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Naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water is a problem in many places around the world. But by far the largest amount over a large area is in southern Bangladesh. Its source? -  The Himalaya Mountains that lie just north of Bangladesh.


The map  shows the extent of contamination in southern Bangladesh.  Areas of red are where more than 80% of the drinking water wells are contaminated with high levels of arsenic.

It’s killing tens of thousands of people yearly. It attacks many organs of the body causing cancers, heart and lung problems, diabetes, skin problems, etc.; and

it lowers IQ for young children exposed. 


20-40 million people (depending which safety standard is quoted) still have unsafe drinking water, often without realizing it.  

Anuwara Begum, in her 60s, cries while remembering her son-in-law, a farmer who died from arsenic-related illnesses. She herself has arsenic-related health conditions, but has never seen a doctor - Iruain village of Laksam Upazila in Comilla district, Bangladesh, March 5, 2016.  Photo: © 2016 Atish Saha/Human Rights Watch.  Use provided by Creative Commons License.

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