China: A team of scientists from China and Switzerland has used geological data to find out the regions where water wells are contaminated with arsenic. The team has developed a map of such contaminated wells.
Arsenic can cause serious threats to human health. These include dermatological disorders and even cancers of the skin, lung, bladder and kidney. Experts wanted to find the status of more than 10 million drinking water wells in China. A field survey to spot contaminated wells would have taken decades. Therefore, the team of scientists used relevant data like land use, distance from the river, elevation of sea level, types of rocks and their age etc. All this information helped in finding out the regions where arsenic contamination is high. Scientists then marked those regions on a simple map to find out the most affected regions. The valley of the river Hohhot, the Sichuan province and the east coast of China have been found to be the worst affected areas.