A policy briefing outlining the problem of arsenic contamination and offering policy recommendations on the issue.
Arsenic in drinking water threatens the health of more than 130 million people worldwide. This potent carcinogen and toxin can be found naturally in water supplies depending on the local geology. The severe effects of arsenic poisoning include skin diseases, lung and bladder cancers, and impaired intellectual development. Arsenic contamination can have a particularly severe impact in areas where ground water is used for irrigation and rice is a dietary staple.
The scale of the problem is poorly-understood and arsenic contamination is poorly-mapped. 90% of those affected by high contamination live in Asia, and Bangladesh is particularly affected after development efforts to dig shallow tube wells greatly worsened contamination. Research is important to support mitigation efforts, develop awareness, and identify and adopt safe water sources.
Map of arsenic groundwater contamination in four continents (from GeographyNOW, issue 1, 2008)
The RGS-IBG held a symposium in August 2007 (Arsenic in the Natural Environment: The Geography of a Global Problem). In July 2008 it published a policy briefing offering recommendations for mitigating and preventing arsenic contamination in food and water globally.
The briefing was co-authored by Peter Ravenscroft and Professor Keith Richards from the University of Cambridge, along with Hugh Brammer OBE, Amir Kassam OBE, and Professor Andy Meharg. The briefing was also featured in Issue No.1 of the Society’s GeographyNOW publication.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is cited.
How to cite
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2008) Arsenic Pollution: A Global Problem. [online]. Available at: http://www.rgs.org/geography/advocacy-and-impact/impact/arsenic. Last accessed on: <date>
Research into cliff erosion, and the effects of climate change on the rate of erosion, helped to determine the risk of impact for cliff residents and their homes.
Mapping the magnetic properties of soils across England and Wales has assisted the Ministry of Defence in creating specifications for new mine detectors.
South Ayrshire Council is using interactive maps to make information about local issues more accessible, meaningful and engaging.
The British Library, together with the UK’s five other Legal Deposit Libraries, is working with thinkWhere to preserve the nation’s extensive catalogue of digital map datasets for future generations.
By placing a booking, you are permitting us to store and use your (and any other attendees) details in order to fulfil the booking.
We will not use your details for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.
You must be a member holding a valid Society membership to view the content you are trying to access. Please login to continue.
Join us today, Society membership is open to anyone with a passion for geography
Cookies on the RGS website