23 Aug 2013:
Arsenic in Groundwater
May Affect 20 Million People in China
Nearly 20 million people in China are exposed to high levels of arsenic in the water they use for drinking and cooking, a new model based on geological and hydrological data and well samples shows. The model predicts high arsenic concentrations
(10 micrograms per liter or greater) across more than 580,000
square kilometers, according to Chinese and Swiss researchers, who published their findings in Science
. Researchers had long known that some regions had high arsenic concentrations, but it would have taken several decades to test the millions of groundwater wells in China. The new prediction combined the most recent water tests, in which 5 percent of wells were found to contain arsenic in excess of 50 micrograms per liter, with data about the underlying geology, soil characteristics, and topographic features. Regions at risk include the basins of the Tarim (Xinjiang), Ejina (Inner Mongolia) and Heihe (Gansu) rivers, as well as the North China Plain (Henan and Shandong).
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.