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Arsenic contamination and its causative factors in parts of Chhattisgarh, Central East India

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This paper reports the present status of ground water arsenic contamination in the parts of Ambagarh Chowki block in District Rajnandgaon, of Chhattisgarh State. This location is the first arsenic contaminated location reported outside Bengal Delta Plain. The analysis of arsenic contamination measured during year 2008 to 2009 is compared with previously reported synoptic sampling results. This study was necessitated to know and account for the extent of arsenic spread in the groundwater of the area. In the area survey, many new arsenic contaminated locations have been identified in these areas, which were not reported earlier. The water samples were collected from 46 sites of Rajnandgaon District and 78% of the studied locations are contaminated by the presence of arsenic in the range of 2–4,570 µg/L. It was observed that the arsenic levels are fluctuating and appear to be geogenic. Overall the results indicate an urgent need for scientific management of arsenic contamination issues.

Keywords: groundwater, arsenic contamination, sulphide mineralisation, igneous-metamorphic geology, India

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