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Arsenic Contamination

Arsenic is common in groundwater around the world but particularly dangerous in some locales. In parts of the Americas, India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand, natural arsenic concentrations in groundwater have been high enough to poison those who drink it. Arsenic in water typically causes gradual poisoning (over five to 20 yrs) that results in skin, bladder, and kidney cancers among other ailments.

High arsenic levels are often unrecognized until related health problems and symptoms begin to appear. Industrial uses have added to arsenic levels in water in some parts of the world.

Arsenic levels can be managed by water treatment at either the supply system or household level. But socio-economic hurdles, and a lack of monitoring or even knowledge that arsenic is present, often forestall such attempts.

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