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Central Highlands province cracks down on arsenic-contaminated water

Update: September, 29/2017 - 14:00
A resident of Central Highlands’ Đắk Nông Province’s Đức Xuyên Commune washes rice. Water provided to some 1,500 residents by the commune’s water supplier was found to contain arsenic much higher than national regulated norms. — VNA/VNS Photo Hưng Thịnh
Viet Nam News

ĐẮK NÔNG — The People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province of Đắk Nông has requested concerned authorities to inspect and propose solutions to treat arsenic-contaminated water in Krông Nô District.

Water testing at a water supplier in the district’s Đức Xuyên Commune, conducted by the provincial preventive medicine centre in June, showed that the amount of arsenic used in insecticides, weed killers, solid-state doping agents and various alloys exceeded national regulated norms by two to 20 times.

The amount of arsenic found in 32 urine samples of residents also exceeded regulated levels, the maximum being eight times.

Nguyễn Bốn, chairman of the Đắk Nông People’s Committee, recently requested the province’s Department of Health and the Krông Nô People’s Committee to collaborate with concerned agencies to treat well water and groundwater that was contaminated with arsenic in the area.

Water samples should be taken from all water sources in the province, with a focus on areas suspected to be contaminated with arsenic, he said.

Locals should be informed about the water treatment process and be advised to install house water filter systems “to proactively treat the contaminated water themselves,” he added.

Disadvantage households in the area should be provided with an allowance to treat the water, he said.

Bốn directed the administrative authority of the water supplier of Đức Xuyên Commune to be transferred to the Đắk Nông Urban Development and Water Supply JSC (WASUD). Transfer procedures should be completed before November 15, he said.

Arsenic is a chemical element found in nature and some manmade products such as pesticides. Consumption of 0.3-30mg of arsenic can cause acute poisoning within 30-60 minutes, which can lead to death or leave serious impact on the human body, according to Đắk Nông health authorities. Long-term exposure to the element will damage the nervous, cardiovascular and digestive systems and increase the risk of cancer. — VNS


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