Thousands of people are suffering from arsenic
Thousands of people are suffering from arsenic poisonings and more are being affected every day. Arsenicosis is caused by drinking tube well water containing arsenic. People who drink uncontaminated water do not catch arsenicosis from affected people. The main recommendation for the people who are affected by arsenic is to drink water from a source that contains no arsenic.
The effects of arsenicosis are less severe among people who eat a healthy, balanced diet, ideally containing fish and vegetables. This is an initial treatment for arsenicosis and may be part of the reason why the number of arsenicosis patients in Bangladesh is still relatively low. It is believed that vitamins A, C and E are effected for treatment of arsenicosis.
Poisoning by arsenic is a slow process: it is due to a gradual build-up of the poison in the human body. Eventually people start to show symptoms and become unwell. Deaths due to long term poisoning make it even more important to address the problem as soon as possible. This is in effect a race against time to safe water for everyone. Many people currently drinking arsenic-contaminated groundwater may develop problems soon. They must attempt to find safe source of water.
The majority of the tube wells of Bangladesh are free from arsenic, but they need to be tested to separate the safe from the unsafe and, in many areas, this has not yet been done. Tube wells. Which have been tested for arsenic, should be painted green if they are safe or red if they are unsafe. Deep tube wells are free from arsenic and bacteria although they will need testing in the future to ensure that it is still the case. Surface water in ponds and Bangladesh is heavily polluted with dangerous bacteria. No surface water should be used without some form of treatment. If a latrine empties into a pond, if a pond is used for fish cultivation with the use of cow dung, if it receives runoff water from nearby fields where pesticides or fertilizer have been applied, if it is used for washing livestock, the water should definitely not be used for drinking even after treatment. Care should be taken when using river down-stream of large cities such as Dhaka, as it may contain industrial pollution.
Rainwater can be collected. This water s free from arsenic and bacteria although care must be taken to ensure that the container is clean.
If there is no source of water other than are tube well make sure you do the following: leave the water to stand in a pitcher overnight and filter the upper portion through another pitcher containing sand which will remove the arsenic. Boiling tube well water will not remove thearsenic.