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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2020, 8(6), 190-196
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-8-6-2
Open AccessArticle

Twenty Years of Arsenic Contamination and Arsenicosis Patients in a Village of Bangladesh

Sk Akhtar Ahmad1, , MH Faruquee1 and Manzurul Haque Khan2

1Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), 125/1, Darus Salam, Mirpur-1, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh

2Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Dhaka, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh

Pub. Date: September 28, 2020

Cite this paper:
Sk Akhtar Ahmad, MH Faruquee and Manzurul Haque Khan. Twenty Years of Arsenic Contamination and Arsenicosis Patients in a Village of Bangladesh. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2020; 8(6):190-196. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-8-6-2


Background: Arsenic contamination in groundwater of Bangladesh was first detected in 1993 and still a major public health problem in the country. In 1997, Samta was identified as a severely arsenic contaminated village and many villagers were found to suffering from arsenicosis. Methods: A series of surveys were carried out in Samta village in the years 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2017 to assess the situation of arsenic contamination and the status of arsenicosis in the village. The water sources and the entire population of the village were included in the study. Results: In 1997 about 87% of the shallow tubewells in Samta village were arsenic-contaminated and 10.1% villagers had arsenicosis. Twenty years later in 2017, about 90% shallow tubewells were arsenic contaminated, 39 deep tubewells and a pond sand filter were installed in the village and 2.3% of the villagers had arsenicosis. On an average 43.8% arsenicosis patients had recovered from the illness and condition of 21.2% patients had deteriorated or remained unchanged. During the 20-year period 37(6.1%) arsenicosis patients and 185(1.6%) non-arsenicosis villagers had died. The main cause of death among arsenicosis patients was cancer (40.5%) and among non-arsenicosis villagers the cause was geriatric problem (11.8%). The mean age at death was 57.6 years and 61.2 years respectively. Conclusion: In twenty years, measures were undertaken to make available arsenic-safe water options and people were motivated to stop the use of arsenic-contaminated water and to increase the intake of protein and vitamin AEC rich food. Recovery had occurred in a substantial proportion of patients.

arsenic arsenicosis arsenic toxicity contamination groundwater water tubewell Bangladesh

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