The spatial pattern of risk from arsenic poisoning: a Bangladesh case study

J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2003 Jan;38(1):1-24. doi: 10.1081/ese-120016590.


Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh has been one of the biggest environmental health and social disasters of recent times. About seventy million people in Bangladesh are exposed to toxic levels of arsenic (0.05 mg/L) in drinking water. It is ironic that so many tubewells have been installed in recent times to provide drinking water that is safe from water-borne diseases but that the water pumped is contaminated with toxic levels of arsenic. Along with the clinical manifestations, some social problems have also emerged due to arsenic toxicity. Analysing the spatial risk pattern of arsenic in groundwater is the main objective of this paper. Establishing the extent of arsenic exposure to the people will facilitate an understanding of the health effects and estimating the population risk over the area. This paper seeks to explore the spatial pattern of arsenic concentrations in groundwater for analyzing and mapping 'problem regions' or 'risk zones' for composite arsenic hazard information by using GIS-based data processing and spatial analysis along with state-of-the-art decision-making techniques. Quantitative data along with spatial information were employed and analyzed for this paper.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Bangladesh
  • Decision Making
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Water Pollutants / poisoning*
  • Water Supply*


  • Water Pollutants