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The research team drilling a well at a
field site in Munshiganj, Bangladesh.
The contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh with arsenic, which causes various cancers and damage to the nervous system, may be exacerbated by the extraction of water for irrigation.

A study by Charles Harvey of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues, published in this week's Science, finds that the heightened circulation of water caused by pumping for irrigation increases the release of arsenic into drinking water.

But the finding is controversial, and other experts caution that the results might not be broadly applicable.

Link to Science news story

Link to paper in Science by Charles Harvey et al

Source: Science, 22 November 2002

Photo credit: MIT News Office