The water supply projects will cover nearly 200 villages in three districts, where levels of poisonous arsenic in groundwater can reach up to 2,100 parts per billion — far above the World Health Organization‘s safety limit of 10 parts per billion.
The projects will treat surface water before supplying it to the districts, as groundwater purification is costly and unsustainable, a public official said.
Arsenic, a chemical element that occurs free in nature or as a by-product of industries and agriculture, can cause cancer of the skin, lungs, bladder and kidney. According to a health expert, people in the state of Bihar — one of the least urbanized, yet most densely populated Indian states — also suffer from bone and skin problems.
“In some affected villages, people have complained of weakening and bending of the bones and dreadful rashes and lumps on the skin,” he said.
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Source: Gulf News
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.