Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 18-46
Arsenic Contaminated Groundwater and Its Treatment Options in Bangladesh
Jia-Qian Jiang, et al
Arsenic (As) causes health concerns due to its significant toxicity and worldwide presence in drinking water and groundwater. The major sources of As pollution may be natural process such as dissolution of As-containing minerals and anthropogenic activities such as percolation of water from mines, etc. The maximum contaminant level for total As in potable water has been established as 10 µg/L. Among the countries facing As contamination problems, Bangladesh is the most affected. Up to 77 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to toxic levels of arsenic from drinking water. Therefore, it has become an urgent need to provide As-free drinking water in rural households throughout Bangladesh.
This paper provides a comprehensive overview on the recent data on arsenic contamination status, its sources and reasons of mobilization and the exposure pathways in Bangladesh. Very little literature has focused on the removal of As from groundwaters in developing countries and thus this paper aims to review the As removal technologies and be a useful resource for researchers or policy makers to help identify and investigate useful treatment options. While a number of technological developments in arsenic removal have taken place, we must consider variations in sources and quality characteristics of As polluted water and differences in the socio-economic and literacy conditions of people, and then aim at improving effectiveness in arsenic removal, reducing the cost of the system, making the technology user friendly, overcoming maintenance problems and resolving sludge management issues.