Current status of arsenic exposure and social implication in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia

Kongkea Phan, Kyoung Woong Kim, Laingshun Huoy, Samrach Phan, Soknim Se, Anthony Guy Capon, Jamal Hisham Hashim

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To evaluate the current status of arsenic exposure in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia, field interview along with urine sample collection was conducted in the arsenic-affected area of Kandal Province, Cambodia. Urine samples were analyzed for total arsenic concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. As a result, arsenicosis patients (n = 127) had As in urine (UAs) ranging from 3.76 to 373 µg L−1 (mean = 78.7 ± 69.8 µg L−1; median = 60.2 µg L−1). Asymptomatic villagers (n = 108) had UAs ranging from 5.93 to 312 µg L−1 (mean = 73.0 ± 52.2 µg L−1; median = 60.5 µg L−1). About 24.7 % of all participants had UAs greater than 100 µg L−1 which indicated a recent arsenic exposure. A survey found that females and adults were more likely to be diagnosed with skin sign of arsenicosis than males and children, respectively. Education level, age, gender, groundwater drinking period, residence time in the village and amount of water drunk per day may influence the incidence of skin signs of arsenicosis. This study suggests that residents in Kandal study area are currently at risk of arsenic although some mitigation has been implemented. More commitment should be made to address this public health concern in rural Cambodia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-772
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Arsenicosis patient
  • Asymptomatic villager
  • Cambodia
  • Social implication
  • Urine

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