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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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paper

Arsenic in the environment : Effects on human health and possible prevention

Nrashant Singh, Deepak Kumar and Anand P. Sahu*

Preventive Toxicology Division, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow-226 001, India

(Received: October 20, 2005 ; Revised received: July 15, 2006 ; Accepted: August 21, 2006)

Abstract: Arsenic is a major environmental pollutant and exposure occurs through environmental, occupational and medicinal sources.? The contaminated drinking water is the main source of exposure and affected countries are India (West Bengal), Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Chile, Argentina and Romania. Concentrations of arsenic in affected areas are several times higher than the maximum contamination level (MCL) (10 mg/l). Arsenic exposure to human results in degenerative, inflammatory and neoplastic changes of skin, respiratory system, blood, lymphatic system, nervous system and reproductive system. There is no particular remedial action for chronic arsenic poisoning. Low socioeconomic status and malnutrition may increase the risk of chronic toxicity. Early intervention and prevention can give the relief to the affected population.

Key words: Arsenic, Drinking water, Maximum contamination level (MCL), Health effects, Intervention, Prevention

 

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