Making economic sense for arsenic mitigation
This report assesses the mortality rate attributable to arsenic in Bangladesh and measures the lost productivity due to this mortality burden as a fraction of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Analysing the 2001 census population data and using data obtained during the 2009 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), this survey found that there to be almost 68,000 arsenic attributable deaths per year across the country and estimates the portion of GDP to be lost from arsenic-attributable mortality over the next 20 years at between US$ 6.1-20.1 billion.
The study uses the hard-hit Bangladeshi district of Comilla as an example, showing that when the cost analysis of lost productivity was performed there, losses ranged from US$ 0.5 to 1.67 billion over 20 years. The study also found that the estimated economic losses due to arsenic exposure in drinking water at current levels are at least 10 times of the costs of providing complete safe water coverage to the exposed population in Comilla.