand the distribution of components which were then used
      in computational chemical equilibrium model, MINEQL+, for
      detailed speciation. It was found that the fate of arsenic and
      its speciation were inextricably linked to the formation of
      hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) and its kinetic. The HFO induced
      natural attenuation removes 50-75% of total arsenic in first 24 h
      through a first order kinetics. Adsorption on HFO is the
      predominant mode of removal of arsenic, iron, manganese, and most
      trace metals. The equilibrium model points to the presence of
      excess active sites for the removal of arsenic. MINEQL+ shows
      that significantly higher concentration of HFO forming iron is
      required to remove arsenic below maximum contamination level
      (MCL) of 50 µg/L than predicted by stoichiometry. The practical
      implication of this work is the prediction of water quality based
      on models.

      Chronic arsenic toxicity: clinical features, epidemiology, and
      treatment: experience in West Bengal. D. N. Guha Mazumder.
      Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A-
      Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 141 - 163. [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016886 ]

      Abstract: Chronic arsenic toxicity due to drinking arsenic-
      contaminated water has been one of the worst environmental health
      hazards affecting eight districts of West Bengal since the early
      eighties. Detailed clinical examination and investigation of 248
      such patients revealed protean clinical manifestations of such
      toxicity. Over and above hyperpigmentation and keratosis,
      weakness, anaemia, burning sensation of eyes, solid swelling of
      legs, liver fibrosis, chronic lung disease, gangrene of toes,
      neuropathy, and skin cancer are some of the other manifestations.
      A cross-sectional survey involving 7683 participants of all ages
      was conducted in an arsenic-affected region between 04 1995 and
      03 1996. Out of a population of 7683 surveyed, 3467 and 4216
      people consumed water containing As below and above 0.05 mg/L,
      respectively. Except pain abdomen the prevalence of all other
      clinical manifestations tested (e.g., pigmentation, keratosis,
      Hepatomegaly, weakness, nausea, lung disease and neuropathy) were
      found to be significantly higher in As exposed people (water
      As>0.05 mg/L) compared to control population (water As level<0.05
      mg/L). The prevalence of pigmentation and keratosis,
      hepatomegaly, chronic respiratory disease and weakness rose
      significantly with increasing arsenic concentrations in drinking
      water. The respiratory effects were most pronounced in
      individuals with high arsenic water concentrations who also had
      skin lesion. Therapy with chelating agent DMSA was not found to
      be superior to placebo effect. However, therapy with DMPS caused
      significant improvement of clinical condition of chronic
      arsenicosis patients as evidenced by significant reduction of
      total clinical scores from 8.90 ± 2.84 to 3.27 ± 1.73;
      p<0.0001. Efficacy of specific chelation therapy for patients
      suffering from chronic As toxicity has further need to be fully
      substantiated. However, supportive treatment could help in
      reducing many symptoms of the patients. Treatment in hospital
      with good nutritious diet has been found to reduce symptom score
      in a subset of placebo treated patients in West Bengal during the
      course of DMSA and DMPS trial. People should be advised to stop
      drinking As contaminated water or exposure to As from any other
      source. The various clinical manifestations should be treated

      Diagnosis of arsenicosis. Kshitish Chandra Saha. Journal of
      Environmental Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous
      Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 255 - 272.
      [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016893 ]

