Scientific Correspondence | Published:

Arsenic poisoning of Bangladesh groundwater

Naturevolume 395page338 (1998) | Download Citation



In Bangladesh and West Bengal, alluvial Ganges aquifers used for public water supply are polluted with naturally occurring arsenic, which adversely affects the health of millions of people. Here we show that the arsenic derives from the reductive dissolution of arsenic-rich iron oxyhydroxides, which in turn are derived from weathering of base-metal sulphides. This finding means it should now be possible, by sedimentological study of the Ganges alluvial sediments, to guide the placement of new water wells so they will be free of arsenic.

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  1. Geological Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT, London, UK

    • Ross Nickson
    • , John McArthur
    •  & William Burgess
  2. Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, 1000, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    • Kazi Matin Ahmed
  3. Mott MacDonald International Ltd, 122 Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh

    • Peter Ravenscroft
  4. GWCII, Bangladesh Water Development Board, 72 Green Road, 1207, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    • Mizanur Rahmanñ


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