Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

Bangladesh’s contaminated well water is considered one of the largest public health crises in the world, and yet it remains relatively unknown outside of scientific circles.


  • An estimated 40 million people — one quarter of the population — are exposed to drinking water contaminated with arsenic.
  • Chronic exposure may lead to only a few visible symptoms (skin pigmentation on the chest, hands, and feet occurs in a minority of cases), but the poison is exceptional in its ability to silently attack multiple organs over the course of years, or even decades.
  • Trace arsenic exposure in Bangladesh appears to have led to dramatic increases in cancers ranging from skin to liver to lung, in cardiovascular disease, and in developmental and cognitive problems for children.




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