Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Mystery of worst mass poisoning in the world solved
11-16-2009, 03:37 AM,
#1
Mystery of worst mass poisoning in the world solved
Quote:Mystery of worst mass poisoning in the world solved, but problem remains
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 15th, 2009 -- 8:56 pm

Researchers have pinpointed the source of what is probably the worst mass poisoning in history, according to a study published Sunday.

For nearly three decades scientists have struggled to figure out exactly how arsenic was getting into the drinking water of millions of people in rural Bangladesh.

The culprit, says the new study, are tens of thousands of man-made ponds excavated to provide soil for flood protection.

An estimated two million people in Bangladesh suffer from arsenic poisoning, and health experts suspect the toxic, metal-like element has caused -- and will continue to cause -- many deaths as well.

Symptoms include violent stomach pains and vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions and cramps. A large dose can kill outright, while chronic ingestion of small doses has been linked to a large range of cancers.


Mystery of worst mass poisoning in the world solved, but problem remains

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 15th, 2009 -- 8:56 pm
Share on Facebook Stumble This!

dropwaterrainblue Mystery of worst mass poisoning in the world solved, but problem remainsResearchers have pinpointed the source of what is probably the worst mass poisoning in history, according to a study published Sunday.

For nearly three decades scientists have struggled to figure out exactly how arsenic was getting into the drinking water of millions of people in rural Bangladesh.

The culprit, says the new study, are tens of thousands of man-made ponds excavated to provide soil for flood protection.

An estimated two million people in Bangladesh suffer from arsenic poisoning, and health experts suspect the toxic, metal-like element has caused -- and will continue to cause -- many deaths as well.

Symptoms include violent stomach pains and vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions and cramps. A large dose can kill outright, while chronic ingestion of small doses has been linked to a large range of cancers.
Story continues below...

It has long been known that the arsenic comes from water drawn from millions of low-tech "tube wells" scattered across the country.

Ironically the wells were dug -- often with the help of international aid agencies -- to protect villages from unclean and disease-ridden surface water.

Tragically, millions of people continue to knowingly poison themselves for lack of an alternative source of water.

Earlier studies succeeded in filling in a few pieces of the deadly puzzle.

They showed that water with the highest concentrations of arsenic is roughly 50 years old, and that the organic carbon which, once metabolised by microbes causes the poison to leach from sediment, does not take long to filter down from the surface.

But the source of both the contaminated water and the organic carbon remained unknown until a team of researchers led by Charles Harvey of MIT in Boston, Massachusetts cracked the secret.

Working in the Munshiganj district of Bangladesh, the researchers analysed the flow patterns of surface and underground water in a six square-mile (15.5 square-kilometre) area.

They used natural tracers and a 3-D computer model to track water from rice fields and ponds, and tested the capacity of organic carbon in both settings to free up arsenic from soil and sediments.

"We saw that water with high arsenic content originates from the human-built ponds, and water with lower arsenic content originates from the rice fields," said Rebecca Neumann, a co-author and postdoctoral associate at Harvard.

Chemical analysis showed that the organic compound that unleashes the poison first settles on the bottom of the ponds and then slowly seeps into the ground.

The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, "suggest that the problem could be alleviated by digging deeper drinking water wells below the influence of the ponds, or by locating shallow drinking wells under rice fields," Neumann said in a communique.

The same team of researchers plan to dig such wells in different region to see whether it leads to improved health for villages.

Scott Fendorf, a professor at Stanford University who studies arsenic content in soils and sediments along the Mekong River in Cambodia, said the new study was clearly a breakthrough.

"It shows that human modifications are impacting the arsenic content in the groundwater," he said in a statement. "The ponds ... are having a negative impact on the release of arsenic."
http://digg.com/environment/Mystery_of_worst_mass_poisoning_in_the_world_solved
http://rawstory.com/2009/11/mystery-worst-mass-poisoning-world-solved-problem-remains/

"Ironically the wells were dug -- often with the help of international aid agencies -- to protect villages from unclean and disease-ridden surface water."

I'd like to find out which "aid" agencies were involved.
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
Information A Geo-Engineered World - Controlling the Weather with Climate Engineering FastTadpole 12 5,961 02-08-2014, 02:17 AM
Last Post: mexika
  Hugo Chavez, World Leaders and Cancer Deaths mexika 1 515 03-15-2013, 06:22 AM
Last Post: nofunclub
  The French beekeepers and the mystery of the blue honey zoverload 0 291 10-05-2012, 04:37 PM
Last Post: zoverload
  Pink Slime is not the worst of it... Anarchist 11 1,163 05-15-2012, 08:15 AM
Last Post: Anarchist
  Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011 yeti 6 1,250 01-27-2012, 07:34 AM
Last Post: thokling
  Scientists link mass death of British bees to farm pesticides yeti 0 439 01-16-2012, 02:50 PM
Last Post: yeti
  Why in the World Are They Spraying? B4Time 2 833 10-13-2011, 10:28 PM
Last Post: thokling
  United States Asked Japan to Dump Nuclear Reactors in World Oceans mexika 0 444 09-30-2011, 04:54 AM
Last Post: mexika
  OMG!! Worst ever carbon emissions leave climate on the brink!!! yeti 1 533 05-31-2011, 02:47 PM
Last Post: icosaface
  The Worst Mississippi River Flood Ever? April 2 675 05-08-2011, 12:27 AM
Last Post: icosaface

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)