      Abstract: Arsenicosis is chronic subclinical or clinical
      toxicity due to high level of arsenic in body. Diagnosis of
      arsenicosis was derived by chronological establishment of facts:
      (a) arsenic as the cause of malady, (b) drinking water (tubewell
      water) as the vehicle of arsenic, (c) soil as the source of
      arsenic, (d) mechanism of leaching of arsenic from soil, and (e)
      cause of prevalence in particular areas of the country.
      Arsenicosis has been classified by the author into 4 stages, 7
      grades and 20 subgrades. Stage I is pre-clinical or grade O.
      While clinical features were not found at this stage, high level
      of arsenic metabolites was observed in urine. As disease
      progressed to stable phase of grade O, high level of arsenic was
      also found in nails, hair, and skin scales. Stage II or clinical
      stage is divided into 4 grades, (1) Melanosis, (2) Spotted
      keratosis in palms/soles, (3) Diffuse keratosis in palms/soles,
      and (4) Dorsal keratosis. Clinical complications are grouped in
      stage III and grade 5. Malignancy is considered in stage IV and
      grade 6. There is a concern of both underdiagnosis and
      overdiagnosis. Therefore, cases of arsenicosis should be
      cautiously evaluated. Melanosis was the earliest cutaneous sign
      of clinical arsenicosis. Mild cases of melanosis could only be
      revealed by a thorough comparison with normal palms. Similarly
      mild cases of keratosis might not be visible and could only be
      revealed by careful palpation of palms and soles. Combination of
      melanosis and keratosis in adults indicated clinical diagnosis of
      arsenical dermatosis (ASD) that should be confirmed by showing
      high arsenic concentration in body tissues e.g., nails, hair,
      skin scales. Isolated melanosis or keratosis in newborn or
      children below 2 years almost negated the diagnosis of
      arsenicosis. Genetic melanosis or keratosis is often present
      since birth. Isolated melanosis or keratosis in adults should be
      differentiated from non-arsenical dermatosis and proven by
      absence of high arsenic level in nails and hair. Non arsenical
      causes of diffuse melanosis, spotted melanosis or leucomelanosis
      and localized or generalized keratosis can be clinically
      differentiated from arsenicosis by absence of pigmentation and
      keratosis in palms/soles.

      A dugwell program to provide arsenic-safe water in West Bengal,
      India - Preliminary Results. Meera M. Hira Smith, Timir Hore,
      Protap Chakraborty, D. K. Chakraborty, Xavier Savarimuthu, Allan
      H. Smith. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A-
      Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 289 - 299. [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      [Identical version, free access, at

      Abstract: In 1982, Dr. K. C. Saha, a dermatologist of Calcutta,
      West Bengal, identified patients with skin lesions from the
      district of 24 Parganas, leading him and others to search for a
      cause. The cause was soon identified to be arsenic in drinking
      water, but even today, 20 years later, large number of people
      continue to drink arsenic contaminated water and patients are
      increasing in number. Project Well is a program chosen for
      implementation in some villages of North 24 Parganas. Arsenic
      safe drinking water is provided for adopted villages by
      constructing shallow, concrete dugwells designed to tap the water
      of the unconfined aquifer, 20-30 feet below ground level, that
      contains low levels (<0.05 mg/L) of arsenic in the target region.
      The traditional dugwell design is modified by use of tube well
      hand pumps to withdraw water. The project includes community
      involvement, programs to increase awareness of the need to drink
      arsenic safe water, and training in monitoring of dugwell water
      for arsenic and harmful pathogens. Disinfecting of the water and
      regulating the water hazard diagram are also included in the
      training program. The plan is to make the system sustainable at
      the village level using indigenous labor and materials.

      Effects of arsenic on younger generations. Chiho Watanabe,
      Tsukasa Inaoka, Tamano Matsui, Kyoko Ishigaki, Nobuko Murayama,
      Ryutaro Ohtsuka. Journal of Environmental Science and Health,
      Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering,
      2003 38(1), 129 - 139. [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      Abstract: Health risks caused by the chronic exposure to
      arsenic-contaminated groundwater has been recognized in many
      Asian and Latin American countries. While the health effects
      among adults have been well documented, those among the younger
      generations including children, infants, babies, and fetus have
      been scarcely reported. In this minireview, possible effects of
      chronic arsenic exposure on the younger generations are discussed
      in terms of skin manifestations among the children, exposure
      among newborns and infants especially from the breast milk, child
      growth and development, reproductive performance. For each of the
      topics, our preliminary results obtained in an arsenic-
      contaminated area in Bangladesh will be described, followed by a
      brief overview on the recent publications dealing with the topic.
      Although there exist some human data that suggest possible
      effects on some of the above-mentioned endpoints, the data as a
      whole is too premature to conclude whether the arsenic poses
      serious threat to younger generations or not. Considering the
      public health importance of toxic effects imposed during the
      early life stages, it is clear that much more scientific efforts
      should be made to elucidate the possible effects of arsenic on
      the younger generations.

