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Arsenic Pollution: A Global Synthesis

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8602-5
618 pages
March 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Arsenic Pollution: A Global Synthesis (140518602X) cover image
Arsenic Pollution summarizes the most current research on the distribution and causes of arsenic pollution, its impact on health and agriculture, and solutions by way of water supply, treatment, and water resource management.
  • Provides the first global and interdisciplinary account of arsenic pollution occurrences
  • Integrates geochemistry, hydrology, agriculture, and water supply and treatment for the first time
  • Options are highlighted for developing alternative water sources and methods for arsenic testing and removal
  • Appeals to specialists in one discipline seeking an overview of the work being done in other disciplines
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List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Series Editors’ Preface.

Acknowledgements.

List of Abbreviations.

Glossary.

1. Introduction.

1.1. Background.

1.2. The Nature of Arsenic Pollution.

1.3. History of Natural Arsenic Contamination.

1.4. Arsenic Pollution.

1.5. Risk, Perception and Social Impacts.

1.6. Water-supply Mitigation.

1.7. Structure and Scope of the Book.

2. Hydrogeochemistry of Arsenic.

2.1. Introduction.

2.2. The Chemistry of Normal and Arsenic-Rich Groundwaters.

2.3. Adsorption and Desorption of Arsenic.

2.4. The Role of Sulphur in Strongly Reducing Groundwater.

2.5. Arsenic and Microbial Activity.

2.6. Arsenic Mobilisation Mechanisms.

2.7. Associations of Arsenic with other Trace Elements.

2.8. Arsenic Pollution and Mining.

2.9. Summary.

Annexe 2.1. Analysis of Arsenic in Natural Waters.

3. The Hydrogeology of Arsenic.

3.1. Introduction.

3.2. Arsenic in Rocks and Sediments.

3.3. Arsenic in River Water and Sediment.

3.4. Geo-environmental Associations of Arsenic in Groundwater.

3.5. Geochemical Processes in their Geological Context.

3.6. Behaviour of Arsenic in Aquifers.

3.7. Case Histories of Arsenic-affected Aquifers.

3.8. Implications of Long-term Pumping of Arsenic Contaminated Groundwater.

3.9. Summary and Conclusions.

4. Soils and Agriculture.

4.1. Introduction.

4.2. Arsenic in Soils.

4.3. Irrigation with Arsenic-contaminated Water.

4.4. Arsenic Uptake by plants.

4.5. Options for Arsenic Management.

4.6. Research and Development Needs.

5. Health Effects of Arsenic in Drinking Water and Food.

5.1. Introduction.

5.2. A Short History of the Health Effects of Chronic Arsenic Poisoning.

5.3. Toxicity of Arsenic Compounds.

5.4. Environmental Exposure to Arsenic.

5.5. Acute Arsenic Poisoning.

5.6. Dermatological Manifestations.

5.7. Carcinogenic effects.

5.8. Systemic Non-carcinogenic Effects.

5.9. Social and Psychological Effects.

5.10. Effect of Other Toxic and Trace Elements.

5.11. Geographical differences in Health Effects.

5.12. Case History of Arsenic Exposure in Murshidabad District, West Bengal.

5.13. Diagnosis and Treatment of Arsenicosis.

5.14. Removing Exposure to Arsenic.

5.15. Summary and Recommendations.

6. Water-supply Mitigation.

6.1. Introduction.

6.2. Approaches to Water-supply Mitigation.

6.3. Surveys of Arsenic Affected Areas.

6.4. Exploiting Safe Groundwater Sources.

6.5. Developing Surface Water Sources.

6.6. Arsenic in Water Distribution Networks.

6.7. Socio-economic Aspects of Mitigation.

6.8. Policy and Planning Initiatives.

6.9. Monitoring and Evaluation of Water-supply Mitigation Programmes.

6.10. Summary.

Annexe 6.1. Arsenic Survey Procedures.

