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The Problem of Arsenic Contamination

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Arsenic contamination has turned out to be a common phenomenon now-a-days through contaminating the area extent and affecting the wide number of people around the world directly or indirectly. The level of contaminant has spread over the soil and sediments from groundwater and various other natural sources. The consequences of soil contamination are still concealed to the huge portion of population around the world, especially the people of developing countries. The effects of arsenic poisoning are drastic.

Arsenic is a severe concern for the people all over the globe and other life forms reckoning the poisoning through crops and vegetables. It is one of the chemical characteristics of phosphate that can disturb some phosphate dependent aspects of metabolism in all living forms. Arsenic can be carried through the plasma membranes by phosphate transport proteins leading to imbalances in phosphate supply. What actually occurs during phosphorylation reactions is that arsenic competes with phosphate and forms unstable compounds which lessen the ability of the cell to carry out their metabolism.

Higher concentration of arsenic is deadly to plants. Arsenate, a salt or ester of arsenic acid has been determined to be the dominant entities residing in soils and its similarity to phosphate permits it to compete for the same uptake carriers in the root plasma lemma. Thus intervening with metabolic processes and results in inhibiting plant growth. It also includes, inhibition of seed germination, diminishing plant height, diminution in root growth, minify shoot growth and lower fruit and grain yield.

The risk of human vulnerability to soil arsenic has greatly enhanced during the last few decades because of the enlargement of territorial dominion from previous lands used for agriculture. Continuing breakability to arsenic causes many clinical appearances like cutaneous lesions, melanosis or hyperpigmentation, keratosis, leukomelanosis. The other health problems can be carcinogenic to skin, lung, bladder, liver and kidney cancer carotid atherosclerosis, sometimes even heart diseases. Additionally, it affects the hormonal regulations through retinoic acid, thyroid hormone and estrogen receptors.

Arsenic contaminated food and water are the passages through which this nonmetal enters in human even in the cattle causing abdominal pain, weakness, salivation, nausea and death. Also, reddened edematous gastric and intestinal mucosa, yellowing of the liver, edema in the lungs, necrosis of mucosal epithelia and degeneration of the renal tube and gastrointestinal capillaries are other serious effects. Extended breakability to arsenic leads to depression, dehydration, anorexia, frequent urination and imbalance in body temperature, nasal flow discharge, eye irritation.

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