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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-33

A study on arsenical dermatosis in rural community of West Bengal

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, N. R. S. Medical College, Kolkata, India
2 Professor, Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, AIIH & PH, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
N K Mandal
Asst. Prof. Community Medicine, N. R. S. Medical College, Kolkata
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15704724

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The spatial distribution of chronic arsenicosis due to consumption of arsenic contaminated tube well water in different districts of West Bengal was gradually unfolding since 1983. Arsenical dermatosis was found to be the commonest and earliest manifestation of chronic arsenic toxicity. This study was conduct in Baruipur block of South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Total 313 people selected from three randomly selected villages with reported arsenic contamination in tube well water and 342 people living three randomly selected villages without such evidence of contamination were examined as control population. 5.97% of exposed population and 2.05% of unexposed population showed melanosis (p<0.0 1). Moreover, 5.11% of exposed population and 0.88% of unexposed population showed keratosis (p<0.01). The prevalence of dermatosis among exposed population was also seen to have increased with increasing age, from 7.19% in 0-19 year age group to 37.50% in above 40 year group (p<0.001). Prevalence was also found to be more with increase in level of contamination. The prevalence rate of dermatosis among unexposed group was 2.92%. But age adjusted prevalence rate among exposed group was 19.08% at arsenic contamination level of 0.487 ppm. Mean arsenic concentration in nail and hair samples of exposed group was also found higher than the prescribed limit.

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