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August 2012, Volume 3, No.

4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Arsenic Contamination in Ground Water Sources of District Matiari, Sindh


A.A. Uqailia, A. H. Mughalb and B. K. Maheshwaric
a b

Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan c Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan Corresponding Author E-mail: arslan_uqaili@yahoo.com Tel: +923332755701

ABSTRACT: The presence of arsenic (As) has been reported across the globe in drinking water sources, Asia being the most significantly affected area for arsenic contamination around the world. In Asia around 100 million people are at risk of arsenic contaminated water sources and more than 700,000 cases have been reported for arsenic related diseases. Many research studies have been conducted for arsenic contamination, furthermore many studies are being carried out but still there is significant lack of knowledge about the prevalence and impact of arsenic and its epidemiology in under developed countries like Pakistan. The focus of this study is on the rural areas of Sindh using ground water as major source of drinking water. In Pakistan groundwater arsenic concentration has reached up to 1100 g/L compared with WHO limits of 10g/L internationally and 50g/L for Pakistan. In the province of Sindh, around 36% of the population is exposed to arsenic contamination above WHO limits. Therefore, keeping in view the catastrophic situation, a study on arsenic prevalence in the district of matiari has been conducted to identify presence of arsenic in ground water. 85 water samples were taken from district matiari from hand pumps and boring and did field analysis for salinity and total dissolved salts (TDS). Further, the samples were brought in water testing and surveillance laboratory, LUMHS, Jamshoro where samples were tested for turbidity and arsenic. Arsenic presence was tested by Merck arsenic kit for 0.00-0.5 mg/L. The concentration for arsenic was estimated by visual comparison of the reaction zone of analytical test strip with the color scale. From the total of 85 samples, 60 samples are positive for arsenic, and among those 22 samples are positive above WHO criteria for Pakistan (0.05mg/L or50g/L). This research is part of the efforts taken to evolve and develop a community based awareness of arsenic hazards and sustainable arsenic mitigation system by establishing spatial and temporal prevalence of arsenic in the study area. Key words: Arsenic, ground water, Matiari, Sindh

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

INTRODUCTION: Water is the most important and basic necessity for the human life. Without water life cant exist and as the population of the world is increasing the supply of safe and healthy water has become a great concern. This is the important debate for both policy makers and international organizations dealing with the subject of water shortage and safe water supply[1]. Among the safety and quality of water, arsenic has been one of the important components in contamination of drinking water specifically in the south East Asian region. Considerable literature has been published in recent years on the presence of arsenic in groundwater being utilized by humans around the globe and particularly in Asia. Arsenic has been identified in the underground water sources of south East Asian countries and most prominently in Bangladesh, along with India, Pakistan and Nepal. In this research our main focus is on Pakistan. The main source of drinking water in Pakistan is ground water. Majority of people use the water without any treatment or filtration so it gives rise to a number of water based diseases. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element and widely distributed in earth crust in the form of inorganic arsenic compounds[2]. Here we have collected samples from district matiari of Pakistan. District Matiari consists of three talukas, Matiari, Hala, and Saeedabad. It is connected to district Jamshoro in the west, Nawabshah in north, Sanghar in the east and Hyderabad in south. In the present work, we have sampled UC Matiari, UC Hala, UC Bhit Shah, UC Nasarpur, and UC Faqir Nuthiani of district Matiari [3]. The consumption of contaminated water over long periods of time is the primary route of human exposure to arsenic. Though a lot of research has been carried out still there is dearth of knowledge on the presence and distribution of arsenic in water. The presence of arsenic in water poses many health hazards. Among them the common effects are skin lesions, skin cancer, itching, night blindness, lung cancer, renal cancer, bladder cancer, colonic cancer, peripheral neuro-pathology and vascular pathology (Blackfoot disease). Arsenic is an environmental contaminant that imposes a high risk of morbidity and mortality. There may be many areas in Pakistan that are not tested yet and may yield high concentrations of arsenic. This particular study was motivated by previous research studies conducted in rural areas of Punjab and Sindh and aims at evaluating arsenic concentration determining the spatial distribution of this contaminant in Matiari district and ultimately gauging the incidence risk in the environment of local community. Literature review: Many studies have been conducted worldwide as arsenic has become a very important aspect of environment and community based research. Arsenic has been found as underground naturally occurring substance contaminating drinking water sources and giving rise to mass poisoning, as arsenic is still undetected in majority of areas and proper steps are needed to free the water of arsenic. Among the research being carried out, Asia is the most significantly affected area, and in particular, south East Asia.

