Half of humanity was at risk of the harmful effects of atmospheric arsenic

The researchers conducted a global analysis of the arsenic concentration in the atmosphere worldwide and its impact on people’s health. It turned out that Chile has retained its leading position on emission of arsenic into the atmosphere, and in 10 years, India came in second place on this indicator, increasing the concentration of arsenic in air at 65 percent. As noted in the article, published in PNAS, for 10 years, the number of people at risk from exposure to arsenic, increased by 15 percent.

Arsenic and many of its compounds are highly toxic agents. The intake of arsenic in the human body through the digestive tract and if inhaled, causes diseases of the cardiovascular system, and also oncological diseases of the respiratory system and cancer of the skin. The issue of groundwater contamination by arsenic has long been under the control of the who, while the concentrations of arsenic in ambient air are usually given little attention.

Russia’s average level of air pollution with arsenic is at a level of 2-3 ng/cubic meter at normal 6 ng/cubic meter. Slightly larger than the norms observed in the Upper Volga region and around the lake. Apparently, it is connected with the mining industry that is deployed in these regions.

The researchers, led by Lei Zhan (Lei Zhang) from ocean University of China, conducted a full-scale study of arsenic concentrations in ambient air and its impact on people’s health, comparing the figures of 2005 and 2015, using the model of [GEOS]-Chem. Within 10 years Chile has maintained a leading position in the concentration of arsenic in air: in 2005 it amounted to 8.34 ng/cubic meter in 2015 of — 8.68 ng/cubic meter, showing a four percent increase. Such high concentration is due to emissions of arsenic in the production of copper, for which Chile ranked first in the world. In 2005, Eastern China was in second place on the level of arsenic in ambient air, its concentration was of 5.63 ng/cubic meter, but in 10 years, thanks to the introduction of new technological processes, this number decreased by 22 percent, amounting to at 4.38 ng/cubic meter in 2015 and shifting the region to third place. The new “silver medal” was India: due to a sharp and uncontrolled increase in coal burning arsenic concentrations in the air over this country, made up 4.57 ng/cubic meter vs of 2.77 ng/cubic meter in 2005.

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