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Submitted to:Dept.

of Biotech & Env sci

Submitted by:Satyendra Choudhry 601101024

What is Environmental pollution????

Environmental pollution is any discharge of material or energy into water, land, or air that causes or may cause acute (shortterm) or chronic (long-term) detriment to the Earth's ecological balance or that lowers the quality of life.

Characteristics of arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element of group 15 in the periodic table It is a metalloid, which in its elemental form appears either as a

yellow or grey/metallic solid

There are both organic and inorganic forms of arsenic found in

Arsenic is present in a number of different forms and oxidation

states (-III, 0, +III, +V).

In aqueous environments, dissolved arsenic is normally found as

part of oxyanions in either arsenate (+V) or arsenite (+III) form

Sources of arsenic
Arsenic is the natural constitute of earth crust
It is the 20th most abundant element of earth crust The average concentration As in continental crust is 1-10 mg/kg It released into environment by the process weathering and

volcanic eruption it may be transported over a long distance as suspended particulate and aerosol by water and air human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuel, chemical manufacturing industries, the use of fertilizers and wood preservatives as well as from mine waste also release AS in Environment .

Theories of arsenic mobilization

1. Pyrite oxidation hypothesis
2. Hydroxide reduction hypothesis 3. Competitive exchange of phosphate from fertilizer

Hydroxide reduction hypothesis

Arsenic release according to hydroxide reduction hypothesis The reductive dissolution is driven by the microbial metabolism of sedimentary organic matters in anaerobic environment. The extent of arsenic release depends on the amounts of arsenicbearing ferric oxy-hydroxide and organic matter present in sediments.

Pyrite oxidation hypothesis

Arsenic release according to pyrite oxidation hypothesis

Competitive exchange of phosphate from fertilizer

This hypothesis is based on the greatly increased use of

phosphate fertilizer over the past few years But there is no causal link between arsenic and the application of fertilizer. Among other reasons experiments showed that only 2 g/L of arsenic would be desorbed by 5 g/L phosphorus concentration in groundwater.

Guideline value for arsenic in drinking water

The first version of International standards for drinking water

included arsenic in the category of toxic substances and established 200 ppb as the allowable concentration in drinking water (WHO, 1958) In updated standards of 1963, WHO lowered the allowable concentration to 50 ppb (WHO, 1963) The WHO continued its review work to lower the guideline value for arsenic in drinking water by establishing a guideline value (provisional) of 10 ppb in 1993 (WHO 1993).

Currently accepted national standard for arsenic in drinking water

Effects of arsenic in human health

Arsenic poisoning is called arsenicosis

of testing people for arsenicosis exposure: urine exposure: blood


Recent Instant


exposure: hair, nails, and skin (usually caused by water contamination)

Illnesses resulting from arsenicosis

Various cancers: skin, lung, bladder, kidney, liver

Heart attacks and strokes

Melanosis: spotting of the skin, blemishes, etc. Keratosis: hardening of palms and soles, ulcers Hepatomegaly: liver enlargement Splenomegaly: spleen enlargement

Ascitis: abdominal fluid


Arsenic poisoning appears after 10 years of consumption as arsenicosis

10 year old children are developing the arsenicosis Cancers appear after 20 years Huge epidemic expected in the near future

Social Problems

Methods for arsenic determination

The most common method used for determination of As

is the application of field kits All field kits are based on the mercuric bromide stain method AAS (Atomic-Absorption Spectroscopy)

Removal methods for arsenic

Common methods Precipitation processes, including coagulation/filtration, direct filtration, coagulation assisted microfiltration, enhanced coagulation, lime softening, and enhanced lime softening
Adsorptive processes, including adsorption onto activated alumina,

activated carbon and iron/manganese oxide based or coated filter media

Ion exchange processes, specifically anion exchange Membrane processes, including nano-filtration, reverse osmosis and


Emerging methods
Green sand filtration Coagulation assisted Microfiltration

In situ (sub-surface) arsenic immobilization

Biological arsenic removal Phytoremediation Electrokinetic treatment

No doubt , International and national research groups are working on the investigation of the origin of the arsenic and methods for arsenic removal . But there is a need of the further development of simple and low cost determination methods as well as sustainable technology for arsenic treatment of groundwater and improved medical treatment for those suffering from chronic arsenic toxicity.

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Chowdhury, T.R.; Basu, G.K.; Mandal, B.K.; Biswas, B.K.; Chowdhury, U.K.; Chanda, C.R.;Lodh, D.; Roy, S.L.; Saha, K.C.; Roy, S.; et al. Arsenic poisoning of Bangladesh groundwater. Nature 1999, 401, 545-547 Das, D.; Samanta, C.; Mandal, B.K.; Chowdhury, T.R.; Chandra, C.R.; Chowdhury, P.P.; Basu, G.K.; Chakraborti, D. Arsenic in groundwater in 6 districts of West Bengal, India. Environ. Geochem. Health 1996

Mukherjee, A.B. and Bhattacharya, P., 2001, Arsenic in groundwater in the Bengal Delta Plain: Slow Poisoning in Bangladesh, Environmental Reviews 9: 189-220.

Nickson R.T., McArthur J.M., Ravenscroft P.,Burgessa W.G. and Ahmed K.M., 1999, Mechanism of arsenic release to groundwater, Bangladesh and West Bengal, Appl. Geochem. 15: 403-413.
Nickson, R.; McArthur, J.; Burgess, W.; Ahmed, K.M.; Ravenscorft, P.; Rahman, M. Arsenic poisoning of Bangladesh groundwater. Nature 1998, 395, 338 Singh A.K., 2004, Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater of North Eastern India, Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management Neriwalm.

Islam, F.S.; Gault, A.G.; Boothman, C.; Polya, D.A.; Charnock, J.M.; Chatterjee, D.; Lloyd, J.R. Role of metal-reducing bacteria in arsenic release from Bengal delta sediments. Nature 2004, 430, 68-71.