WEB EXCLUSIVE - Arsenic: Silent Killer in the Water
Simon Reeve continues his epic journey around the world following the Tropic of Cancer, the northern border of the tropics region.
In Bangladesh water is everywhere and flooding regularly submerges more than half the country, but Simon discovers that finding safe drinking water can be incredibly difficult.
Tens of millions of Bangladeshi villagers rely on hand pumps for water for drinking and cooking. Pumps installed in the 1970s and 1980s to replace disease-carrying surface water, seem to have inadvertently tapped into a sinister, silent killer. Arsenic.
Simon meets up with a scientist from BRAC, a Bangladeshi charity, which tests village pumps for levels of arsenic, and installs new, deeper safe wells. He also sees physical signs of poisoning in villagers in a community where they are consuming aresenic-contaiminated water which is 20 to 30 times the World Health Organisation's safe standard level.
After travelling around the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator, this series completes Simon's trilogy of journeys exploring the amazing tropics region with his toughest, longest, most ambitious challenge yet.