Arsenic-contaminated water threatens more than 200 million people worldwide

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Scientists managed to compile a global map by using not only climatic and environmental, but also geological data. On the map are indicated those places where the amount of arsenic in groundwater can contain a huge amount. Such water is a direct threat to drinking water and its quality.

It is worth noting the fact that the maximum allowable amount of arsenic in groundwater should not exceed the mark of 10 micrograms per liter. Moreover, arsenic in varying amounts is found not only in rocks, but also in some types of soil. It can harm people at a time when it is washed out into groundwater.

This happens as a result of a variety of chemical processes.

Previously, specialists were able to detect a huge number of those points that were too heavily contaminated with arsenic. Most of all, it was found in groundwater in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Argentina. But then there were no results on the amount of arsenic in groundwater in some other regions.

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Ecologist Joel Podgorski and his colleague, hydrologist Michael Berg, who work at the Swiss Federal Institute for Water Sciences and Technology, together decided to create a special map. To create it, a variety of environmental factors were used, which included soil age and pH, rainfall, their temperature and so on.

As a result, it was possible to collect data from almost 80 different studies. After that, a special machine learning technique was applied, which was called the random forest method. It was with its help that forecasts were made of the presence of arsenic in one square kilometer, taking into account all the data obtained.

To create the final global map, the results were averaged to 10 thousand.

It is worth noting that arsenic is a very dangerous substance. With a prolonged effect on the human body, it can cause skin cancer, as well as a variety of heart diseases.


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