News of the WeekBANGLADESH

Agricultural Pumping Linked to Arsenic

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1535-1537
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5598.1535a

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In Bangladesh, millions of wells dug to provide safe drinking water are laced with arsenic from ancient sediments, endangering human health. Now a study on page 1602 suggests that pumping for irrigation might be at least partly to blame for the poisoned water, although the finding is controversial. The results could signal the need for deeper drinking-water wells.