Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh: a public health emergency

In light of yesterday’s water leak here in Pullman my attention was drawn to just how much we take simple things, like free accessible drinking water for granted in modern society. The concept of “What! I can’t drink the water that comes out of my faucet for the next day” was alarming to me and a number of my peers, who I talked to about the issue. It really put into perspective just how different life is for most of us compared to living conditions and environmental threats in other parts of the world today. This article looks at the largest recorded poisoning of a population’s groundwater in history. The article explains that due to levels or arsenic in the ground water in Bangladesh millions of people have been exposed to deadly toxins in their daily water supply. The researchers explain that one in ten people who drink the contaminated water many die from cancer related to the arsenic poisoning. When considering basic human needs water is second to maybe only oxygen on the list of must haves for people to survive. An environment where even that basic amenity is unsafe is not an environment that sustains life. The article investigated this Contamination as a public health emergency and looked into means of purifying the water for human consumption, but what it did not address was that humans would not be the only species that could suffer the effects of the contaminated water. What about livestock, wildlife, even agriculture that is watered with a contaminate water source. If the arsenic is so detrimental to humans than logic dictates that it would be detrimental to other forms of life as well. The article also recommended that ground water around the world that is being used as drinking water should be tested for levels of arsenic, which makes me wonder how often this isn’t done, and what might be in our own water that we done even know about because we haven’t bothered to look in-depth.

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    Added to this shelf by: Slater Davis, on 04-21-2016 11:23pm

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