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The Effect Of One Of The Heavy Metals (Arsenic) In Bangladesh.

756 words - 3 pages

Located in Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India, lies my place of origin, Bangladesh. Increasing at 2.09% (2005 est.), the population is around 144,319,628 of this country which is slightly smaller than Iowa. Clearly, not only does it have a history as being one of the most densely populated countries in the world and with its poverty rate increasing proportionally, the unfortunate inhabitants are facing a crisis in lack of safe drinking water. Many people use the term "clean" to refer to the type of drinking water which Bangladesh lacks, but I think the term safe is more appropriate. The reason for this is due to the fact there are high arsenic levels found in water. This, I find to be the most pressing environmental issue.Arsenic is present in many foods that we eat and in trance amounts this is actually essential to good human health. However, in high concentrations, arsenic can be extremely toxic. Two common forms of arsenic is As(III) and As(V), where the latter is reduced to As(III) in the human body. As(III) becomes more toxic as it builds up and by continuous conversion of As(V). In many countries, such as Bangladesh, water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides such as Pb3(AsO4)2 and Ca3(AsO4)2, thereby containing As(V). Health problems are specifically common when there are more natural than anthropogenic sources of arsenic. For example, groundwater contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic is the main source of drinking water for many Bengalis (approximately 40 million). As a matter of importance, the arsenic concentrations are greater in the Bengal Delta. This form of water is difficult to detect because arsenic is tasteless, odorless, and invisible. It's no surprise then, the World Health Organization (WHO) has named this area as the "largest mass poisoning of a population in history." Although some people can be treated immediately who are found to have arsenic-related diseases, many other cases go unreported.In water, arsenic occurs most commonly as As(V) and H3AsO4. Furtheremore, there are many ways water becomes contaminated with arsenic. One possible way it is released is through increased concentration of dissolved iron. Many people experts believe that this water is arsenic-contaminated due to natural process. However, the...

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