      The efficacy of monoisoamyl ester of dimercaptosuccinic acid in
      chronic experimental arsenic poisoning in mice. S. J. S. Flora,
      G. M. Kannan, B. P. Pant, D. K. Jaiswal. Journal of
      Environmental Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous
      Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 241 - 254.
      [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      Abstract: The therapeutic efficacy of monoisoamyl meso-2,3-
      dimercaptosuccinic acid (MiADMSA), a new monoester of 2,3-
      dimercaptosuccinic acid on arsenic induced oxidative stress in
      liver and kidneys, alterations in hematopoietic system and
      depletion of arsenic burden was assessed, in mice. Three
      different doses of MiADMSA (25, 50 or 100 mg/kg) for five
      consecutive days were administered in chronically arsenic exposed
      mice (10 ppm in drinking water for six months). Oral
      administration of MiADMSA particularly at a dose of 50 mg/kg,
      produced relatively more pronounced beneficial effects on the
      inhibited blood d-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD),
      biochemical variables indicative of hepatic and renal oxidative
      stress and depletion of arsenic concentration in blood, liver and
      kidneys, compared with intraperitoneal administration of the
      drug. The treatment with MiADMSA although, produced essential
      metals imbalance which could be a restrictive factor for the
      possible therapeutic use of this compound in chronic arsenic
      poisoning and thus require further exploration.

      Food chain aspects of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh -
      effects on quality and productivity of rice. J. M. Duxbury, A.
      B. Mayer, J. G. Lauren, N. Hassan. Journal of Environmental
      Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances &
      Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 61 - 69. [Free abstract &
      article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016881 ]

      Abstract: The total arsenic content of 150 paddy rice samples
      collected from Barisal, Comilla, Dinajpur, Kaunia, and Rajshahi
      districts, and from the BRRI experimental station at Rajshahi
      city in the boro and aman seasons of 2000 was determined by
      hydride generation-inductively coupled plasma emission
      spectroscopy (ICP). Arsenic concentrations varied from 10 to 420
      µg/kg at 14% moisture content. Rice yields and grain arsenic
      concentrations were 1.5 times higher in the boro (winter) than
      the summer (monsoon) season, consistent with the much greater use
      of groundwater for irrigation in the boro season. Mean values for
      the boro and aman season rices were 183 and 117 µg/kg,
      respectively. The variation in arsenic concentrations in rice was
      only partially consistent with the pattern of arsenic
      concentrations in drinking water tube wells. There was no
      evidence from yield or panicle sterility data of arsenic toxicity
      to rice. Processing of rice (parboiling and milling) reduced
      arsenic concentrations in rice by an average of 19% in 21 samples
      collected from households. Human exposure to arsenic through rice
      would be equivalent to half of that in water containing 50 µg/kg
      for 14% of the paddy rice samples at rice and water intake levels
      of 400 g and 4 L/cap/day, respectively.

      Genetic polymorphism in p53 Codon 72 and skin cancer in
      southwestern Taiwan. Yen-Ching Chen, Lilian Xu, Yu-Liang Leon
      Guo, Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Yu-Mei Hsueh, Thomas J. Smith, Louise M.
      Ryan, Meei-Shyuan Lee, Sheau-Chiou Chaor, Julia Yu-Yun Lee, David
      C. Christiani. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part
      A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 201 - 211. [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      Abstract: The Pro/Pro polymorphism of p53 codon 72 has been
      reported to be related to bladder and lung cancer, but its
      relationship with skin cancer is unclear. We assessed the
      hypothesis that there is a relationship between the p53 codon 72,
      Pro/Pro polymorphism, cumulative arsenic exposure, and the risk
      of skin cancer in a hospital-based case-control study in
      southwestern Taiwan. From 1996 to 1999, 93 newly-diagnosed skin
      cancer patients at the National Cheng-Kung University (NCKU)
      Hospital and 71 community controls matched on residence were
      recruited in southwestern Taiwan. The genotype of p53 codon 72
      (Arg/Arg, Arg/Pro, or Pro/Pro) was determined for all subjects by
      polymerase chain reaction-restricted fragment length polymorphism
      (PCR-RFLP). A questionnaire was administered to each subject for
      collection of demographic information, personal habits, disease
      history, diet information, and other relevant questions. The
      Pro/Pro (homozygous) genotype was more frequent in skin cancer
      patients (cases, 20%; controls, 12%; P = 0.37). Subjects with the
      susceptible genotype Pro/Pro and heterozygous (intermediate)
      genotype Pro/Arg had 2.18 and 0.99 times risk of skin cancer than
      the wild type Arg/Arg (95% confidence interval, 0.74-4.38; 95%
      confidence interval, 0.44-2.21), respectively. Compared with
      subjects with 18.5<BMI<23, subjects with BMI>18.5 had 5.78 times
      risk of skin cancer (95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 31.36)
      after adjusting for other risk factors. There was no interaction
      between BMI and genotype, but the sample size was small. The risk
      of skin cancer did not significantly vary by tumor cell-type. The
      risk of skin cancer is increased in individuals with the Pro/Pro
      genotype. Larger, confirmatory studies are needed to clarify the
      role of constitutional polymorphisms in p53 and skin cancer risk.