7. Removing Arsenic from Drinking Water.

7.1. Introduction.

7.2. Water Quality Issues.

7.3. Methods of Arsenic Removal.

7.4. Aquifer Clean-up.

7.5. Disposing of Waste from Treatment Processes.

7.6. Examples and Operational Experience of Arsenic Removal Technologies.

7.7. Costs of Arsenic Removal.

7.8. Guidance for Selecting Treatment Methods and Technologies.

7.9. Case Study of Water Treatment Requirements in Bangladesh.

7.10. Future Needs.

8. Arsenic in Asia.

8.1. Introduction.

8.2. South Asia.

8.3. Southeast Asia.

8.4. China.

8.5. East Asia.

8.6. Western, Central and Northern Asia.

8.7. Suspect Terrain and Research Needs.

Annexe 8.1. The British Geological Survey Court Case.

9. Arsenic in North America and Europe.

9.1. Introduction.

9.2. United States of America and Canada.

9.3. Mexico.

9.4. Europe.

9.5. Suspect Terrain and Research Needs.

10. Arsenic in South and Central America, Africa, Australia and Oceania.

10.1. Introduction.

10.2. South and Central America.

10.3. Africa.

10.4. Australasia.

10.5. Arsenic in the Ocean Basins.

10.6. Suspect Terrain and Research Needs.

11. Synthesis, Conclusions and Recommendations.

11.1. Scale and Impact of Arsenic Pollution.

11.2. Chemistry, Cause and Prediction.

11.3. Agricultural Impacts, Prospects and Needs.

11.4. Water-supply Mitigation.

11.5. Sustainability Issues.

11.6. Geographical Perspectives.

11.7. The Politics of Arsenic Pollution and Mitigation.

11.8. Ten Priority Actions.

Notes.

References.

Index

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Peter Ravenscroft is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and a hydrogeologist with extensive international experience in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. He spent more than 10 years working in Bangladesh, where his involvement in research into the extent and causes of arsenic pollution in that country became the basis for this book. He co-authored the first book on groundwater resources in Bangladesh.

Hugh Brammer spent 22 years with FAO in East Pakistan/Bangladesh, first as a soil surveyor then as an agricultural development adviser. Following retirement, he was a visiting consultant for a further seven years, inter alia for the Bangladesh Flood Action Plan, and wrote seven books on Bangladesh's physical environment and agriculture.

Keith Richards is a fluvial geomorphologist and Professor of Geography at the University of Cambridge. He has research interests and experience in catchment and river processes and their management in Europe, Central America, India, Africa and China, and has been Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and a Vice President (Research) of the RGS-IBG. He has authored and edited several books, and published over 150 academic papers.

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  • Provides the first global and interdisciplinary account of arsenic pollution occurrences
  • Integrates geochemistry, hydrology, agriculture, and water supply and treatment for the first time
  • Options are highlighted for developing alternative water sources and methods for arsenic testing and removal
  • Appeals to specialists in one discipline seeking an overview of the work being done in other disciplines
See More
"This is an excellent book. For those seeking first-time knowledge, as well as those seeking to enhance their existing understanding about arsenic and recent research developments, there is probably no better book currently available." (Geoscientist, September 2009)

"An excellent contribution to the field, and is clear and well written with ample figures and tables, and an extensive bibliography." (Experiment Agriculture, 2009)

"This book lifts the lid to expose a terrifying global phenomenon—the insidious poisoning of tens of millions of people by arsenic that occurs naturally in rocks and soils and finds its way into the water we drink and the food we eat. The authors convincingly argue that we need both more information and urgent investment in mitigation efforts."
Sir Gordon Conway, President of the Royal Geographical Society

"Arsenic Pollution: A Global Synthesis is the most comprehensive of all the books published in recent times on one of the most discussed public health hazards of the current world. This book will definitely be on the reading list of anyone interested in any aspect of arsenic occurrences in water and soil anywhere in the world."
Kazi Matin Ahmed, University of Dhaka

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