Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh
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Exposure to arsenic in drinking water is a major problem worldwide posing a serious threat to human health. Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh has been described as the largest mass poisoning of a population in history. Over the last few decades the availability of safe drinking water has become scarce with nearly a third of the Bangladeshi population drinking water contaminated with arsenic above acceptable levels (10 μg/L according to WHO).6 This has caused both economic and social devastation, and without proper mitigation the problem will continue. Therefore, it is of critical importance to develop sustainable arsenic-removal technologies and community based programs to educate affected communities in order to safeguard the population’s health starting in the Satkhira district. A solution to the arsenic problem in the Satkhira district will require a three-pronged approach focused on identifying current tube wells as safe or contaminated, providing filtration where necessary, and educating the population about arsenic.