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Figure 1 Countries affected on the current global scenario on arsenic contamination emphasizing on Asia [3]

Among the studies conducted around the globe, maximum work is done over Bangladesh as arsenic is considered to be at very high and alarming levels for both health and environmental aspects. I. Allan H. Smith, et al Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh reported more than 50% population of Bangladesh using contaminated water and out of 2022 samples around 35% are more than 50 g/L and 8.4% samples are alarmingly high at around 300 g/L [4]. Seth H. Frisbie, et al The Concentrations of Arsenic and Other Toxic Elements in Bangladeshs Drinking water took samples from 112 tube wells of Bangladesh and around 50% samples have arsenic concentrations above the WHO guidelines, along with arsenic 30

III.

more contents were tested and most of them exceeding the normal WHO criteria [5]. M.M.H Khan, et al Magnitude of Arsenic Toxicity in Tube-well Drinking Water in Bangladesh and Its Adverse Effects on Human Health Including Cancer reported that in Bangladesh 59 districts out of 64 have been already affected by arsenic in underground drinking water, where this particular source of drinking water is the main source for 97 percent of the rural people [6].

II.

Along with this many studies have been conducted on the health and environmental effects of arsenic as it has become the most widespread mass poisoning particularly in Bangladesh. Among few other areas where research has been done, South America has also shown very high concentrations of arsenic in the groundwater.

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IV.

Juan D. Paoloni, et al Arsenic in Water Resources of the Southern Pampa Plains reported 97% positive arsenic concentrations exceeding the WHO limits showing maximum concentrations of up to 0.30mg/L[1].

very high level of 250 g/L of arsenic [2]. METHODOLOGY 54 water samples from Taluka Matiari and 21 samples from taluka Hala were collected from hand pumps, and motor pumps. Water samples were collected from each source after allowing water to flow for 5 min. Water samples were being collected in clean 0.25L polystyrene bottles which were subjected to 3 times rinsing before taking the water for sampling. Field analysis was carried out for the conductivity, TDS, salinity and temperature by the Senso direct con 200 conductivity meter. Arsenic was measured in LUMHS Water testing and surveillance Laboratory with Merck Arsenic Kit for 0.01-0.5 mg/L [9]. This test generates arsenic hydride which reacts with the mercury bromide present in the analytical strip to form a yellow brown mixed arsenic mercury halogenide. The concentration of arsenic was measured by visual comparison of the reaction zone of the analytical test strip with scales of fields of color. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION District Matiari includes three talukas: Matiari, Hala, and Saeedabad. In the present working, Matiari and Hala talukas were sampled. In these areas mostly ground water as boring through hand pump or motor pump is used for drinking. This was the base of collecting samples from these areas for the detection of arsenic. The release of Arsenic may be correlated to one of the three most established theories:

From the research studies in Pakistan, most have been carried out in southern Punjab where arsenic has been found in high quantities few studies have also been done in Sindh yielding similar results on arsenic exceeding the WHO limits. V. T.AHMED, et al WED international conference reported that around 20% population of Punjab is exposed to arsenic contamination of 10 g/L and 3% population above 50 g/L and 36% and 16% population of Sindh is exposed to 10 g/L and 50 g/L of arsenic respectively [7] ISLAM-UL-HAQ, et al Groundwater arsenic contamination a multi directional emerging threat to water scarce areas of Pakistan reported that in the province of Sindh, groundwater arsenic concentration has reached up to 1100 g/l against WHO limits of 10 g/l. in district Rahim Yar Khan and it was observed that out of 19307 samples, 9644 samples were within the safer limits <10 g/l (49.95%) and the rest of 9663 samples (50.05%) were found with varying arsenic concentration from 20 g/l to 500g/l [8]. G.M.ARAIN et al Arsenic contamination in underground water of Matiari and Khairpur districts Sindh reported 37% samples positive for 50 or >50 g/L of arsenic and 15% samples positive for

VI.

