Arsenic contamination has lead to drinking water quality degradation across many geographic regions and is now a global socio-economic menace. The major countries affected by arsenic contamination are Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, China, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and USSR. This mini review discusses the cause and effect of chronic arsenic poisoning along with the recent technologies involved in removal of arsenic from contaminated drinking water. For the sheer pervasiveness and abject mortality caused by the contamination in Bangladesh, we focus on it treating as an example typical of many places around the world. While a multitude of geological features play a big role in determining the extent of arsenic levels in ground water, we also seek to reinforce the history of inactions on the part of various institutions in tackling the problem. This has worsened the sufferings of the affected populations.