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TitleArsenic in drinking water
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPetrusevski, B, Sharma, S, Schippers, JC, Shordt, K, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, NL
Secondary TitleThematic overview paper / IRC
Volumeno. 17
Pagination57 p. : 11 fig., 3 tab.
Date Published2007-01-01
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordsarsenic, case studies, chemistry, groundwater pollution, health impact, institutional aspects, removal, sdiwat, social aspects, water quality standards

This TOP outlines the global extent of arsenic contamination and its basic chemistry, as well as associated health problems. It looks at removal technologies for centralised and household point-of-use systems, and describes two case-study trials in Bangladesh and in Hungary.
Since the early 1990s, the harm to health from small quantities of arsenic in drinking water has become horribly apparent. The most serious pollution has been found in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. In Bangladesh, at least 1.4 million wells that were dug to give people clean water were later found to contain dangerous levels of arsenic.
Most groundwater contamination is of geological origin, caused by the weathering of arsenic-bearing rocks, minerals and ores. Groundwater contamination with arsenic is a global issue, reported in 36 countries in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. The poorer the country the less able they are to deal with this. As a result, millions of people use water that could lead to arsenicosis, cancer and early death.
The only solution is to switch to an unpolluted source for drinking and cooking or to remove arsenic from the water, a difficult and often costly task.

NotesIncludes references
Custom 1241.3


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