Assessment of arsenic exposure in the population of Sabalpur village of Saran District of Bihar with mitigation approach

Arun Kumar*, Rishav Kumar, Md Samiur Rahman, Mohammad Ali, Ranjit Kumar, Neha Nupur, Aman Gaurav, Vikram Raj, Santosh Kumar, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic poisoning through groundwater is the world’s greatest normal groundwater catastrophe which got an immense effect on worldwide general wellbeing. India is confronting the outcomes of arsenic poisoning in the zone of Ganga Brahmaputra alluvial plains. In Bihar, out of 38 districts, 18 districts are exceptionally influenced with groundwater arsenic defilement. In the present study, we have assessed the current situation of arsenic exposure in Sabalpur village of Saran district of Bihar after reporting of breast, renal, skin and thyroid cancer cases from this village along with typical symptoms of arsenicosis. Such cancer patients were identified at our institute and were taken for the study. The present investigation deals with the quantification of arsenic in groundwater, hair and nail samples of subjects as well as the survey of entire village to know the overall health status of the village people. A total of n=128 household handpump water samples as well as n=128 human hair and nail samples were collected from over n=520 households. Using the graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GF-AAS), all the samples were analysed. The investigation resulted that the 61% of the analysed samples particularly the groundwater had the arsenic levels more than the permissible limit of WHO (> 10 μg/L) with 244.20 μg/L as the highest arsenic contamination in one of the handpump water sample. The exposure effect of hair sample was worst as 88% of all the collected samples were having high arsenic levels more than the permissible limit (> 0.2 mg/Kg). In case of nail samples, 92% of the samples were having high arsenic concentration more than the permissible limit (> 0.5 mg/Kg). The health survey study revealed high magnitude of disease burden in the exposed population with symptoms such as asthma, anaemia, hepatomegaly, diabetes, cardiac problem, skin fungal infections, breathlessness and mental disability. Few cancer cases of renal, skin, breast and cervix were also found among the exposed population of this village. The percentage of cancer cases in this village was 0.94% that was low, but it would be an aggravated situation in the near future if people will continue drinking arsenic-contaminated water. Therefore, a mitigation intervention was carried out in March 2020 by installing an arsenic filter plant. The health situation in the village in the present scenario is hope to improve in the coming years. However, motivation and awareness among the village population are still required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43923-43934
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Arsenicosis
  • Cancer
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Health assessment
  • Sabalpur (Bihar)


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