Assessing and Mapping Human Health Risks Due to Arsenic and Socioeconomic Correlates for Proactive Arsenic Mitigation

  • Sushant K. Singh
  • Robert W. Taylor
Part of the Advances in Water Security book series (AWS)


This study provides an environmental management approach to a global public health challenge of groundwater arsenic contamination. The studied arsenic-exposed population lives in three villages (Suarmarwa, Rampur Diara, and Bhawani Tola) within the Maner block of Patna district, in the middle-Ganga Plain in the Bihar state, India. The health risks due to the consumption of arsenic contaminated water were derived through quantifying the hazard quotient (HQ) and cancer risks followed by calculating the relative risks and odds ratio of visible arsenicosis and other diseases symptoms. A hotspots and coldspots map of the HQ was produced using Arc Geographic Information System for targeting the most vulnerable population for arsenic mitigation. In the study area, the arsenic concentrations in drinking water exceeded the limits set by the World Health Organization and the Bureau of Indian Standards. The HQ and cancer risks for children in all the three villages were high and very high, respectively. However, the hotspots of HQ were confined to Bhawani Tola. Suarmarwa experienced relatively higher risks of arsenicosis and other health challenges because of the poor socioeconomic and demographic conditions of the inhabitants. Therefore, since Suarmarwa is the most vulnerable village, it should be given priority in arsenic mitigation and health intervention programs. The HQ mapping could be an important decision-making tool for identifying the most vulnerable population for prioritizing arsenic mitigation and other health intervention activities.


Arsenic At-risk population Socioeconomic Demographic Hazard quotient Cancer risk Hotspots MGP Policy Groundwater 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sushant K. Singh
    • 1
  • Robert W. Taylor
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health, Insurance and Life Sciences, Data & Analytics PracticeVirtusa CorporationNew York CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental StudiesMontclair State UniversityMontclairUSA

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