Status of groundwater arsenic contamination in all 17 blocks of Nadia district in the state of West Bengal, India : a 23-year study report

Rahman, MM, Mondal, D ORCID:, Das, B, Sengupta, MK, Ahamed, S, Hossain, A, Samal, A, Saha, KC, Mukherjee, SC and Chakraborti, D 2014, 'Status of groundwater arsenic contamination in all 17 blocks of Nadia district in the state of West Bengal, India : a 23-year study report' , Journal of Hydrology, 518 (Part C) , pp. 363-372.

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A comprehensive study was conducted in Nadia, one of the nine arsenic (As) affected districts in West Bengal, India to determine the extent and severity of groundwater As contamination and its health effects in particular, dermatological effects and neurological complications. We collected 28,947 hand tube-well water samples from all 17 blocks of Nadia district and analyzed for As by the flow injection-hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometer (FI-HG-AAS). We found 51.4% and 17.3% of the tube-wells had As above 10 and 50 lg/L, respectively and observed that groundwater of all 17 blocks contained As above 50 lg/L with maximum observed level of 3200 lg/L. We estimated that about 2.1 million and 0.6 million people could be drinking As contaminated water above 10 and 50 lg/L, respectively, while 0.048 million could be at risk of drinking As-contaminated water above 300 lg/L, the concentration predicted to cause overt arsenical skin lesions. We screened 15,153 villagers from 50 villages and registered 1077 with arsenical skin lesions resulting in a prevalence rate of 7.1%. Analyzing 2671 biological samples (hair, nail and urine), from people with and without arsenical skin symptoms we found 95% of the samples had As above the normal level, indicating many people in Nadia district are sub-clinically affected. Arsenical neuropathy was observed in 33% of 255 arsenicosis patients with 28.2% prevalence for predominant sensory neuropathy and 4.7% for sensorimotor. As groundwater is still the main source of drinking water, targeting low-As aquifers and switching tube-well from unsafe to nearby safe sources are two visible options to obtain safe drinking water.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Hydrology
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0022-1694
Related URLs:
Funders: School of Environmental Studies internal fund
Depositing User: Dr Debapriya Mondal
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 16:41
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 18:54

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