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New cases of arsenic poisoning in India's Ganges Basin suggest that a crisis in the sub-continent could extend much further than previously thought.

In the mid-1990s it emerged that arsenic had contaminated well water in parts of the Bengal Delta. The latest surveys estimate that around 36 million people in the area are drinking contaminated water, and 150 million are at risk.

Researchers in Kolkata have now discovered that many wells in the Indian state of Bihar also contain high levels of arsenic, suggesting that arsenic-rich deposits could cover much of the Ganges Basin.

Link to full Nature Science Update story

Source: Nature Science Update

Photo credit: WHO/P.Virot

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