International Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Research™

ISSN 2455-6939


Abioye Fayiga

Arsenic pollution is a public health concern globally because it's a toxic metalloid with severe health effects such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, reproductive health problems and impaired cognitive development in children. Arsenic concentrations up to 2000 ug L-1 in groundwater and 46,049 ug L-1 in surface water have been reported in North and South America respectively. In Africa, As concentrations up to 2300 g L-1 in groundwater and up to 19,000 ug L-1 in surface water have been reported. High As concentrations in groundwater have been associated with natural processes such as reductive dissolution of Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides, microbial oxidation of organic matter, reduction of sulfide minerals, and hydrothermal processes in volcanic regions. In surface waters, anthropogenic activities such as ore roasting, mining and smelting have contributed immensely to high As concentrations. The highest As concentrations in groundwater (7754 ug l?1 ) was reported in the west region of Turkey in Europe due to geothermal waters. However, the highest population exposed to high As concentrations was reported in Bangladesh (77 million) and India (50 million) with up to 2000 ug L-1 As and 3200 ug L-1 As in groundwater of Bangladesh and India respectively. Although, less people are now drinking the As contaminated water in Bangladesh, they were still irrigating and cooking with it leading to exposure via dietary sources such as rice. Dietary sources such as rice also need to be regulated just like drinking water.

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