Arsenic concentration in hair, nail and urine plays an important role in evaluating the arsenic body burden (NRC 1993). So far we have analyzed 45,000 biological samples from arsenic affected regions of West Bengal (including 1000 skin scale), 10,000 from Bangladesh, 1860 from Bihar, 200 from Uttar Pradesh, and 367 samples from Jharkhand. During our survey in arsenic affected villages of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand high arsenic in urine of both patients and non patients indicate they were drinking contaminated water (Chakraborti et al 2003; Chakraborti et al 2004). It appears from the biological samples analyses in GMB plain that many villagers may not be suffering from arsenical skin lesions but have elevated levels of arsenic in their hair and nail, and thus may be sub-clinically affected and many of them had arsenical skin lesions.
(1) Arsenic and other elements in hair, nails and skin-scales of arsenic victims in West Bengal, India. Gautam Samanta, Ramesh Sharma, Tarit Roychowdhury, Dipankar Chakraborti. The Science of the Total Environment, 2004, 326 (1-3), 33-47.
(2) Pattern of Excretion of Arsenic Compounds [Arsenite, Arsenate, MMA (V), DMA (V)] in Urine of Children Compared to Adults from an Arsenic Exposed Area in Bangladesh. Uttam Kumar Chowdhury, Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, Mrinal Kumar Sengupta, Dilip Lodh, Chitta Ranjan Chanda, Shibtosh Roy, Quazi Quamruzzaman, Hiroshi Tokunaga, Masanori Ando and Dipankar Chakraborti. Environmental Science & Health, 2003, A38 (1), 87-113.