Model shows 20 million people in China at risk for arsenic expsosure

By on August 30, 2013

Naturally deposited arsenic in the ground beneath China has the potential to contaminate water wells for almost 20 million people, according to a BBC report.

Statistical modeling showed that those nearly 20 million Chinese people have the potential for long term exposure to arsenic in amounts greater than the World Health Organization threshold of 10 micrograms per liter.

Modeling was based on the fact that groundwater wells are often near possible arsenic sources.  Pumping groundwater to the surface can cause arsenic to become more soluble and dissolve more into water.

Geologists determined the likelihood of arsenic in the ground based on the type and age of rocks found beneath Chinese soil.

Researchers determined people in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Shandong, and Jiangsu provinces are most at risk.

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