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Jakarta Post

Arsenic confirmed in groundwater supply

  • Erwida Maulia

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 10 2008   /  10:56 am

High concentrations of arsenic in Indonesia's groundwater supply have been confirmed in a study by international scientists, leading to warnings of possible widespread contamination. The recent study by Lenny Winkel and his colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology said 12 out of 97 tube wells checked in South Sumatra had arsenic concentrations exceeding WHO safety standards for drinking water of 10 micrograms per liter. The finding confirms earlier predictions that groundwater in Sumatra lowlands is potentially contaminated with arsenic. The scientists said Sumatra and other islands in the archipelago had topographic characteristics in common with known major arsenic-contaminated areas in Bangladesh, where up to 57 million people are chronically exposed to drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic. The characteristics in...