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Arsenic Poisoning (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper III)

What is Arsenic Poisoning?
Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition that occurs due to elevated levels of arsenic in the body.

Story of Tiwaritola, Uttar Pradesh
Tiwaritola of eastern Uttar Pradesh, drinking water sources here are heavily contaminated with arsenic.

The bodies of the residents of Tiwaritola, bear testimony to the toxicity in the water. Nearly every person you encounter suffers from melanosis (skin lesions or white marks that develop on their chest, abdomen or thighs). Others suffer from more serious ailments.

Level of Arsenic in their water
While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set the permissible limit for arsenic in drinking water at 5 ppm, in Ballia, over 300 villages have arsenic above that limit, with one third having concentration levels above 100 ppm.

Symptoms of Arsenic Poisoning
If exposure occurs over a brief period of time symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, and watery diarrhea that contains blood.

Long-term exposure can result in thickening of the skin, darker skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, heart disease, numbness and cancer. The most common reason for long-term exposure is contaminated drinking water.

Social Impacts
Include ramifications like difficulties in marriage of girls since they get such unpleasant marks.



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