      Groundwater arsenic contamination, its health impact and
      mitigation program in Nepal Roshan R. Shrestha, Mathura P.
      Shrestha, Narayan P. Upadhyay, Riddhi Pradhan, Rosha Khadka,
      Arinita Maskey, Makhan Maharjan, Sabita Tuladhar, Binod M. Dahal,
      Kabita Shrestha. Journal of Environmental Science and Health,
      Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering,
      2003 38(1), 185 - 200. [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      Abstract: About 47% of Nepal's total population is living in
      Terai region and 90% of them are relying on groundwater as their
      major source of drinking water. About 200,000 shallow tubewells
      have been installed by different agencies in 20 Terai districts,
      serving 11 million people. Recently, arsenic contamination of
      groundwater has been recognized as a public health problem in
      Nepal. This has sensitized government, national and international
      nongovernment organizations working on water quality sector to
      carry out water quality assessment for arsenic in the affected
      communities. So far, 15,000 tubewells has been tested where 23%
      samples exceeded World Health Organization guideline value of 10
      µg/L and 5% exceeded "Nepal Interim Arsenic Guideline" of 50
      µg/L. It is estimated that around 0.5 million people in Terai are
      living at risk of arsenic poisoning (>50 µg/L). Some recent
      studies have reported the prevalence of dermatosis related to
      arsenicosis from 1.3 to 5.1% and the accumulation of arsenic in
      biological samples like hair and nail much higher than the
      acceptable level. Though some steps are being taken by government
      and private organizations to combat the problem, it has not been
      able to cover all the affected communities. Nepal still needs
      more research work on arsenic occurrence and effects and
      mitigation programs simultaneously.

      Laboratory case identification of arsenic in Ronpibul village,
      Thailand (2000-2002). Sumol Pavittranon, Kwanyuen Sripaoraya,
      Staporn Ramchuen, Sirinmas Kachamatch, Wilaiwan Puttaprug, Narong
      Pamornpusirikul, Siriluck Thaicharuen, Sutee Rujiwanitchkul,
      Winai Walueng. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part
      A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 213 - 221. [Free abstract & article purchase at
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      Abstract: Ronpibul village dwellers in the southern part of
      Thailand have been exposed to arsenic in the water and the
      environment over three generations. Over the past decades, clean
      water supplies, utilization and consumption have been introduced
      to the area. The villagers still use and select rainwater to
      other forms of potable water. In 2000, the epidemiological survey
      by Siripitayakunkit (Siripitayakunkit, U. Survey of Chronic
      Arsenic Poisoning in Ronpiboon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand,
      2000. Proc. 6th International Conference on the Biochemistry of
      Trace Elements, Guelph, Canada) showed prevalence rate at 24.7%,
      by using the skin lesion as selection criteria. In 2000-2002,
      attempt to initiate the local arsenic patient center, we
      investigated the population at risk in three villages. The
      laboratory analyses cover urine arsenic level, urine sugar
      screening and skin lesion classified by dermatologist. The result
      showed the prevalence of 5.99% of melanosis and 8.67% of
      hyperkeratosis, 3.84% of urine sugar>100 mg/dL and 6.33% urine
      arsenic>50 µg/g creatinine. There were low to negligible
      correlation between arsenic urine with urine sugar (r2 = 0.241)
      and arsenic urine with skin lesion (r2 = 0.058).

