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Arsenic contaminates Bangladesh Sunday, 14 May 2000 2:31 (ET)

Arsenic contaminates Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 14 (UPI) - Several thousand people in Bangladesh may have become seriously ill from drinking water containing arsenic,experts at a Dhaka conference said Saturday, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Officials said 15 people have died because of the arsenic poisoning, but doctors at the conference warn that up to 80 percent of the country's population is at risk.

The BBC reports the problem is thought to stem from the practice of using water from new wells, instead of streams and rivers. There is a high level of arsenic in much of Bangladesh's ground water. -- Copyright 2000 by United Press International.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 15, 2000

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