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A total water pollution status of this country, as well as the sources of this severe condition, is crucial to evaluate public health risk. For this purpose, we reviewed hundreds of well recognized international and national journals, conference proceedings and other related documents to draw a complete picture of recent water pollution status and its impact on public health; also the sources of water pollution are identified.

How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement

Why are we able to live in this planet? Why are other animals and plants allowed to live here? If we endeavor to find out the answer of these inquisitions, we may easily perceive that water is the spring of life. According to biologists, all life form came from the sea means water. We are living on this planet due to the blessing of water.

From the dawn of civilization to till now, humans cave dwellers to city dwellers have been using water for various seminal purposes: drinking, bathing, watering animals, and irrigating lands. However, this limited resource means source of life under threat from the population, chiefly generated by human factors. At present, 1. The condition of water stress and scarcity will be worsened.

Almost 1. However, these limited water resources are under threat from the pollution, chiefly generated by human factors. The agricultural sector, industrial production, mining, power generation, and other factors are some of the contributors to the pollution of water bodies, which will eventually affect humans in general UN-Water, Diseases: cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, etc.

It is estimated that each year more than , people die from diarrhea globally WHO, a , b. Arsenic pollution is one of the major groundwater contaminations, and it affects nearly 70 million people worldwide UNESCO, Like the rest of the third world country, Bangladesh Fig. Bangladesh is a riparian country, consisting of more than large and small rivers Figs. But these rivers are now choked by the pollution caused by mainly human intervention Majumder, Groundwater is not also safe as the threat of arsenic contamination is very high all over the country. Administrative map of Bangladesh [source: Map, ].

Rivers of Bangladesh [Source: Banglapedia, ]. Adequate knowledge about the pollution status of all the water sources is thus crucial for ensuring safe and hygiene potable water. Samples were collected from , household sources in 15, randomly selected clusters around the country. The report suggested that But various individual studies on smaller scale revealed the much severe condition of water pollution. The Department of Environment DoE of Bangladesh regularly monitor the surface and groundwater quality of the country. These year-long monitoring programs have shown the increasing pollution rates in rivers and other surface water sources over time DoE, The complete picture of overall water pollution situation of Bangladesh is of great importance from every perspective.

In this paper, we have compiled the recent data in this regard. Hundreds of journal articles, conference proceedings, reports published by renowned organizations, books and other reliable national and international materials have been reviewed to extract meaningful information about the present pollution status which is then arranged and presented systematically. Furthermore, the impact of this pollution on the public health of Bangladesh is also discussed in detail. The physicochemical properties of water can influence the development of biological life form in water and subsequently can cause an impact on the quality of water Soja and Wiejaczka, Physical properties such as temperature, turbidity, electrical conductivity and chemical properties for instance dissolved oxygen DO , Biological oxygen demand BOD , Chemical oxygen demand COD , all come under this group.

Biological Oxygen Demand BOD, or more specifically BOD 5 can be used as an indication of the extent of organic pollution in the aquatic systems, which adversely affect the water quality Jonnalagadda and Mhere, A very high value of BOD can be seen in heavily polluted surface water of Bangladesh. Dissolved Oxygen DO is also measured in water quality testing.

The maximum concentration DO Physicochemical properties parameters in Bangladesh in surface water and groundwater. Data are extracted from various individual studies and arranged chronologically based on year of publication of the reviewed articles. Values given represent the mean values or mean values plus-minus standard deviation S. The temperature of water influences the aquatic life, solubility of solids, taste and odor, dissolved oxygen DO , etc Zuane, Although pH has no direct impact on the consumer, it is one of the most necessary operational water quality parameters WHO, WHO recommended that the pH of the water be within 6.

All studies found the pH of water sources within a suitable range. Total dissolved solids TDS constitute inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water. Some of the studies have found TDS level above the recommended limit.

The conductivity of water can indicate the presence of minerals. A variety of conductivity value can be seen in different water sources based on various studies. Natural substances leached from the soil, run-off from agricultural activities, controlled discharge from sewage treatment works and industrial plants, and uncontrolled releases or leakage from landfill sites and chemical accidents or disasters are the sources of both surface and groundwater pollution Leeuwen, In Bangladesh, trace elements in ground and surface water often exceed the guideline values recommended by WHO.

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According to WHO and Bangladesh standards, the maximum concentration of chromium in drinking water is 0. Other individual studies reported that surface water in different location exceeds the maximum concentration value and it varied from 0. Balu river and Buriganga river shows a higher concentration of chromium. A selected few studies focused on the chromium content in groundwater.

The highest chromium concentration 0. Overall, surface water contains significantly more chromium than that of groundwater.

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Copper Cu is an indispensable trace element which shows a significant role in the biochemistry of all living organisms Bremner and Beattie, Various studies calculated the Cu content in both surface and groundwater throughout the country, but concentration never exceeded the maximum limit. The highest mean concentration of Cu in surface water 0.

Excess copper accumulation leads to copper toxicosis which results in hepatic cirrhosis, hemolytic anemia, and degeneration of the basal ganglia Harris and Gitlin, This survey also indicated the high average concentration of Fe present in the shallow 2. Various individual studies also showed the exceeding present of iron in water of Bangladesh.

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High degree of Fe contamination in surface water has been reported in the rivers near Barapukuria coal mine, Dinajpur due to anthropogenic inputs 3. Groundwater Fe contamination is even more severe; the concentration range varies from 0. The maximum average Fe concentration Manganese Mn has been reported to be exigent in every animal species studied Goldhaber, An elevated level of Mn was found in shallow tubewell 1.

A study conducted in Greece reported that individuals who consumed drinking water containing more than 1.

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Hallucinations, memory impairment, disorientation, and emotional instability also caused by Mn overdose Gupta and Gupta, Nickel Ni is a nutritionally essential trace element for humans as well as other animal species and plants. But Ni can affect the mass population through contaminated drinking water and food intake Cempel and Nikel, According to WHO standards, Ni concentration should not exceed 0.

Studies suggested the average concentration ranges between 0. The maximum average concentration 0. Ingestion of acute zinc can cause vomiting, diarrhea, neurological damage "Zn shakes" Gupta and Gupta, and chronic exposure to Zinc is responsible for depressed Cu utilization Sandstead, , Fe deficiency, lowered levels of HDL cholesterol Hooper, According to WHO standards, its concentration should not exceed 0. Although there are almost no data about the condition of Cd contamination in groundwater, a recent study reported the mean concentration of Cd almost five times higher 0.

The maximum concentration of Cd 0. The highest admissible concentration set by WHO and Bangladesh standard for Pb in drinking water is 0. In some region of Bangladesh, water sources contain a much higher amount of Pb than WHO permissible limit. The ranges of Pb concentration varied between 0.

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In groundwater, however, the maximum mean concentration of Pb was more than hundred times 1. The first survey done in Bangladesh to identify arsenic was in late s Ravenscroft, In , groundwater from 64 districts of Bangladesh was analyzed where 52 districts contained arsenic levels greater than 0. The allowable concentration of arsenic for drinking water indicated by WHO is 0.


Several local and foreign organization examined the level of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh. According to the Digital Arsenator data, they also found that Similarly, another survey collected samples throughout the whole nation and found that Nevertheless, an excess amount of these ions can make the water unsuitable for humans as well as other living organisms.