      Neuropathy in arsenic toxicity from groundwater arsenic
      contamination in West Bengal, India. Subhash Chandra Mukherjee,
      Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, Uttam Kumar Chowdhury, Mrinal Kumar
      Sengupta, Dilip Lodh, Chitta Ranjan Chanda, Kshitish Chandra
      Saha, Dipankar Chakraborti. Journal of Environmental Science and
      Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental
      Engineering, 2003 38(1), 165 - 183. [Free abstract & article
      purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016887 ]

      Abstract: Large number of people from 9 out of 18 districts of
      West Bengal, India are endemically exposed to arsenic
      contaminated groundwater due to drinking of tubewell water
      containing arsenic level above World Health Organization's
      maximum permissible limit of 50 µg/L. From our ongoing studies on
      neurological involvement in patients of arsenicosis from
      different districts of West Bengal, we report our findings in a
      total of 451 patients of three districts (Murshidabad, Nadia, and
      Burdwan), comprising 267 males and 184 females with age ranging
      from 11 to 79 years. They all had arsenical skin lesions,
      positive biomarkers and identified source of arsenic contaminated
      water drinking. Peripheral neuropathy was the predominant
      neurological complication in these patients affecting 154 (37.3%)
      of 413 patients of Group 1 and 33 (86.8%) of 38 patients of Group
      2. Other possible causes and alternative explanations of
      neuropathy were excluded. The temporal profile in most of the
      cases (154 of Group 1) were of chronic affection while the 33
      patients of Group 2 developed both neuropathy and dermopathy
      subacutely. Subacutely affected Group 2 patients had much higher
      incidence of neuropathy. Paresthesias and pains in the distal
      parts of extremities were much higher in incidence in Group 2
      (73.7% and 23.7% respectively) than in Group 1 (18.4% and 11.1%).
      Distal limb weakness or atrophy was evident in 7.3% in Group 1
      and 10.5% in Group 2. Overall, sensory features were more common
      than motor features in patients of neuropathy and sensory
      neuropathy was diagnosed in 30% and 76.3% and sensorimotor in
      7.3% and 10.5% respectively in Group 1 and Group 2 subjects.
      Nerve conduction and electromyographic studies performed in 88
      cases revealed dysfunction of sensory nerve in 45% and 27% and of
      motor nerve in 20% and 16.7% of patients with moderate degree and
      mild degree of clinical neuropathies respectively. Evoked
      potential studies performed in 20 patients were largely normal
      except for two instances each of abnormal visual evoked potential
      and brainstem auditory evoked potential findings. Prognosis was
      favorable in mild and early diagnosed cases of neuropathy whereas
      most of the other more severe and late diagnosed cases showed
      slow and partial recovery or even deterioration. Outcome in
      neuropathic patients of arsenicosis and long term toxic
      neurologic effects yet unexplored and unknown remain as matters
      of future concern requiring close monitoring.

      Non-cancer effects of chronic arsenicosis in Bangladesh -
      preliminary results. Abul Hasnat Milton, Ziaul Hasan, Atiqur
      Rahman, Mahfuzar Rahman Journal of Environmental Science and
      Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental
      Engineering, 2003 38(1), 301 - 305. [Free abstract & article
      purchase at
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      Abstract: A total of 136 patients were studied in three
      Upazillas of Laxmipur, Barisal and Madaripur districts were
      selected for health awareness campaign program. According to the
      existing data, these villages were ranked as high exposure.
      Demographic data of the patients investigated are showing
      pigmentation was seen in all-136 cases, keratosis was found only
      in 110 cases, and skin ulcer was detected in 13 cases. The
      predominant features are indicating respiratory sign and symptoms
      followed by conjunctival congestion and redness of eyes. Weakness
      was predominant symptom, and all most all cases reported
      weakness. There were few smokers (n = 16) and analyses were
      confined to non-smokers (n = 94). A total of the 94 subjects
      participated in this study. The sex ratio was 1:1.3 (male vs.
      female). The relative risk of chronic cough increased with age
      (RR = 2.12, for 26-50 age group; RR = 2.30 for age group more
      than 51) reflecting chronic exposure, but the 95% confidence
      intervals included unity. The relative risk of chronic bronchitis
      increased with age (RR = 2.68, for 26-50 age group; RR = 2.30 for
      age group more than 51) reflecting chronic exposure, but the 95%
      confidence intervals also included unity. The findings presented
      here provide evidence that ingestion of inorganic arsenic in
      drinking water may results in increases risk of chronic cough and

