The crucial global issue of arsenic contamination in the ground water reserves alone has been stated to be “one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of mankind”. It is resulting in fatal health impacts through direct consumption of contaminated water, or through contaminated food chain, or both. An increasing number of persons in the affected areas are suffering from melanosis, leuco-melanosis, keratosis, hyperkeratosis, dorsum, oedema, gangrene and skin cancer. Melanosis (93.5%) and keratosis (68.3%) are the most common presentations among the affected people. Patients of Leucomelanosis (39.1%) and hyper-keratosis (37.6%) have been found in many cases. Few cases of skin cancer (0.8%) have also been identified among the patients seriously affected by arsenic poisoning. The occurrence of arsenic diseases depends on the ingestion of arsenic compounds and their excretion from the body. It has been reported that 40% to 60% arsenic can be retained by the human body. It indicates that the level of hazards will be higher with the greater consumption of arsenic contaminated water.
Arsenic mitigation is a complex task given the heterogeneity of the occurrence of arseniferrous aquifers, their geochemistry, social and economic scales of the affected population, and responses of the different stakeholders. A suitable arsenic mitigation strategy will have to take into account the social and economic status of the concerned area, utilize local resources and build sustainability to the project through adoption of green technology, all these being underlined by community acceptance and mobilization. Such an approach can act as a catalyst of bringing about a change in the community’s outlook and development