Estimating the economic benefits of arsenic removal in India: a case study from West Bengal

Fifty percent of the districts in the state of West Bengal in India are exposed to arsenic-contaminated water. A large number of people have been diagnosed with symptoms of arsenic poisoning even though much of the at-risk population has yet to be assessed for arsenic-related health problems. Evidence of arsenic contamination was first identified in the 1980s, but by the mid-1990s it was clear that this constituted a public health crisis. This paper seeks to estimate the economic costs imposed by arsenic- related health problems.