      Pattern of excretion of arsenic compounds [arsenite, arsenate,
      MMA(V), DMA(V)] in urine of children compared to adults from an
      arsenic exposed area in Bangladesh. Uttam Kumar Chowdhury,
      Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, Mrinal Kumar Sengupta, Dilip Lodh,
      Chitta Ranjan Chanda, Shibtosh Roy, Quazi Quamruzzaman, Hiroshi
      Tokunaga, Masanori Ando, Dipankar Chakraborti. Journal of
      Environmental Science and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous
      Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003 38(1), 87 - 113.
      [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016883 ]

      Abstract: Urinary arsenic is generally considered as the most
      reliable indicator of recent exposure to inorganic arsenic and is
      used as the main bio-marker of exposure. However, due to the
      different toxicity of arsenic compounds, speciation of arsenic in
      urine is generally considered to be more convenient for health
      risk assessment than measuring total arsenic concentration.
      Additionally, it can give valuable information about the
      metabolism of arsenic species within the body. In our study, for
      exposed group-42 urine samples were collected from Datterhat
      (South) village of Madaripur district, Bangladesh and an average
      arsenic concentration in their drinking water was 376 µg/L (range
      118 to 620 µg/L). For control group, 27 urine samples were
      collected from a non-affected district, Badhadamil village of
      Medinipur district, West Bengal, India, where arsenic
      concentration in their drinking water is below 3 µg/L. The
      arsenic species in the urine were separated and quantified by
      using HPLC-ICP-MS. The sum of inorganic arsenic and its
      metabolites was also determined by FI-HG-AAS. Results indicate
      that average total urinary arsenic metabolites in children's
      urine is higher than adults and total arsenic excretion per kg
      body weight is also higher for children than adults. For arsenic
      species between adults and children, it has been observed that
      inorganic arsenic (In-As) in average is 2.36% and MMA is 6.55%
      lower for children than adults while DMA is 8.91% (average)
      higher in children than adults. The efficiency of the methylation
      process is also assessed by the ratio between urinary
      concentration of putative product and putative substrate of the
      arsenic metabolic pathway. Higher values mean higher methylation
      capacity. Results show the values of the MMA/In-As ratio for
      adults and children are 0.93 and 0.74 respectively. These results
      indicate that first reaction of the metabolic pathway is more
      active in adults than children. But a significant increase in the
      values of the DMA/MMA ratio in children than adults of exposed
      group (8.15 vs. 4.11 respectively) indicates 2nd methylation step
      is more active in children than adults. It has also been shown
      that the distribution of the values of DMA/MMA ratio to exposed
      group decrease with increasing age (2nd methylation process).
      Thus from these results we may infer that children retain less
      arsenic in their body than adults. This may also explain why
      children do not show skin lesions compared to adults when both
      are drinking same contaminated water.

      The spatial pattern of risk from arsenic poisoning - a Bangladesh
      case study. M. Manzurul Hassan, Peter J. Atkins, Christine E.
      Dunn. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A-
      Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, 2003
      38(1), 1 - 24. [Free abstract & article purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016590 ]

      Abstract: Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh has been one of the
      biggest environmental health and social disasters of recent
      times. About seventy million people in Bangladesh are exposed to
      toxic levels of arsenic (0.05 mg/L) in drinking water. It is
      ironic that so many tubewells have been installed in recent times
      to provide drinking water that is safe from water-borne diseases
      but that the water pumped is contaminated with toxic levels of
      arsenic. Along with the clinical manifestations, some social
      problems have also emerged due to arsenic toxicity. Analysing the
      spatial risk pattern of arsenic in groundwater is the main
      objective of this paper. Establishing the extent of arsenic
      exposure to the people will facilitate an understanding of the
      health effects and estimating the population risk over the area.
      This paper seeks to explore the spatial pattern of arsenic
      concentrations in groundwater for analyzing and mapping 'problem
      regions' or 'risk zones' for composite arsenic hazard information
      by using GIS-based data processing and spatial analysis along
      with state-of-the-art decision-making techniques. Quantitative
      data along with spatial information were employed and analyzed
      for this paper.

