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Arsenic toxicity in soil-plant-human continuum and remedial options

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Summary

Arsenic contamination in groundwater in parts of West Bengal is well-knownfor more than two decades. Such contamination elsewhere within the Indian sub-continent has been detected in more recent times. The implication ofthe latter has been considered primarily in respect of contaminated groundwater-derived drinking water sector with appropriate remedial measures. However, the use of such contaminated groundwater in the vast sector of agricultural irrigation, leading to entry of toxic arsenic in the food-chain, has remained largely confined till date within the research sector only. Even though such research efforts have led to important leads, worth pursuing, especially in regard to practicing the effective remedial options, not much is being implemented at the ground level. It appears that the policy makers and the planners need to be adequately sensitized in this respect for overall control of the menace.

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