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  • » 01/24/2011, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Hanoi, 7 million people drink contaminated water



    The waters contain arsenic and manganese. Experts say the substances are contained in the deep aquifers and have emerged because of continued use of private wells. Out of 16.6 million people, more than 11 million do not have access to public drinking water.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Arsenic, manganese, selenium, barium and other toxic substances were discovered in drinking water wells of the Red River Delta, which also supplies Hanoi.

    A study published last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that 65% of the wells are polluted. To the point that the newspaper has suggested the government should find other water sources or improve anti-pollution facilities.

    The study considers that the continuous pumping of water from deep aquifers, for over a century, has caused naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater above to seep downward. From 2005 to 2007 512 private wells were reviewed and have shown that arsenic poisoning in about 27% of the wells, a million people use drinking water with concentrations of 5 times the limit set by the World Health Organization.

    The researcher Michael Berg, head of research conducted by Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, explains that the situation is difficult because "the manganese is present where there is no arsenic, and vice versa. This makes it difficult to know which wells are really clean".

    The area of the Red River Delta is one of the world's most populous, with about 1,160 persons per square kilometre. 16.6 million live in the area and about 11 million people have no access to public drinking water, but depend on other sources such as private wells. At least 7 million people are at risk of arsenic poisoning. Manganese pollutes about 44% of the wells, affecting the drinking water of 5 million people.

    Arsenic can cause vomiting, sudden abdominal illnesses, dysentery with blood and is connected with various cancers of the skin, kidneys, lungs. Water with more than 10 micrograms of arsenic per liter is considered unhealthy, but the substance is widespread in the waters of many countries, including China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh, but even in the U.S.. For years, experts fear that the deep aquifer in many countries of Southeast Asia contain high amounts of arsenic.  

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    See also

    11/09/2006 CHINA
    Hunan: arsenic in river poisons water for 80,000 people

    A chemical industry illegally dumped the poison in Xinqiang River. There are no reports of victims yet. Since November, the country has recorded 130 serious cases of water pollution.



    07/12/2005 CHINA
    Sacked official "found dead" after Jilin blast

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    10/05/2007 CHINA
    Drinking water shortage at Beijing Olympics
    Drinking water from taps will not be available for those residing outside the Olympic Village during next year’s Olympics. The Beijing authorities issued this warning, emphasizing that they are striving to make water drinkable.

    17/03/2016 11:38:00 VIETNAM
    Drought emergency in Mekong Delta: 10 million people hit, drinking water scarce

    Never before "recorded" climatic phenomena bringing  farmers and fishermen to their knees in the south of Vietnam. El Niño and dams built by China have dramatically lowered the level of the river water. The sea reclaims land and salinity levels killing crops. Environmental experts: "Beijing ignores our cry for help".



    06/09/2006 CHINA
    More than 312 million farmers have no drinking water

    The water contains fluorine, arsenic, and other chemical substances, according to the Minister of Water Resources. Sugai, a small village flooded by the chemical waste of two mills, is a case in point.





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