Water, Environment and Sanitation

Introduction

Rural Sanitation

Hygiene

Water Supply

Arsenicosis

Activities

 

Arsenicosis

© UNICEF Bangladesh
Lesions on the hands of a man, caused by drinking arsenic contaminated water from a tube well.

While action on sanitation is improving the microbiological quality of water in Bangladesh, millions of people are drinking water contaminated with arsenic that occurs naturally in the ground. Long-term exposure to low concentrations of arsenic in drinking water causes painful skin lesions and can result in cancers of the skin, lungs, bladder and kidneys.

This needs to be addressed in several ways simultaneously: by testing all tube-wells, by strengthening the systems for monitoring water quality, by giving households the means to treat water themselves, and by helping people to find alternative sources of safe water. At the same the population that is at risk must be assessed for arsenic-related health problems.

 

 

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