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NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- One in five deaths in Bangladesh stems from arsenic in drinking water, which the World Health Organization describes as the largest mass poisoning in history.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, found between 33 million and 77 million people in Bangladesh have been exposed to arsenic through drinking water linked to the widespread installation of tube wells 30 years ago to control waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Although the wells reduced exposure to the microbes causing such diseases, the water was contaminated with arsenic, which occurs naturally in the area.


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