View Full Version : Students Work to Reduce Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh

March 18, 2011, 07:39 AM
In the 1970’s, the World Health Organization (WHO) brought international attention to the microbial contamination of Bangladesh’s ground water, which was a causal factor in widespread mortality and disease among the country’s population. In response, over 4 million tube wells were installed across Bangladesh over the next decade. Over the same period of time, infant mortality decreased by almost half. Subsequently, the tube wells were celebrated as the welcome solution to the nation’s drinking water crisis.
Then, in 1993, samples of water taken from tube wells and ground water sources revealed the presence of high arsenic levels. Today, arsenic levels in the country’s water supply can be as high as 150 times the amount WHO recommends as safe. In 2002, WHO announced to the world that the “largest mass poisoning of a population in history is now underway in Bangladesh.” In 2010, the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of the U.S. Department of Energy predicted arsenic poisoning will cause for about 10% of future adult deaths in Bangladesh.

It is currently estimated that out of the population of 162 million, up to 77 million Bangladeshis are drinking arsenic tainted water. The consequences of arsenic consumption can range from eye problems to skin lesions, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders. Furthermore, dangerous levels of additional contaminants such as salt, manganese, particulate matter, cyanobacteria and fecal coliforms have also been identified.
To combat the epidemic in Bangladesh, a group of UConn engineering seniors have taken on the charge of designing a portable water filtration system that will be affordable and effective. Daniel Milligan, Joshua Cocciardi, Brian Martins, Emily Cole, Brendan O’Grady and Cara Der are advised by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and are working under sponsorship by Maks PacRim Renewable Energy, a company headquartered in Darien, CT. Their faculty mentors are Marcelle Wood, a Mechanical Engineering lecturer and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education & Diversity, Dr. Mehdi Anwar, professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Dr. Jeffrey McCutcheon, an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering.
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bujhee kom
March 18, 2011, 02:33 PM
Very good! Good important work by these students and Professors and program! :up: to UConn! Very good, caring and reponsible school!

Me and wife once flying back from Dhaka flew with 15-16 Environmental Science major undergrads I think all third year Juniors from a college in Staten Island!!! I could not believe it...from New York, almost from the city!! They told us that they were in Bangladesh, Dhaka and sourthern parts of BD studying, collecting sample soil, water for arsenic for 2 weeks and their professor who was their guide of course with them was this very short very soft spoken shy Bangladeshi Scientist in New York@! My wife and I were obviously very very thrilled...and it was very nice and funny to see these 16-17 Amareican kids all with a pack/box of "Premium Sweets" in their hands, that's their BD candy, sweets, they loved it, I think they said they were taking them back for their parents, siblings and I saw some of the girls bought salwar kamiz and they were singing a certain Bangladesh song to a fellow Bangladesh older co-passenger who was just shaking his head and saying, wonderful, wonderful good kids your are, very proud of you!!" I also remember one of the girls got sick and threw up almost on my wife!

March 24, 2011, 10:16 PM
thanks ajfar bro for sharing :)

March 25, 2011, 03:14 AM
thanks for sharing ! thanks to BK bhai as well for sharing his personal exp.