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Dams may worsen arsenic problem: study

A Stanford University study conducted in Cambodia has shed new light on the natural introduction of the poison arsenic into groundwater – an established problem in Cambodia that could be exacerbated by hydrological development, particularly dams, researchers say.

According to a report on their findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Friday, the Stanford team carried out experiments on wetlands in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district in order to better understand how water is contaminated by the lethal toxin here and in other parts of South and Southeast Asia.

By Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia, December 15, 2015

Phnom Penh Post

A Stanford University study conducted in Cambodia has shed new light on the natural introduction of the poison arsenic into groundwater – an established problem in Cambodia that could be exacerbated by hydrological development, particularly dams, researchers say.

According to a report on their findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Friday, the Stanford team carried out experiments on wetlands in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district in order to better understand how water is contaminated by the lethal toxin here and in other parts of South and Southeast Asia.

They discovered that in wetlands that went through the natural cycle of wet and dry seasons, arsenic was entirely absent or at very low levels. But in wetlands that were saturated all year round, with no dry period, the tiny microbes capable of producing the killer substance released much more arsenic into groundwater.

 

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