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close this bookContamination of Drinking-Water by Arsenic in Bangladesh: A Public Health Emergency (WHO, 2000, 16 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentExtent of exposure in the population
close this folderLong-term health effects of exposure
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSkin lesions
View the documentCancer
View the documentClassifying arsenic in drinking-water as a public health emergency
close this folderEmergency intervention programme
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentStrategies to reduce exposure
View the documentSimple diagnosis in the field
View the documentTreatment
View the documentOngoing monitoring
View the documentLessons to be learned
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentRésumé - Contamination de l'eau de boisson par de l'arsenic au Bangladesh: une urgence de santé publique
View the documentResumen - Contaminación del agua de bebida con arsénico en Bangladesh: una emergencia de salud pública
View the documentReferences


The health effects of ingesting arsenic-contaminated drinking-water appear slowly (Box 2). For this reason, a more important issue than the number of patients who currently have arsenic-caused diseases is the number who will develop these diseases in the future as a result of past and continuing exposure to arsenic. Large numbers of tube-wells were installed in Bangladesh approximately 5 to 20 years ago. If the population continues to drink arsenic-contaminated water, then a major increase in the number of cases of diseases caused by arsenic may be predicted.

Fig. 2. Children near a tube-well disconnected due to contamination of water with arsenic (WHO 00230)