Kolkata - 700 032
Tel: 91 33 24146233
Fax: 91 33 24146266
Tel: 880 2 9351190
Fax: 880 2 9338706
(From time to time between August 1995 and November 1996, SOES jointly
worked with Geology Department, Rajsahi University, Rajsahi, Bangladesh,
and NIPSOM, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh in field survey)
*For correspondence: D. Chakraborti, Director
and Head, School of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University,
Kolkata-700 032, India Tel:91 33 24146233, Fax:91 33 24146266,Email:
Arsenic Team worked in Bangladesh for field survey,
Clinical investigation and analysis of samples
Jadavpur University, Kolkata - 700 032, India
Biswas (Analytical Chemist), Uttam Kumar Chowdhury (Bio-chemist),
Ratan Kumar Dhar (Analytical Chemist), Debapriya Mukherjee (Statistician)
Dipankar Das (Analytical Chemist), Gautam Samanta (Analytical Chemist),
Gautam Kumar Basu (Geologist), Tarit Roy Chowdhury (Analytical Chemist),
Badal Kumar Mandal (Analytical Chemist), Chitta Ranjan Chanda (Analytical
Chemist), Dilip Lodh (Microbiologist and Computer specialist), Partha
Pratim Chowdhury (Soil Chemist), Anil Kumar Chakraborty (Analytical
Chemist), Khitish Chandra Saha(Dermatologist), Subhas Chandra Mukherjee
(Neurologist), Partha Kumar Roy(Pathologist), Gouranga Pramanik(Neurologist),
Mongol Chandra Moulic (Economist), Subhas Chandra Santra(Ecologist),
Dipankar Chakraborti (Environmental Analytical Chemist and Environmentalist).
Dhaka Community Hospital
Bara Maghbazar, Wireless Rail Gate, Dhaka-1217, Bangladesh
(Pediatric), Abu Zafar (Dermatologist), Saiful Kabir (Dermatologist),
Imtihaz Faruk (General Physician), Kazi Saiful Islam (General Physician),
Md. Moniruzzaman Chowdhury (General Physician), Bashir Ahmed (General
Physician), Anam Hossain (General Physician), Ram Dulal Bhowmick
(General Physician), Mohammad Arif (Research Fellow), Ranak C. M.
(System Analyst), Md. Salim (Field Attendant), Ashraful Alam (Field
Attendant), Sohel Hossain (Field Attendant), Tapan Chowdhury (Field
Attendant), Moshtafizur Rahaman Baka(Field Attendant),
In this report
of 239 days field survey in Bangladesh during last five years, we
will provide the following information :
(a) So far from
Bangladesh we had analyzed 22003 hand tube-well water samples from
64 districts. Our result for five years, up to February 2000 shows
that out of 64 districts in Bangladesh in 54 districts arsenic in
groundwater is above 0.01 /l and in 47 districts above 0.05 µg/l.
So far we have identified 918 villages where groundwater has arsenic
above 0.05 µg/l. So far 32 districts had been surveyed for arsenic
patients and in 30 districts patients with arsenical skin-lesions
have been identified.
(b) So far we
had analyzed in total around 11000 hair, nail, urine, skin-scale
samples from affected villages (about 50% of samples are from those
having skin-lesions and rest 50% from those do not show skin lesions).
Over all around 90% of people have arsenic in their hair, nail and
urine above normal level.
(c) All total
17896 people had been examined at random from the affected villages
for patients having arsenical skin lesions and 3688 (20.6%) have
been so far identified with skin-lesions We have their full identification
and details of skin lesions.
(d) So far 833
deep hand tube-wells had been analysed for arsenic from all over
Bangladesh (depth about 100 m to above 400 m) and in 181 samples
arsenic has been found above 0.01 µg/l (21.73%) and in 76 samples
arsenic has been found above 0.05 µg/l (9.12%).
from 15969 tube-wells had been analyzed with depth (6.4 m to about
400 m) from 47 affected districts having arsenic above 0.05 µg/l
and the result clearly shows at the beginning about 15-20 m there
is increase of arsenic in hand tubewells and then with increasing
depth concentration of arsenic decreases. This is also valid for
individual 47 affected districts where groundwater contains arsenic
above 0.05 µg/l.
(f) From the
information we had generated during field survey about number of
users of 16410 hand tube-wells in 43 districts of Bangladesh, we
made a simple calculation to know the number of hand tube-wells
that exists in 43 districts. The calculated value shows that in
43 districts of Bangladesh where groundwater contains arsenic above
0.05 µg/l the number of hand tube-wells are 3.5 million.
(g) We have
also calculated number of people exposed to arsenic contaminated
water above 0.01 µg/l and above 0.05 µg/l from 43 districts and
the values are 51 million and 25 million respectively.
(h) Do the arsenical
skin lesions disappear with chelating agent, safe water, nutritious
food and multivitamins!
(i) What percent
of actual arsenic patients in affected villages we could really
(j) We have
evidences now from West Bengal, India that more and more tube-wells
which were once safe to drink are getting arsenic contaminated.
Our report will
also tell about 27 days detailed field survey information from 159
1. Early death in affected villages to those having arsenical skin
2. Social problem in affected villages due to arsenical skin lesions.
3. Problems regarding hand tubewells coloured red/green by arsenic
field testing kits.
4. Mental agony to those wrongly identified by field workers as
5. Actual magnitude of calamity.
6. Death and suffering from cancer and gangrene among those who
have/had arsenical skin lesions.
Even after 5
years field survey in Bangladesh, we feel we have seen only the
tip of iceberg of the actual calamity. More we are surveying more
and more affected area and people suffering from arsenical skin
lesions are coming to limelight.