60 million people are in danger of mass poisoning with arsenic
In groundwater of Pakistan found high levels of arsenic. This is stated in a study published in the journal Science Advances.
Scientists have examined about 1,200 water samples taken from different parts of the country, and made a map that shows the concentration of arsenic in the groundwater of Pakistan. According to the data obtained, the content of toxic element in water exceeds the permissible levels of safety.
Arsenic gets into groundwater when leached from rocks.
According to who, about 150 million people worldwide drink water from arsenic contaminated sources.
Prolonged exposure to the poison in the body can lead to a number of chronic diseases, including skin diseases, lung cancer and bladder, and cardiovascular disease.
Allowable concentration of arsenic in drinking water is 10 micrograms per liter. In the groundwater of Pakistan, his average content of 50 micrograms per liter. The researchers say that one of the main causes of the problem — young age of sedimentary rocks containing arsenic. If the aquifer is formed in the end of the last ice age (about 10,000 years ago), the level of arsenic in it will be higher than in the older, deep aquifers, where most of the chemicals leached.
The situation in Pakistan has also increased irrigation. The study showed a strong correlation between high pH levels in the soil and concentrations of arsenic.