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Arsenic Contamination in Water

Drinking water may contribute significantly to oral intake in regions where there are high arsenic concentrations in well-water or river-water or mine drainage areas. The concentration in ground water depends on the arsenic content of the bed-rock. Arsenic contamination is spreading fast and entering the food chain through farm products in the region. As people take contaminated water along with contaminated food, the chances of damage become greater. The clinical picture of chronic poisoning with arsenic varies widely. It is usually dominated by changes in the skin and mucous membranes and by neurological, vascular and haematogical lesions. Arsenic and its inorganic compounds have been known to be neurotoxic. The skin is a common critical organ in people exposed to inorganic arsenical compounds. Eczematoid symptoms develop with varying degrees of severity.  Hyperkerotosis, warts and melanosis of the skin are the most commonly observed lesions in chronic exposure. Arsenic contamination in water, vegetables, rice and other foods is spreading as reported in the Indian Parliament. An editorial report was published in the Hindustan Times dated 27th December, 2017.

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Arsenic and its Effects on Human Health

Arsenic has different toxicological properties dependent upon both its oxidation state for inorganic compounds as well as the different toxicity levels exhibited for organic arsenic compounds. As a consequence of the many different uses of arsenic and arsenicals, there is wide spectrum of situation in which human may be exposed to the element. The clinical picture of chronic poisoning with arsenic varies widely.

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