A new study has found that as many as 2.34 crore people in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh are exposed to high levels of arsenic in groundwater.
A total of 40 districts in the state are exposed to high concentration of arsenic in groundwater. Majority of them are in the floodplains of Ganga, Rapti and Ghaghara rivers.
About 78 percent of the population in the state lives in rural areas and depends on ground water for irrigation, drinking, cooking and other domestic use.
Groundwater samples were tested using arsenic testing kits and findings were then validated in laboratory. In all, 1680 groundwater samples from different regions of the state were analyzed.
Using these inputs, researchers developed a map of arsenic-affected regions reflecting the risk due to arsenic contamination.
Twenty parameters that affect arsenic level in groundwater such as land cover, aquifer depth, chemical and biological structure of soil, drainage system etc were evaluated.
Natural contamination of groundwater with arsenic poses a health threat in many regions where people rely on hand pumps or tube wells for drinking water.
Arsenic exposure has cause skin lesions, skin cancer, bladder, lungs and cardiovascular diseases as well as reduced intellectual function in children.
This is a’India Science Wire’ story ; edited by Clean-Future Team