A Disaster Preparedness Network, working since 1994
    What people need to know about arsenic:    
   


Arsenic poisoning in the ground water is a recent discovery and therefore an unfamiliar phenomenon. The average people of Bangladesh are unaware of the cause and effect of arsenic contamination. Here are few important messages for awareness building.

Message

*Arsenic poisoning or Arsenicosis is not contagious or hereditary. Drinking arsenic contaminated water only causes it.

*Identify the source of the drinking water used by the effected people.

*People, especially in the rural areas are advised to get their tube well water tested for arsenic with the help of the nearest public health engineering department, or any NGO involved with the program.

*Look for people with similar ailments especially women in the same locality.

*Do not drink or cook with water from a contaminated tube-well, which is marked red.

*Water from tube-wells, which is marked green, is safe for drinking and cooking purpose.

*Arsenic contaminated water may be used for other household purposes other than drinking and cooking purpose.

*There is no medical treatment for arsenic poisoning, symptoms of arsenic poisoning manifests as skin lesions, dark spots on chest, hands, palms and soles, chronic cough and cold, burning sensation on the skin and hardening of the into nodules.

*At the earlier stage of poisoning the condition can be reversed by drinking arsenic free water.

*If the condition gets advanced patient can obtain considerable relief by drinking arsenic free water.

*At a more advanced stage the situation become irreversible but it is suggested to drink arsenic free water. It may prolong life.

*Arsenic can’t be removed by boiling the contaminated water.

*Safe water means:

-Safe water means properly harvested rainwater.

-Safe water means water from protected ponds after proper filtering or boiling.

-Safe water means water from ring well and dug well after filtering or boiling if needed.

-We should seek water from wherever it comes, be tube well water or pond water or sky water (rain).