Viet Nam News
ĐẮK NÔNG — Tests on water from a water supplier in Đức Xuyên Commune, Krông Nô District, Central Highlands province of Đắk Nông, revealed that the amount of arsenic used in insecticides, weed killers, solid-state doping agents and various alloys, exceeded national regulated norms.
The information was released on Monday by Ngô Xuân Đông, vice chairman of the district People’s Committee.
The tests were conducted and supervised by the provincial preventive medicine centre in June.
The amount of arsenic in several water samples exceeded regulations by two to 20 times.
The water samples were taken from the depth of five to more than 50m.
The province offered a free-of-charge health examination for locals. A total of 350 urine samples were taken for tests. As many as 35 were tested, of which 32 samples had the arsenic amount exceeding regulated levels by at most eight times.
So far nobody has shown clear symptoms of disease caused by arsenic contamination.
Đông expressed his hope that the provincial authorities would support the district in treating the water and limit the harm.
Nguyễn Hùng, vive chairman of Đức Xuyên Commune People’s Committee, said the commune received residents’ report about the abnormal water in May this year.
The commune reported the case to upper level authorities.
After receiving the tests results, the commune will repair the water supplier’s filter system and clear bushes around it.
The commune has warned residents to limit their use of the water until it is treated, and instead use rain water or well water.
Several residents in the commune said that they were forced to buy clean water at the price of VNĐ15,000-20,000 (US$0.7-0.9) per 20-litre bottle for cooking.
The provincial authorities said arsenic was very dangerous for people’s health.
If people eat or drink about 0.3-30mg of arsenic, they can be poisoned within 30-60 minutes and this can then lead to fatalities or prolonged dangerous after-effects.
If people use water contaminated with arsenic, they can be chronically poisoned, affecting their mental, cardiovascular and digestive system, and face high risk of cancer. — VNS