VII.

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Release of Arsenic due to Phosphorus because of application of phosphate fertilizers; Desorption of Arsenic due to reductive Dissolution of metal oxy-hydroxides; Oxidation of pyrite.

The samples were taken from ground water boring through hand pumps and motor pumps. 40 samples were taken from motor pumps and 45 from hand pumps from the above mentioned areas of the district.

ARSENIC: The normal range of arsenic


In the research area, pesticides and fertilizers are being used on cotton and sugarcane crops. Phosphate fertilizers are extensively used in the area. In many studies, elevated arsenic concentrations in groundwater have been found due to application of phosphate fertilizers (Campos, V., 2002, Davenport, J.R. & Peryea, F.J. 1991). Water quality survey conducted by PCRWR in the study area revealed higher PO4, concentration in the study area (water quality status in Pakistan, 2003). Hence preferential adsorption of phosphate on sediments can also be held responsible for the release of arsenic [9]. The total no of samples collected from district Matiari were 85; 39 from UC Matiari , 19 from Bhit Shah, 12 from Nasarpur, 11 from Hala and 4 from UC Faqir Nuhthiani (fig:1.1) , for under developed countries given by WHO is (0.05mg/L or50g/L) and internationally in developed countries it is (0.01mg/L or10g/L). From these 85 samples 60 samples were found to be positive for arsenic contamination fig 1.1, out of these 60 samples 22 samples were above WHO limits for Pakistan (0.05mg/L or 50 g/L) for arsenic as show in table1.1 & fig 1.2, 18 samples were positive at international limits of (0.01mg/L or 10 g/L) of arsenic and 20 were positive but below WHO criteria for arsenic at the level of (0.005mg/L or 5 g/L) of arsenic and were tested in the water testing and surveillance lab LUMHS Jamshoro . These samples along with arsenic were tested for turbidity, color, salinity, and total dissolved salts (TDS).

Figure 2 Fig 1.1 distribution of samples from district Matiari

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Figure 4. Arsenic above WHO limits for Pakistan

Figure 3 arsenic concentration from total no of samples Table 1.1 (samples showing arsenic concentration 0.05mg/L or above)
S. Sampling Area Arsenic mg/L

Among the 45 samples of hand pump, 26 are positive for arsenic and 10 are above WHO criteria for Pakistan (0.05mg/L). Similarly from 40 samples of motor pump 34 were positive for arsenic and 12 were above WHO limits of 0.05mg/L as shown in
table1.2 and fig 1.3. Table 1.2 arsenic detection among water sources

5 6 8 32 34 39 40 48 49 60 61 62 64 65 67 68 69 70 77 82 83 84

UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Memon colony Pir Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Pir Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Matiari Stop Govt. School; Matiari Stop Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur New Hala UC I Hala Talabulmola colony hala UC I Hala

0.05 0.1 0.05 0.05 0.08 0.1 0.1 0.05 0.05 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.1 0.1 0.25 0.1 0.25 0.1 0.1 0.05 0.1 0.05

Hand pump Motor pump

Total samples 45 40

Arsenic positive 26 34

Arsenic 0.05mg/L or above 10 12

Figure 5 Arsenic among water sources

Turbidity: The acceptable WHO range for turbidity is 1-5 NTU, while in the samples which we collected, the range extended from 0 NTU to 74 NTU. Total of 5 samples were found to be above the WHO criteria fig 1.4.

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

RECOMMENDATIONS The research over Arsenic contamination has pointed towards a major health problem in Dist. Matiari and a survey taken from general population showed that ninety-seven percent of people are unaware of the inclusion of Arsenic in their drinking water sources. It is therefore pertinent to devise a holistic approach and taking the community into participation, following measures are to be taken: 1. It is highly desirable to form a research group with geologists, hydrologists, geo-chemists, water supply and environmental engineers, and public health experts to conduct in-depth investigation on the sources and causes of arsenic contamination in groundwater. 2. Water Management: Screening of all tube wells should be undertaken. As testing facilities should be available at an affordable cost. Groundwater pumping rate should be minimized for irrigation.

