20 MILLION IN CHINA AT RISK OF ARSENIC CONTAMINATION
A new computer model capable of predicting arsenic risks found that almost 20 million people in China live in areas under threat of water contamination. The model found that 14.7 million people live with a risk of contamination levels higher than the World Health Organization's recommended daily limit of 10 micrograms per liter, while 6 million people are at risk for levels five times higher than that. "In areas of high population density, the risk of high arsenic contamination is much more [than the average levels throughout China]," said a researcher. "I think after our paper is published, it will make the Chinese government pay attention." In the 1970s, China labeled arsenic contamination as one of the country's "most important endemic diseases" due to its chronic side effects and has recently begun undertaking the testing of wells. However, the process has been time consuming and is projected to take decades, prompting researchers to produce a computer model capable of determining which areas are at risk. The study has been going on for five years. For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/22/china-arsenic-contamination-risk-water.