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Everyone deserves clean water

Updated on August 28, 2014

Living in the UK I have never needed to consider whether the water is clean enough to drink. I can always go and turn on the tap and fill my glass with water. This is sadly not the case with a very large proportion of people around the world. Some people may have to walk many miles every day to get water and that water is not always very good but without it they cannot live.

As I have visited Pakistan a couple of times and knowing that the water is not safe to drink I have looked into the subject. I always bought bottled water but not everyone is able to afford that.

If we think of a poison like arsenic, for example, we think of it as something used to commit murder and it is believed that the arsenic used in wallpaper paste is what contributed to Napoleon's death.

It is a fact, though, that arsenic is in the drinking water of many hundreds of thousands of people. Arsenic is a chemical which occurs naturally in the earth and it is
widely distributed over the globe.

There are 2 types of arsenic, organic and inorganic. The organic
arsenic has extremely low toxicity but in water it is inorganic and
this is more hazardous.

In Asia the Ganges delta has high concentrations of arsenic
particularly in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Also areas in Punjab
among them Sahiwal, Kasur, Multan and Lahore.

Drinking water used to be drawn from rivers and ponds, the arsenic
was almost non-existent but the water was contaminated with diseases
such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis.
Programmes to provide safe drinking water through tube wells have
helped to control these illnesses but an unexpected side-effect has
been arsenic.

It is not clear how the arsenic is released into the water but recent
studies suggest that certain bacteria may be the cause.

Recent research has found that the geochemical conditions which give
rise to the problem in the Ganges delta are not anomalies or unusual
and may occur in recent alluvial deposits such as river deltas.

The effects of drinking arsenic affected water are skin disorders
such as hyperpigmentation, depigmentation and keratosis, and vascular
disorders such as Blackfoot Disease or gangrene which is caused by disease of the blood vessels. This is endemic in south-west
Taiwan. In time skin cancer may develop and internal cancers such as
bladder, liver, kidney and lung cancers. It has been found that cancer takes about 10 years to develop. Cardiovascular and neurological diseases have also been found to be linked to arsenic ingestion.

In Lahore the arsenic in the water is causing bone deformities,
mainly to the legs and spine, especially in children, who suffer
crippling deformities causing acute pain and in some cases inability
to walk. Many children suffer from yellow, pitted teeth and skin
ailments. It used to be attributed to too much fluoride in the water
but even though this has improved the problem persists in some places
where there are large arsenic levels.
Here is an article from the Dawn newspaper in 2004


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    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      Glad you found it interesting.

    • profile image

      Ben Franks 7 years ago

      I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. Ill bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I'm quite certain Ill learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      Thank you for reading it. I am glad you liked it.

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 7 years ago

      Very nice Hub! Informative, compassionate, and well written. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      I know, in England I always drink water from the tap, but when I lived in Germany most people bought water in bottles. Though I did read a report before I came back to England that the water was perfectly safe by then. I did used to drink tap water there too.

      It is a bit worrying sometimes because pipes could break. So far so good.

      Thanks for reading my hub.

    • mr. daydream profile image

      mr. daydream 8 years ago

      So far, I've never feel ill to drinking water straight from the tap, but it's really a scary thought to think that our #1 main energy source (water) is never totally safe no matter how many times they try to clean it. Then you have worry about it being overly medicated. Interesting hub, I think I'll do some research into this for my own self-awareness.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      Thank you for your comment

    • profile image

      M.A. Turabi 8 years ago

      Save Clean water for our generations

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      Thank you. Clean water is something we take for granted but not everyone has water, let alone clean water.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 8 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Very well researched article, I share the universal concern with you - thank you so much...

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      Thanks for the comments Lahoree. Micky Dee agrees with you too. Micky Dee thanks also, I think I will look into the worldwide water situation and make a new hub. Thanks.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      Great hub. All water in the US is not "great/good". Lahoreee is also correct. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Lahoreee 8 years ago

      It is a sad story. The people of developing countries are directly paying for the luxuries of the western people. Western people are responsible for all the miseries of developing world/ the third world. Western backed regimes in the third world are baseless and adhoc. Long term planning is impossible in such a condition.....

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      I would never have thought of the US having problems with water, but it definitely is a problem that needs to be sorted out.

      Thank you for your comment.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 8 years ago from California

      I liked this hub. It is such an issue even in places we don't consider "developing countries". In the United States even: there are so many water issues in the southwest states. Its very sad and something needs to be done!