Figure 6 Turbidity above WHO criteria

TDS: Normal TDS limits set by WHO are 500-1000 mg/L but values of TDS found in collected samples ranged from 358 to 5318. With 49 samples out of 85 having TDS above the WHO criteria (fig1.5).

Figure 7 Samples above normal TDS level

CONCLUSION: This research is part of the efforts taken to evolve and develop a community based awareness of arsenic hazards and sustainable arsenic mitigation system by establishing spatial and temporal prevalence of arsenic in the study area. From the data collected and analyzed, the samples collected from district Matiari have given alarmingly high concentration of arsenic in the drinking water ranging from 0.005-0.25mg/L. And it shows that this water is very unsafe for human consumption and efforts should be taken to decrease it, provide alternate source and educate the community.

3. Alternative sources of drinking water: innovative alternative sources such as, pond sand filters, infiltration galleries, or rain wells, and in some places even rainwater harvesting can be adopted to alleviate the arsenic disaster. 4. Use of surface water: Existing surface water could be purified by filtration and chlorination, and even by ultraviolet disinfection or solar radiation and can be used in drinking and other house hold purposes.

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

5. Removal of arsenic by chemical precipitation: Coagulants such as the salts of Aluminum and iron should be used to remove the arsenic from domestic drinking water. 6. Removal of arsenic by oxidation: Oxidants such as free chlorine, ozone, Permanganate, hypo-chlorite, and Fenton reagent (H2O2/Fe2+) should be used to remove arsenic from drinking water 7. Extraction and distribution of arsenic free groundwater from deep aquifers: If other alternatives are costly and complicated potable drinking water can be extracted and distributed from deep aquifers.
REFERENCES

8. Removal of arsenic from water collected from the existing contaminated sources by filtration: Water filters should be used at drinking water treatment plant or at each individual household source. 9. Removal of arsenic from the existing water sources: The sources of arsenic contamination must be controlled and arsenic contaminated soil and shallow groundwater aquifers should be cleaned to prohibit the future contamination. 10. In-situ remediation of arsenic contaminated groundwater: This can be achieved by using iron filings permeable walls.

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Paoloni, J. D., Sequeira, M. E., Esposito, M. E., Fiorentino, C. E., & del, C. B. M. Arsenic in water resources of the southern pampa plains, argentina. J Environ Public Health, (2009). 2009: 216470. doi: 10.1155/2009/216470 Arain, G. M., Aslam, M., & Majidano, S. A. Arsenic contamination of underground water in district matiari and khairpur. jour.chem.soc.pak, (2007). 25(5). Sengupta, M. K., Mukherjee, A., Hossain, M. A., Ahamed, S., Rahman, M. M., Lodh, D., et al. Groundwater arsenic contamination in the ganga-padma-meghnabrahmaputra plain of india and bangladesh. Arch Environ Health, (2003). 58(11): 701-2. doi: 10.3200/AEOH.58.11.701-702 Smith, A. H., Lingas, E. O., & Rahman, M. Contamination of

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drinking-water by arsenic in bangladesh: A public health emergency. [Review]. Bull World Health Organ, (2000). 78(9): 1093103. Frisbie, S. H., Ortega, R., Maynard, D. M., & Sarkar, B. The concentrations of arsenic and other toxic elements in bangladesh's drinking water. [Research Paper]. Environ Health Perspect, (2002). 110(11): 1147-53. Khan, M. M., Sakauchi, F., Sonoda, T., Washio, M., & Mori, M. Magnitude of arsenic toxicity in tube-well drinking water in bangladesh and its adverse effects on human health including cancer: Evidence from a review of the literature. [Review]. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, (2003). 4(1): 7-14. Ahmed, T., Kahlown, M. A., Tahir, A., & Rashid, H. People-centred

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approaches to water and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 30th wedc conference, lao national cultural hall, vientiane, lao pdr, october 2004. In 30th WED international conference, viantiane:2004, 662. Haque, I. U., Nabi, D., Baig, M. A., & Hayat, W. Groundwater arsenic contamination a multi directional emerging threat to water scarce

