What is Arsenic ?
Arsenic is an element that it is a chemical that can’t be broken down into simpler chemicals inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen (EPA, 1984).
Arsenic A Global problem
Two Hundred Million people worldwide are at risk to As exposure (NRC, 2001). Several regions in the World are above the WHO’s maximum permissible limit. These include:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Argentina, U.S.A, Chile, Nepal, Mexico, Ghana, Taiwan.
Where does arsenic come from?
– As occurs naturally & is widely distributed in the Earth’s crust
– Volcanic activity, rock & mineral erosion, & forest fires release As
– As is often concentrated in sulfide-bearing mineral deposits (e.g., gold and copper)
– Strong affinity to pyrite (very abundant) and hydrous iron oxides
Anthropogenic or Man-Made:
– Drilling Wells
– Mineral Extraction
– Processing Wastes
Levels of Arsenic in water depend on:
– Level of human activity
– Distance from pollution sources