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Ara: Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) has directed Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, to file a status report by August 26, 2016, on Arsenic contamination of groundwater in the state including previous studies on Arsenic contamination of groundwater, its effect on health and government response, sensitisation of affected population and utilisation of inter-disciplinary expertise of various government department and non-government organisation in evolving a mitigation strategy.
The BHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a news item captioned “Shocking Revelation: Arsenic traced in blood stream now – STOCKHOLM CONGRESS: Researchers also made a startling finding that arsenic level in groundwater of Simri (Buxar) was 1,929 ppb (10ppb is normal), crossing all previous records” published in Hindustan Times, Patna edition, on Wednesday. A team of scientists from Mahavir Cancer Sansthan (MCS), Patna, and A N College, Patna, presented their findings before the International Arsenic Congress at Stockholm (June 19-23) that Arsenic levels in the ground water at the villages of Tilak Rai ka Hata and Simri in Buxar district (Bihar) have been found to be at 1,929 ppb (parts per billion) as against the maximum permissible limit of 10 ppb Arsenic in water. According to the report, the scientists are suspecting correlation between high arsenic contamination and cancer. The team has detected 473 cases of melanosis, 428 cases of hyper keratosis and 351 other skin ailments at village Tilak Rai ka Hata. Blood samples were examined by atomic absorption spectrometer at MCS.
The BHRC sais the issue raises serious concerns about the health and human rights of the affected villagers, according to BHRC member Neelmani.

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