Arsenic Toxicity: A South Asian Perspective

  • Sahar Iftikhar
  • Zeeshan Ali
  • Duaa Ahmad Khan
  • Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi
  • Alvina Gul
  • Mustafeez Mujtaba BabarEmail author


Arsenic (As) toxicity has become one of the most significant abiotic threats to agriculture and human health. Owing to various natural and anthropogenic activities, the circulation of As among various reservoirs has increased over the past several decades. Though present throughout the world, South Asian region is particularly affected by it. A major portion of the people living in the region is dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood, and they utilize untreated water for dietary consumption. Moreover, the ability of As to accumulate in the plant body increases the chances of the urban and rural populations to be exposed to the metalloid. The metalloid uses a number of molecular mechanisms which causes adverse reactions in plants and animals. In order to control the detrimental effects of As, effective interventional strategies need to devised and implemented. Various physical, chemical, and biological processes can be employed for the purpose. This chapter reviews the geographical patterns of As toxicity in South Asia. The adverse aspects of As toxicity have then been provided followed by the proposed interventional strategies that can be employed for decreasing the As-associated toxicity in South Asia.


Arsenic toxicity South Asia Geographical distribution Arsenicosis Interventional strategies 



Arsenate reductase


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi




Activating transcription factor 6


Chinese hamster ovary


Chronic kidney disease


Carbon dioxide


Dimethylarsinic acid


Deoxyribonucleic acid


US Environmental Protection Agency


Food and Agriculture Organization


Forminidoyl transferase cyclodeaminase


Glucose transporters




Genome-wide association study


International Agency for Research on Cancer


Inositol-requiring enzyme


Trimethylarsine oxide


Maximum contaminant limit




Monomethylarsonic acid




Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins




PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


Single nucleotide polymorphism


Total homocysteine


United Nations Children’s Fund


Unfolded protein response


White adipose tissue


World Health Organization






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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahar Iftikhar
    • 1
  • Zeeshan Ali
    • 1
  • Duaa Ahmad Khan
    • 1
  • Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi
    • 2
  • Alvina Gul
    • 2
  • Mustafeez Mujtaba Babar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Shifa College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, National University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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