The Global Arsenic Crisis (project closed)

Project closed: December 2003

The numbers of people drinking arsenic-contaminated groundwater are of astonishing proportions. Tens of thousands of cases reporting arsenicosis patients have been reported in South Asia. Similarly, several thousand patients have been identified in the Shanxi Province of China. Our awareness of this crisis has grown dramatically during the late 1990s – particularly in the context of the presence of arsenic in groundwater extracted from the alluvial aquifer underlying India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. This project focuses on the development of economical technologies/methods for treating arsenic contamination at the household level, considering the local conditions in Bangladesh. A number of technologies are to be evaluated in the laboratory and at a pilot scale. Scenario development for practical application of technologies, including an economic evaluation of various alternatives, is to be provided.

This project will also look at the fate of arsenic in the environment, with an objective to estimate the:

Overall mass of arsenic extracted with groundwater each year;
Quantity of arsenic deposited in agricultural soils;
Arsenic concentration in soil and selected crop/vegetable, both in some arsenic-affected and unaffected areas.

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