Effect of arsenic safe water on manifestations of arsenicosis

Kunal Kanti Majumdar


Background: Reports are few in the literature on the long term effect of chronic arsenic toxicity after stoppage of drinking arsenic contaminated water. The object of the study is to ascertain the effect of drinking of arsenic safe water for prolonged period in an arsenic affected population in West Bengal, India.

Methods: A longitudinal intervention study was conducted from December 2017 to July 2018. Manifestations of various skin lesions and systemic diseases associated with chronic arsenic exposure were ascertained initially by carrying on baseline study on 200 families having 1200 family members in Madanpur village of Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The study population was taking water from tube wells with arsenic level >50 µg/l. The base line study findings were compared objectively at the end of six months follow up period after installation of a community filter in the village.

Results: 2% of the study population was having one or more dermatological and non dermatological manifestations of arsenicosis. There was 4.2% decrease in prevalence of pigmentation but no change in prevalence of keratosis in the follow up survey with 40% decrease in prevalence of non dermatological manifestations after taking arsenic safe water at the end of 6 months of follow up study. Around 60% of population was not aware about adverse health effects of arsenicosis and 70% not taking animal protein regularly.

Conclusions: Outcome of arsenical skin lesion following drinking of arsenic safe water depends on initial level and duration of arsenic exposure.


Arsenic, Skin manifestations and systemic manifestations, Safe water, Diet and awareness

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