Free Essay on Groundwater Arsenic in Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Published: 2019-11-05
Free Essay on Groundwater Arsenic in Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ecology Water Pollution
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 628 words
6 min read

What is arsenic and what are its known health effects? In the region described in the study, where is arsenic found? What are the sources?

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Arsenic is a naturally occurring component that in the air, land, and water. When it is ingested, in the form of arsenic it causes noncarcinogenic health effects. It causes high blood pressure, decrement in lung function, circulation problem, reproduction effects, cancer and neurological effects (Lotter et al., 2014). The study was done in the municipality of Chimaltenango, Guatemala in a community known as Cerro. The sources of arsenic are contaminated use of groundwater.

What was the objective/purpose of the study?

The goal of the study was to differentiate the presence of the arsenic in the groundwater drinking sources found in the municipality of Chimaltenango, Guatemala (Lotter et al., 2014). They also aimed to estimate the risk that the residents were in when predisposed to the contaminated water.

Described the methods: (1) How were sampled collect and analyzed (2) how did the author perform the risk assessment (look at risk assessment section).

The method used was sample collection which was done in the whole municipality of Chimaltenango for three days. The collection of samples was 55 and was done to achieve spatial representation. The choosing of the cities was done in part for convenience purposes (Lotter et al., 2014). The samples were taken to the USA and received for analysis as per the USEPA method after two weeks of collection.

The model that was developed by the National Academy of Sciences. It was used to determine potential for adverse health effects of the residents of Chimaltenango as a result of drinking ground water that had carcinogenic and non- carcinogenic effects the estimates were made as a result of exposure between 0 to < 2 years old, 2 to < 16 years old to < 70 years old. Cumulative lifetime exposure was also calculated (Lotter et al., 2014).

The study looked at the risk associated with exposure to arsenic by which route of exposure?

The route of exposure was age whereby the assessment was made to people of the following age bracket, (0 to < 2 years old, 2 to < 16 years old to < 70 years old)

What sorts of health outcome(s) did the study base the risk assessment on?

The health outcomes made from the evaluation included the risk cancer outcome

What were the findings? (Use bullet points).

Only a single site, Cerro Alto was found to have water that was having a concentration that was greater than the WHO guidelines.

Six out of 1000 individuals were exposed

There was an increased risk of arsenic-related carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic for the Cerro residents.

What were the limitations of the study?

No sites were sampled to the north only to the south, east, and west.

No data on good locations was available so as to establish a more concrete strategy

No information on the prevalence outcomes of the health outcomes for the Cerro residents was identified.

Were any recommendations made for future research?

It would be advisable to take the samples to the north part of Cerro Alto.

Biomarkers for arsenic exposure would contribute to a greater understanding of the level of individual exposures (Lotter et al., 2014).

Potential intervention strategies should first focus on the elimination of exposure for the newborns and the infants.

Other routes of exposure should be analyzed.

Beyond the Study: What environmental factors have been researched that may increase or decrease health outcomes from arsenic exposure?

Other environmental factors discussed to increase the exposure are the smelting operations and mining (Lotter et al., 2014). Poultry feeds are also essential to contamination of the ground water.


Lotter, J., Lacey, S., Lopez, R., Socoy Set, G., Khodadoust, A., & Erdal, S. (2014). Groundwater arsenic in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Journal Of Water And Health, 12(3), 533.

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