Arsenic Pollution in Vietnam

Mai Thanh Truyet of the Vietnamese American Science and Technology Society (VAST) said symptoms of arsenic poisoning had recently surfaced in Mekong Delta residents who drink groundwater. The poisoning, also known as arsenicosis, has been linked elsewhere with the drinking of arsenic-tainted water over long periods of time.

He said the skin on some residents €™ chests, legs and hands had darkened due to exposure to arsenic-laden water for five to ten years.

After 15 years of contamination, internal organs may swell and affect the neural and respiratory systems, he said, adding that cancer could appear in the liver, spleen, bladder and kidneys after 20 years.

He said researchers had found levels of arsenic contamination in the delta far above the safe level of 10 parts per billion stipulated by the World Health Organization.

Source: Thanh Nien, Agencies

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