BTO rapport - BTO 2015.017

Arsenic and chromium concentrations and their speciation in groundwater resources and drinking water supply in the Netherlands


Arsenic poisoning of drinking water – a global issue
Arsenic (As) contamination of drinking water sources is a worldwide issue. Scientists long ago linked high As concentrations in ground waters of Taiwan, Bangladesh, and South America to cancer and other human illnesses. Today, As is the main priority on the US Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s Substance Priority List (ATSDR, 2013). As concentrations in food and drinking water are regulated worldwide. Although regulations exist in almost every corner of the inhabited world, more than 226 million people are still exposed to above acceptable As concentrations around the globe (Murcott, 2012). The most serious case of As poisoning through drinking water is currently ongoing in Bangladesh where an estimated 77 million people have been chronically exposed to As in their drinking water (Flanagan et al., 2012). Other As affected countries include, but are not limited to, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Hungry, India, Italy, Pakistan, Serbia, Iran, USA and the list continuous (Fig. 1.1). A list of countries (and continents) with reported cases of As contamination has been synthesized from various literature sources and has been shown in (Table 1.1). According to the United Nations Synthesis report, arsenic poisoning is the second most important health hazard related to drinking water after the contamination by pathogenic microorganisms (Johnston et al., 2001).

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