Arsenic in Developing Countries

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    Project Manager :
    Jamal Hashim

    This project is a joint research between the United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), United Nations University and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (UNU&GIST), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). The general objective is to study the magnitude of arsenic exposure from groundwater and local food consumptions, the health impacts and burden of disease in term of health care cost due to arsenicosis in Cambodia. The study is a cross-sectional or prevalence study. It was carried out in three purposely selected study areas, namely the Kandal Province which is a heavily arsenic-contaminated groundwater area, Kratie Province which is a moderately contaminated area, and Kampong Cham Province which is a clean area. Groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for their chemical and physical characteristics and arsenic speciation. A health questionnaire survey and hair arsenic analyses were conducted on the sampled population. A Food consumption survey was conducted to determine the dietary habits of residents. Risk assessment methodology was used to estimate non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks of arsenic exposure. Finally, the health care cost of arsenicosis was estimated for Cambodia. Two PhD students are working on this project and two journal articles have been published.