aRSENIC IN drinking water
This article focuses on the harmful effects of the heavy metal, Arsenic, that befall those who drink Arsenic laden water in developing countries. In Bangladesh, a woman died at the age of 26 because of her continuous drinking of unhealthy tubewell water. Splotchy skin, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sores on the hands and soles, and eventually cancer are the side effects of drinking Arsenic laden water. Like other heavy metals, Arsenic poisoning also leads to neurological and cardiovascular complications. To combat this issue, BRAC and local volunteers tested over 50,000 tubewells and marked those with unsafe levels of Arsenic in the water. BRAC is looking to pipe filtered and treated water to developing countries, but is not green lit for every country. Columbia University estimates that the program for 5 year testing, mitigation, and monitoring of water in Bangladesh will cost $290 million. These numbers suggest that Bangladesh, as well as other developing countries, cannot afford this. Even if the program is green lit, it will take several years to implement it.
The quality of water in developing countries has always been a serious issue. Some people only have a small source of water, which is mos likely contaminated, but they have to drink the water to survive. People in developing countries undergo years and years of unknowingly poisoning their bodies by drinking the water, which is part of the reason that their overall life expectancy is low. It is refreshing to see that certain organizations are in these areas and getting the locals involved with the improvement of their standard of living. The testing and marking of the tubewells is a good way to ensure that the people of Bangladesh are drinking non-contaminated water. Money is still an issue, as the piping of purified water to 3rd world countries is not settled upon. Establishing those pipelines would charge the country that is benefiting with maintaining the pipeline, which costs money that the country does not have. Marking the suitable tubewells in Bangladesh is a good step in the right direction for a healthier world.