Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Extensive arsenic contamination in high-pH unconfined aquifers in the Indus Valley

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  23 Aug 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 8, e1700935
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700935

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all . Please read our guidelines before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g. higgs-boson@gmail.com
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests
CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Comment on the “Extensive arsenic contamination in high-pH unconfined aquifers in the Indus Valley”
    • Nabeel Khan Niazi, Assistant Professor/Research Scientist, University of Agriculture Faisalabad and University of Bremen

    Dear Editor,

    This is an interesting study which indicates about arsenic contamination issue in groundwater wells in different areas of Pakistan. Arsenic contamination of groundwater in Pakistan is an emerging issue and needs an attention to develop suitable management and remediation measures in arsenic-affected areas.

    However, this report, about prediction of arsenic-induced population risk (50 to 60 million people), appears to be too much ‘exaggerated and overestimated’.
    There are some critically-important points that authors should have considered before claiming that ’50 million to 60 million are at high risk of arsenic poisoning in the Indus Valley of Pakistan’.

    1. Firstly, it is not mentioned in paper which areas of Punjab and Sindh provinces in Pakistan were exactly targeted for groundwater sampling. This is crucial to know and indicate arsenic contamination extent and trend in groundwater from geologically different settings, and compare with previous studies in those areas. For example, arsenic in majority of groundwater wells from areas around central Punjab (e.g., Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Faisalabad (our own unpublished data) is well below the WHO safe limit (10 μg/L) of arsenic in drinking water – the problem mainly exists in southern Punjab (e.g., Vehari, Multan, Bahawalpur) (1), and near Lahore (2) with number of safe wells exist in the same area (3).
    2. A total of 1184 groundwater samples were taken in this study, of which 39...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.