Government surveys carried out in 2008 and 2010 have shown that drinking water in many areas of the state has high arsenic levels.
The study, published online on October 10 in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, has shown for the first time that people living in Kiradalli Tanda have high level of arsenic in hair and nails and show symptoms of arsenic poisoning.
These include lesions and hardening of skin, dark spots and numbness and swelling in limbs.
Lesions, if infected, pose a threat of gangrene.
The symptoms were visible in 58.6 per cent of the 181 individuals who were screened.
Long term arsenic exposure can also lead to different types of cancers like that of the skin.
Image: A rare badge of the Kolar Gold Field Battalion - in service from 1903 to 1947.