Occurrence, health effects and remediation of arsenic in groundwaters of Latin America

Bundschuh, J. and Garcia, M. E. and Birkle, P. and Cumbal, L. H. and Bhattacharya, P. and Matschullat, J. (2009) Occurrence, health effects and remediation of arsenic in groundwaters of Latin America. In: Natural arsenic in groundwaters of Latin America. Arsenic in the Environment, 1. Taylor & Francis (CRC Press), London, United Kingdom, pp. 3-15. ISBN 9780415407717


At least 4 million people depend on drinking water with toxic arsenic (As) concentrations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, which primarily originate from geogenic sources. In other Latin-American countries, the occurrence of the problem and/or the number of exposed people is still unknown. This chronic As exposure is associated with neurological and dermatological problems as well as carcinogenic effects. In contrast to urban areas, practically no action has been taken by the authorities to mitigate the As problem for the rural population, which
often depends on As-contaminated water as their only available drinking water resource. This lack of interest has slowed the development of low-cost remediation methods for small communities or single houses. However, various suitable remediation techniques have been developed at the
laboratory scale. In a limited number of cases these techniques have been tested and proven in the field and have helped to mitigate As problems. Examples of remediation techniques include solar oxidation methods, phytoremediation, and the use of natural materials as adsorbents for As removal from drinking water. Therefore, the problem is not a technological one, since viable solutions are already available. The problem lies in convincing the responsible authorities to consider the As
occurrence as a natural health risk and support the development and the application of remediation methods for rural areas.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 26265
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. .
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2014 04:34
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 00:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: arsenic; groundwater; Latin America; health effects
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26265

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only