Water sanitation hygiene

Arsenic in drinking water

Rezaul Morol, a young Bangladeshi man, nearly died from arsenic poisoning caused by drinking arsenic-laden well-water for several years. The doctor advised Rezaul to stop drinking contaminated water and eat more protein-rich food such as fish. Since then Rezaul feels a lot better and is happy that his skin is healing (Photo and original story: Asia Arsenic Network)

Arsenic in drinking-water is a hazard to human health. It has attracted much attention since recognition in the 1990s of its wide occurrence in well-water in Bangladesh. It occurs less extensively in many other countries also.

The main source of arsenic in drinking-water is arsenic-rich rocks through which the water has filtered. It may also occur because of mining or industrial activity in some areas.

WHO has worked with other UN-system organizations to produce a state-of-the-art review on arsenic in drinking-water.

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