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    181873

    Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh: a geographic analysis.

    Paul BK; De S

    Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 2000 Aug; 36(4):799-809.

    Drinking of arsenic-contaminated tubewell water has become a serious health threat in Bangladesh. Arsenic contaminated tubewells are believed to be responsible for poisoning nearly two-thirds of this country's population. If proper actions are not taken immediately, many people in Bangladesh will die from arsenic poisoning in just a few years. Causes and consequences of arsenic poisoning, the extent of area affected by it, and local knowledge and beliefs about the arsenic problem - including solutions and international responses to the problem - are analyzed. Although no one knows precisely how the arsenic is released into the ground water, several contradictory theories exist to account for its release. Initial symptoms of the poisoning consist of a dryness and throat constriction, difficulty in swallowing, and acute epigastric pain. Long-term exposure leads to skin, lung, or bladder cancer. Both government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, foreign governments, and international agencies are now involved in mitigating the effects of the arsenic poisoning, as well as developing cost-effective remedial measures that are affordable by the rural people. (author's)
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