Health and socioeconomic effects of groundwater arsenic contamination in rural Bangladesh

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This report discusses the health and socioeconomic problems that have recently emerged in the Bangladesh countryside because of arsenic contamination of the groundwater. A survey found that men in rural households are generally found to be more susceptible to arsenicosis than women. The survey also indicated that villagers with lower annual income are more likely to experience arsenicosis. About 60 percent of the respondents indicated a willingness to pay up to a dollar of their monthly income for safe water. More than 70 percent of women were found to be willing to walk for five minutes to collect safe water. Awareness campaigns conducted over the last decade seem to have been effective for villagers. Overall, findings from the survey paint a picture of a gradually evolving social and health scenario in rural Bangladesh that health officials must heed to safeguard the public health of the rural public.

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