Sunday, June 26, 2016

Arsenic in ground water

I was checking the Pirate bay for downloads (Outlander S02E12 actually... I haven't seen it available on local TV yet but it will probably arrive in Asia next year since we tend to be a year or two behind... except for stuff like the walking dead, which is advertised as "same day as the USA"...) . Illegal? Sort of: they passed a law but it is on hold if I remember correctly.

well, anyway, while on that site I found someone had posted quite a few books on Arsenic and water today.

These textbooks are illegal, of course, but on the other hand they are probably useful for those working in rural areas who don't have oodles of money to spend on such stuff.

No, I didn't download them: Too technical. But one of the books was about South America's arsenic problem.

South America? I was aware of the mass poisoning of Bengladesh from deep wells dug so people could have safe water (and not die of dysentary etc) but I wasn't aware of the problem in South America.

Well, anyway, the WHO has a report here on Peru with an introduction that summarizes the problem

An estimated 200 million people worldwide are exposed to arsenic concentrations in drinking water that exceed the recommended limit of 10 µg/l1 as set out in the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).2 The majority of this exposed population lives in southern Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Viet Nam. In addition, elevated levels of arsenic have been found in several countries in Latin America, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Mexico. Recent estimates suggest that at least 4.5 million people in Latin America are exposed to arsenic levels higher than 50 µg/l – the Bangladeshi threshold.

some of this is from mining run off, but a lot is from natural groundwater contamination.

We grow brown rice, and there is a problem with that because the bran concentrates arsenic if the irrigation water is contaminated. more HERE

But so far, this is not a problem here in the Philippines

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