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areas of pakistan. In 6th International Groundwater Quality Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia,:2007, 24-30. Yu, G., Sun, D., & Zheng, Y. Health effects of exposure to natural arsenic in groundwater and coal in china: An overview of occurrence. [Research Paper]. Environ Health Perspect, (2007). 115(4): 636-42. doi: 10.1289/ehp.9268

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Appendix
Table 1.1(table of all parameters tested)
S.NO. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Sampling Area UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Kacho UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Faqir Nuhthiani Bughio Muhalla UC Bhit Shah Bughio Muhalla UC Bhit Shah Bughio Muhalla UC Bhit Shah Bughio Muhalla UC Bhit Shah Bughio Muhalla UC Bhit Shah Tambooro Chowk UC Bhit Shah UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Memon Colony UC Matiari Noor Shah Colony UC Matiari Noor Shah Colony Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Pir Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Pir Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Pir Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Matiari Stop Matiari Stop Matiari Stop Source Hand pump Hand pump motor pump Hand pump Hand pump Hand pump motor pump Hand pump motor pump motor pump Hand pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump Hand pump Hand pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump Hand pump Hand pump Hand pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump Hand Pump motor Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump motor pump Turbidity NTU 42 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 64 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Salinity % 1.8 1.6 2.5 1.4 3.1 2.7 0.4 3.3 1.6 2.9 1.2 1.2 0.7 1.7 1.1 1.4 2 0.4 3.1 4.1 0.4 3.1 0.4 2.9 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.4 1.4 1.6 1 1.9 0.4 2.2 0.4 0.4 0.4 TDS mg/L 2028 1981 3718 1792 3819 3723 535 4065 1995 4419 1582 1589 969 2430 1342 1722 2670 516 3820 5318 501 3818 498 3517 548 485 1014 1771 1736 2319 1272 2418 533 2810 496 520 481 Arsenic mg/L 0.005 0.005 0.025 0.005 0.05 0.1 0.005 0.05 0.01 0.025 0.005 0.005 0.005 0 0 0 0 0.005 0.005 0.005 0.01 0.005 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0 0 0.005 0 0.005 0.05 0.01 0.08 0.005 0.005 0.005

August 2012, Volume 3, No. 4 International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
S.NO. 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 Sampling Area Mosque; Matiari Stop Matiari Stop Govt. School; Matiari Stop Matiari Stop Tamborochowk; Bhit Shah Tamborochowk; Bhit Shah Dargah; Bughiomohalla; Matiari Bughiomohalla; Matiari Bughiomohalla; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah olony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Source motor Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump motor pump motor pump motor pump motor pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Hand Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Hand Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump Hand Pump Motor Pump Motor Pump motor Pump Hand Pump motor pump motor pump Turbidity NTU 0 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 99 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 89 0 0 0 Salinity % 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 1.3 2.2 1.1 2.5 1.2 2.1 0.4 1.2 0.4 0.7 2.7 3.1 3 2.7 3 3.5 3 1.6 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.3 0.4 1.8 0.3 1 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 1.6 0.9 TDS mg/L 489 579 654 720 1673 2720 1389 3815 1498 2780 554 1519 488 844 3728 3910 3780 3721 3785 4210 3670 2310 506 511 528 1198 427 496 2792 419 1218 400 374 491 567 484 358 425 2311 1.84 Arsenic mg/L 0.005 0.1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.01 0.05 0.05 0.01 0.025 0.005 0.01 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.25 0.25 0.25 0 0.1 0.1 0.005 0.25 0.1 0.25 0.1 0 0 0.005 0.025 0.025 0.025 0.1

Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Noor Shah Colony; Matiari Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah Bhit Shah NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur NasarPur Matiari UC I Hala Matiari New Hala

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S.NO. 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 Sampling Area New Hala New Hala UC I Hala UC I Hala UC I Hala Talabulmola colony hala UC I Hala UC I Hala Source motor pump motor pump motor pump Hand Pump Hand Pump Hand Pump motor Pump Hand Pump Turbidity NTU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Salinity % 0.5 0.5 1.6 1.4 1 0.9 0.5 0.5 TDS mg/L 634 672 2317 1750 1167 1084 716 627 Arsenic mg/L 0.01 0 0.01 0 0.05 0.1 0.05 0