      Speciation of arsenic metabolite intermediates in human urine by
      ion-exchange chromatography and flow injection hydride generation
      atomic absorption spectrometry. Mohammad Alauddin, Sarah T.
      Alauddin, Maya Bhattacharjee, Shamima Sultana, Dulaly Chowdhury,
      Hawa Bibi, Gholam H. Rabbani. Journal of Environmental Science
      and Health, Part A-Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental
      Engineering, 2003 38(1), 115 - 128. [Free abstract & article
      purchase at
      http://www.dekker.com/servlet/product/DOI/101081ESE120016884 ]

      Abstract: Biomethylation is considered as the principal
      metabolic and detoxification pathway for inorganic arsenic in
      human. The end products of methylation are less toxic and more
      readily excreted through urine. Therefore, speciation of
      metabolites in urine is essential to a better understanding of
      arsenic metabolism, health effects and detoxification ability of
      individuals exposed to arsenic through drinking water, food and
      environmental materials. Speciation of inorganic and methylated
      arsenic in urine is an analytical challenge and often requires
      expensive instrumentation. We have applied a relatively
      inexpensive technique for the separation and analysis of various
      arsenic species, such as, arsenite, arsenate, monomethylarsonic
      acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) in human urine. The
      technique is based on ion exchange chromatographic separation
      followed by flow injection hydride generation atomic absorption
      spectroscopy (FI-HG-AAS). The detection limit varies from 1.0 to
      2.0 µg/L for various species. The technique has been successfully
      applied to speciation of arsenic metabolite intermediates in
      urine samples collected from patients in Hajiganj, a serious
      arsenic affected area in Bangladesh. Arsenite (AsIII) was found
      to be the major component in the urine from these patients. Our
      findings from patients in Hajiganj, Bangladesh are presented in
      this paper. The technique permits us to carry out arsenic
      speciation in urine, essential for toxicological studies and
      possible nutritional intervention in combating arsenic poisoning
      in Bangladesh.

      Arsenic accumulation and metabolism in rice (Oryza sativa L.).
      Abedin, M.J., Cresser, M.S., Meharg, A.A., Feldmann, J., and
      Cotter-Howells, J. Environmental Science and Technology (2002),
      36:962-968. [Full text access for purchase & subscribers at

      Abstract: The use of arsenic (As) contaminated groundwater for
      irrigation of crops has resulted in elevated concentrations of
      arsenic in agricultural soils in Bangladesh, West Bengal (India),
      and elsewhere. Paddy rice ( Oryza sativa L.) is the main
      agricultural crop grown in the arsenic-affected areas of
      Bangladesh. There is, therefore, concern regarding accumulation
      of arsenic in rice grown those soils. A greenhouse study was
      conducted to examine the effects of arsenic-contaminated
      irrigation water on the growth of rice and uptake and speciation
      of arsenic. Treatments of the greenhouse experiment consisted of
      two phosphate doses and seven different arsenate concentrations
      ranging from 0 to 8 mg of As L-1 applied regularly throughout the
      170-day post-transplantation growing period until plants were
      ready for harvesting. Increasing the concentration of arsenate in
      irrigation water significantly decreased plant height, grain
      yield, the number of filled grains, grain weight, and root
      biomass, while the arsenic concentrations in root, straw, and
      rice husk increased significantly. Concentrations of arsenic in
      rice grain did not exceed the food hygiene concentration limit
      (1.0 mg of As kg-1 dry weight). The concentrations of arsenic in
      rice straw (up to 91.8 mg kg-1 for the highest As treatment) were
      of the same order of magnitude as root arsenic concentrations (up
      to 107.5 mg kg-1), suggesting that arsenic can be readily
      translocated to the shoot. While not covered by food hygiene
      regulations, rice straw is used as cattle feed in many countries
      including Bangladesh. The high arsenic concentrations may have
      the potential for adverse health effects on the cattle and an
      increase of arsenic exposure in humans via the plant-animal-human
      pathway. Arsenic concentrations in rice plant parts except husk
      were not affected by application of phosphate. As the
      concentration of arsenic in the rice grain was low, arsenic
      speciation was performed only on rice straw to predict the risk
      associated with feeding contaminated straw to the cattle.
      Speciation of arsenic in tissues (using HPLC-ICP-MS) revealed
      that the predominant species present in straw was arsenate
      followed by arsenite and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAA). As DMAA is
      only present at low concentrations, it is unlikely this will
      greatly alter the toxicity of arsenic present in rice.

