The World Health Organization is reporting more than 50 million citizens of Pakistan are placed at risk of arsenic poisoning due to dangerous levels of arsenic in groundwater supplies across the nation. Levels of the lethal chemical have risen to hazardous concentrations, well above those recommended by the government of Pakistan and the World Health Organisation.
Arsenic concentration in groundwater supplies is one of the main areas of concern for WHO as these water sources are placing more than 150 million people around the world at risk.
Dangerous Arsenic Levels Found In Pakistan’s Indus Valley
A major problem for the people of Pakistan living in the central region of the Indus Valley is the high levels of arsenic found in groundwater supplies, according to researchers from the Swiss Institute of Aquatic Science.
The study found that high soil PH levels and arsenic concentrations are directly linked. Researchers also detailed the issues seen on the Indus Plain leading to the current critical concentration of arsenic found in almost all drinking water supplies.
There is some disagreement about the findings of the Swiss study which was created after more than 1,200 samples were taken from across the Indus Valley. Scientists found between 50 and 60 milligrams per liter of arsenic in the groundwater.
By comparison, WHO guidelines state safe drinking water levels are 10 milligrams per liter and below. On the other hand, the Indian government recommends a staggering 50-milligram cutoff. This is why, Pakistani representatives are trying to contest the results and hide the harsh reality: over 50 million Pakistani are at risk of arsenic poisoning, children and people with a compromised immune system being the most likely victims.
Arsenic can cause a variety of medical conditions including many skin issues, lung cancers, and some forms of bladder cancer. Although some researchers have questioned the estimates of those affected by arsenic in groundwater in the Indus Valley, the overall upward trend in levels is causing many experts to call for a revised figure estimating those affected by this issue.
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