Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 409–420 | Cite as

Arsenic contamination in the Kanker district of central-east India: geology and health effects



This paper identifies newer areas of arsenic contamination in the District Kanker, which adjoins the District Rajnandgaon where high contamination has been reported earlier. A correlation with the mobile phase episodes of arsenic contamination has been identified, which further hinges on the complex geology of the area. Arsenic concentrations in both surface and groundwater, aquatic organisms (snail and water weeds) soil and vegetation of Kanker district and its adjoining area have been reported here. The region has been found to contain an elevated level of arsenic. All segments of the ecoysystem are contaminated with arsenic at varying degrees. The levels of arsenic vary constantly depending on the season and location. An analysis of groundwater from 89 locations in the Kanker district has shown high values of arsenic, iron and manganese (mean: 144, 914 and 371 μg L−1, respectively). The surface water of the region shows elevated levels of arsenic, which is influenced by the geological mineralised zonation. The most prevalent species in the groundwater is As(III), whereas the surface water of the rivers shows a significant contamination with the As(V) species. The analysis shows a bio-concentration of the toxic metals arsenic, nickel, copper and chromium. Higher arsenic concentrations (groundwater concentrations greater than 50 μg L−1) are associated with sedimentary deposits derived from volcanic rocks, hence mineral leaching appears to be the source of arsenic contamination. Higher levels of arsenic and manganese in the Kanker district have been found to cause impacts on the flora and fauna. A case study of episodic arsenical diarrhoea is presented.


arsenic arsenopyrite and manganese arsenical diarrhoea bio-indicator ground and surface water contamination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • P.K. Pandey
    • 1
  • R. Sharma
    • 1
  • M. Roy
    • 1
  • S. Roy
    • 2
  • M. Pandey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering Chemistry, Centre for Environmental Science and EngineeringBhilai Institute of TechnologyDurgIndia
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Veterinary MedicineVeterinary CollegeDurgIndia

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