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Pinjra Begum was poisoned by the beautiful water she had faithfully pumped In the 1970s and 1980s

the Bangladesh government undertook an ambitious project to bring clean water to the nations villages The preferred solution was a tubewell: could afford them, and with easy loans from nongovernmental agencies, many of the poor also installed the contraptions in their courtyards provided pathogen-free water to drink By the early 1990s 95 percent of Bangladeshs population had access to safe water neglected to check the water for arsenic the skin lesions on some patients as arising from arsenic poisoning traced the mineral to water from tubewells many aquifers in West Bengal were severely contaminated with arsenic around 30 percent of Bangladeshs tubewells are known to yield more than 50 micrograms of arsenic per liter of water, with 5 to 10 percent providing more than six times this amount That means at least 35 million peoplealmost one quarter of the populationare drinking potentially fatal levels of arsenic the arsenic content of local rice varies from 50 to 180 parts per billion an edible tuber containing an astonishing 100 parts per million of arsenic Hardly any guidelines exist as to what levels of arsenic in food might be dangerous As many as 50 million people worldwide could be severely affected eventually, the largest case of mass poisoning in history, dwarfing Chernobyl In some villages, all the tubewells turned out to be poisoned. In others, none were.

In Bangladesh, drinking water was obtained through wells. This system wasnt preferred, as it was difficult to obtain quickly. The preferred solution was a system of tubewells, which took the water from wells and allowed them to be pumped to households. The only problem with this system is that it was claimed to have been safe. They had neglected to test the water for arsenic, and this was causing major issues. Researchers looked into the symptoms of arsenic poisoning and compared them to what was arising in Bangladesh, matching exactly. They found arsenic in the water and traced it to the water from the tubewells. After testing the levels in all of the aquifers that these villages draw their water from, they found many to be containing arsenic. The levels that they found were at 50 micrograms per litre, with the limits in the U.S. at 10 micrograms per litre. This arsenic source was not only found in these countries, but was found worldwide, attributing to the poisoning of as many as 50 million people. In developing countries, environmental problems appear to be more prevalent. This was shown in the country of Bangladesh, where, supposedly, clean water was found to contain arsenic. The source of the arsenic was from their tubing systems that were used in every village in Bangladesh, for every family. These arsenic levels were much higher than the levels declared as the highest legal amount found in water, and were not being regulated. This was leading to many people, at least 35 million, to be consuming potentially fatal levels of arsenic, which was also found in their food. This problem has started to arise in developed countries everywhere around the globe, causing potentially the largest mass-poisoning in history. I believe that this p[problem is extremely serious, and should be acted upon immediately. Organizations like the FDA could increase the strictness of their policies on arsenic control and should test every product and export/import for these harmful chemicals. As a society, we could fund movements that send workers to help fix these problems in countries that are suffering great pain within their towns.

So What? This information is important because it brought to light an issue that was not even suspected What if? If this information was not shown, then these villages would have suffered, not knowing why

Says Who? This information was presented by researchers and scientists dedicated to studying these issues What Does This Remind Me of? This reminds me of the Brazilian blowout, which contained formaldehyde when it said it had none