Urban water pumping raises arsenic risk in Southeast Asia

River water is now flowing into aquifers through highly contaminated sediments

Mason Stahl tests arsenic concentrations in slow-moving water along the edge of the Red River near Hanoi, Vietnam.

High concentrations of arsenic are making their way from the Red River into aquifers near Hanoi, Vietnam, a new study shows. Mason Stahl tests water at the river’s edge where sediment is being deposited. Photo: Courtesy of Mason Stahl

ldeo.columbia.edu – Large-scale groundwater pumping is opening doors for dangerously high levels of arsenic to enter some of Southeast Asia’s aquifers, with water now seeping in through riverbeds with arsenic concentrations more than 100 times the limits of safety, according to a new study from scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, MIT, and Hanoi University of Science.

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