What is AAN
Arsenic contamination is now widespread in Asia. Urgently required - fact finding surveys, treatment of patient and removal of arsenic!
Arsenic is the king of poisons and has plagued human beings since the days of antiquity. As a carcinogen, it has been well known since early times. In Asia, arsenic is both a cause of large scale environmental contamination and a serious health hazard.
Cases are to be found in the lower reaches of the Ganges River (India and Bangladesh), Taiwan, and in both Xinjiang Uygur A.R. and Inner Mongolian A.R. in China, where underground water is used for drinking and cooking.
Victims are also found along Villagers near a geothermal power plant in Mindanao Island in the Philippines and along ex-workers and residents near Ronpibool mining sites in Thailand as well as in Toroku and Matsuo in Japan.
In the province of Guizhou in China, high arsenic concentrations in coal have caused air pollution and there have been serious health casualties.
The Asia Arsenic Network (AAN) was founded in 1994 to learn more about the mechanisms and extent of contamination in order to assist in providing cooperative solutions to problems, using common experiences and shared information.
Initial activities focused on establishing contacts by visiting affected areas and inviting researchers to visit the AAN. In October 1995 the AAN issued a panphlet aimed at increasing the awareness of the problem.
Currently, the AAN is in the process of establishing a data base on Asia's arsenic problems so that relevant information can be readily available to interested parties.
We hope that the fostering of relationships at grass roots level will promote the exchange of arsenic analysis and clinical techniques. By such means we hope to throw light upon the mechanism of contamination and its pathology, which in turn will encourage governments and international organizations to provide the assistance required by victims and help prevent further contamination.