      Arsenic-uptake and accumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.) irrigated
      with contaminated water. Abedin, M.J., Cotter-Howells, J., and
      Meharg, A.A. Plant and Soil (2002) 240: 311-319. [Full text
      available to purchasers & subscribers at

      Abstract: Long-term use of arsenic contaminated groundwater to
      irrigate crops, especially paddy rice (Oryza sativa L.) has resulted
      in elevated soil arsenic levels in Bangladesh. There is, therefore,
      concern regarding accumulation of arsenic in rice grown on these
      soils. A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the
      impact of arsenic-contaminated irrigation water on the growth and
      uptake of arsenic into rice grain, husk, straw and root. There were
      altogether 10 treatments which were a combination of five arsenate
      irrigation water concentrations (0–8 mg As l-1) and two soil
      phosphate amendments. Use of arsenate containing irrigation water
      reduced plant height, decreased rice yield and affected development
      of root growth. Arsenic concentrations in all plant parts increased
      with increasing arsenate concentration in irrigation water. However,
      arsenic concentration in rice grain did not exceed the maximum
      permissible limit of 1.0 mg As kg-1. Arsenic accumulation in rice
      straw at very high levels indicates that feeding cattle with such
      contaminated straw could be a direct threat for their health and
      also, indirectly, to human health via presumably contaminated
      bovine meat and milk. Phosphate application neither showed any
      significant difference in plant growth and development, nor in As
      concentrations in plant parts.

      Survey of arsenic in food composites from an arsenic-affected
      area of West Bengal, India. Roychowdhury T, Uchino T, Tokunaga
      H, Ando M. Food Chem Toxicol 2002 Nov;40(11):1611-21. [Abstract

      Abstract: An investigation of total arsenic in food composites,
      collected from the villagers, was carried out in arsenic-affected
      areas of the Murshidabad district, West Bengal where the
      agricultural system is mostly groundwater dependent. The
      shallow, large-diameter tubewells installed for agricultural
      irrigation contain an appreciable amount of arsenic (mean 0.085
      mg/l, n=6). Even the soil is arsenic-contaminated (mean 11.35
      mg/kg, n=36), so some arsenic can be expected in the food chain
      from crops cultivated in this area. The results revealed that
      the individual food composite and food groups containing the
      highest mean arsenic concentrations (microg/kg) are potato skin
      (292.62 and 104), leaf of vegetables (212.34 and 294.67), arum
      leaf (331 and 341), papaya (196.50 and 373), rice (226.18 and
      245.39), wheat (7 and 362), cumin (47.86 and 209.75), turmeric
      powder (297.33 and 280.9), cereals and bakery goods (156.37 and
      294.47), vegetables (91.73 and 123.22), spices (92.22 and 207.60)
      and miscellaneous items (138.37 and 137.80) for the Jalangi and
      Domkal blocks, respectively. Arsenic is absorbed by the skin of
      most of the vegetables. The arsenic concentration in fleshy
      vegetable material is low (mean 2.72 microg/kg, n=45). Higher
      levels of arsenic were observed in cooked items compared with
      raw. Daily dietary intakes of arsenic (microg) from the
      foodstuffs for adults are 171.20 and 189.13 and for children are
      91.89 and 101.63 in the Jalangi and Domkal blocks, respectively.

      Tubewells and arsenic in Bangladesh: challenging a public
      hea<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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