June 4, 2009


In Bangladesh over 18 millions people are drinking arsenic poisoned water daily
Arsenic is a slow killer that accumulates in the body resulting in nails rotting, dark spots, bleeding sores, swelling, large warts and a form of gangrene. It is carcinogen increasing the risk of skin cancer and tumors of the bladder, kidney, liver and lungs.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in pyrite bedrock underlying much of West Bengal. The poisoning began to occur as millions of kiloliters of water was being pumped out from deep within underground reservoirs. As a result the water level dropped and exposed the arsenic-bearing pyrite to air leading to oxidisation, a reaction which flushed arsenic into the remaining water.

Villagers in Jampukkur, first noticed something was wrong in the 1970’s when dark spots spread across their bodies. They finally learned they were drinking arsenic contaminated water in 1993 when official tests showed 95% of the village wells were contaminated.

As a result of widespread water contamination domestic abuse has become just one of the social costs. There are now many reports of broken marriage, as husbands send disfigured wives back to their parents. In Jampukkur, many young men and women don’t get married at all. Some people think the poison can be passed on from parent to child so many arsenic poisoned women have problems finding husbands.The cause of Arsenic pollution is still unknown.
Cardinal Features of Diagnosis for Bangladesh
Preclinical Stage
Initial Stage
Second Stage
Last Stage
No clinical manifestation Melanosis, keratosis, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, gastroenteritis Depigmentation (leucomelanosis), hyperkeratosis, non-pitting edema of legs, peripheral nephropathy, hepatopathy Nephropathy, hepatopathy, gangrene, cancer of skin, bladder and lung
In Bangladesh, majority of patients are in initial and second stages

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