Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, April 21, 2019 11:05:10 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Cost-effective tools to remove arsenic from groundwater

By
05th-Feb-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Yina Shan, Praem Mehta, Duminda Perera, & Yurissa Varela :
Cost-effective technologies are available to remove arsenic in groundwater. Why then do tens of millions still fall ill to this chronic problem?
High natural levels of arsenic are characteristic of the groundwater supply in many countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Mongolia, and the United States. Some of the contamination is caused by mining, fertilizers and pesticides, waste disposal, and manufacturing, but mostly it is due to arsenic leeching - dissolved from rocks underground by highly acidic water.
At least 140 million people in 50 countries have drinking water containing arsenic at levels above the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline - 10 µg/L (micrograms per litre). In some places, people are using groundwater with arsenic levels 10 times or more the WHO's recommended limit.
This exposure, through drinking water and crops irrigated with contaminated water, can lead to severe health, social and economic consequences, including arsenicosis (symptomized by muscular weakness, mld psychological effects), skin lesions, and cancers (lung, liver, kidney, bladder, and skin). The social implications of these health impacts include stigmatization, isolation, and social instability.
Arsenic-related health problems lead to significant economic losses due to lost productivity in many places. In Bangladesh, where the groundwater arsenic problem is most acute, the economic burden from lost productivity is expected to reach an estimated US$ 13.8 billion in about 10 years.
There are many technologies today that, broadly speaking, use one of six approaches to remove arsenic, described in an abundance of scientific studies. Between 2014 to 2018 alone, over 17,400 papers were published describing elements of the problem and a myriad of low-cost treatment technologies.
A report, published by the UN University's Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, draws on 31 peer-reviewed, comparable research papers that appeared between 1996 and 2018, each describing new technologies tested in laboratories and / or in field studies. The papers covered:
23 lab-tested technologies that used groundwater from nine countries (Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Guatemala, India, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam) and demonstrated arsenic removal efficiencies ranging from 50% to almost 100%, with a majority reaching over 90%. About half achieved the WHO standard of 10 µg/L.
14 technologies tested at the household or community level (in Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, and Nicaragua) achieved arsenic removal efficiency levels ranging from 60% to about 99%, with 10 removing more than 90%. Only five reached the established WHO standard.
For lab-tested technologies, the cost of treating one cubic meter of water ranged from near-zero to about US$ 93, except for one technology (US$ 299 per m³). For field tested technologies, the cost of treating a cubic meter of water ranged from near-zero to about US$ 70.
No single technology offers a universal solution, but the report helps point to remedies likely to prove most economical and efficient given the many variables present in different locations worldwide.
Key factors influencing removal efficiencies and costs are:
the arsenic concentration of the influent water,
pH of the influent water,
materials used,
the energy required,
absorption capacity,
labour used,
regeneration period and
geographical location
The report also notes that a technology can only be considered efficient if it successfully removes arsenic to a level that meets or exceeds the WHO standard of 10 µg/L.
Bangladesh, China and India and some other countries with resource constraints or certain environmental circumstances - such as very high arsenic concentrations in groundwater - set higher, easier-to-reach national arsenic concentration targets.
In Bangladesh, for example, where the nationally-acceptable arsenic limit in water is set to 50 µg/L, it's estimated that more than 20 million people consume water with arsenic levels even higher than the national standard.
Globally, despite international efforts, millions of people are exposed to arsenic concentrations reaching 100 µg/L or more.
While national limits higher than the WHO standard may help policymakers report better arsenic reduction results, if a country feels that the situation is coming under control it may reduce the sense of urgency in policy circles to eradicate the problem, and the population continues to suffer from ingesting high levels of arsenic.
A limit less stringent than the WHO guideline effectively shifts attention from the problem and impacts and postpones the best health outcome for citizens - and needlessly so, given the technologies available.
The technologies in hand today can significantly reduce the numbers of people affected by this public health problem. Needed is a sustained, concerted effort from policymakers, engineers, healthcare providers, donors, and community leaders to achieve quantifiable and sustainable impacts.
Over the next decade, we need wide-scale implementation of remediation solutions to meet the WHO standard and achieve two key Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 3 ("Good health and wellbeing" and SDG 6 ("Clean water and sanitation").
We have cost-effective tools to alleviate and ultimately eradicate the problem of arsenic-contaminated water consumption. Let's use them.

(Researchers Yina Shan, Praem Mehta, Duminda Perera and Yurissa Varela developed this report at the UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, hosted by the Government of Canada and McMaster University).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

CID man held with Yaba: Virus in the antidote


A CONSTABLE of Criminal Investigation Department and one of his associates were arrested with 990 Yaba pills from Savar on Thursday evening, some newspapers reported. The arrestees are Taijuddin, a constable of CID's Uttara Zone, and his associate Mofiz Mia, said Officer-in-Charge of Detective Branch of Police in Dhaka (North). ...

Cricket »

Ton-up Kohli hails Moeen for crucial IPL win


AFP, Kolkata :Virat Kohli scored his first Indian Premier League (IPL) century of the year, then paid tribute Saturday to Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Moeen Ali for setting up a crucial second win of the season."Moeen changed the game completely and that allowed me to play my game," said the ...

Entertainment »

Farah Khan to remake three Bollywood classics?


Bollywood filmmaker Farah Khan had recently announced that she will be collaborating with ace director, Rohit Shetty. Speculations are that the duo has decided to remake the much loved film that had megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Satte Pe Satta (1982). The film itself was a remake as well, and besides this, ...

International »

Trump rating drops 3 points to 2019 low post Mueller report


Reuters, New York  :The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a special counsel report detailing Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election, according to an exclusive Reuters/ Ipsos public opinion ...

Football »

FIFA backs English players' social media boycott over racism


AP, England :FIFA is backing a 24-hour social media boycott by professional players in England in a protest against racial abuse and revealed plans for a new global campaign to eradicate discrimination in soccer.Following a series of high-profile cases in recent weeks, the Professional Footballers' Association has gathered support from ...

International »

US President Trump declares victory on Mueller report D-Day


President Donald Trump, backed by his attorney general, declared himself fully vindicated on Thursday in the investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with his campaign - even before the American people and lawmakers see the full probe report."Game Over," Trump tweeted, using a "Game of Thrones" style montage ...

Entertainment »

Shanta Jahan in Australia for hosting


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Shanta Jahan is a popular host of present time. Though she acts sometimes but always feels comfortable to present herself as a host to all. For the first time Shanta went to Australia to host a show. She left Dhaka at night on April 18. Today is ...

Editorial »

One is punished for another's sin!


LOCAL media reported that a day labourer was allegedly sent to jail on Wednesday for not paying electricity bill of Tk 4007, even though his house at Mochagora village in Muradnagar upazila in Cumilla district had no electrical line. On Thursday evening, Chief Judicial Magistrate granted him bail after hearing ...

Cricket »

Sri Lanka dump Chandimal, bring back Thirimanne for World Cup


AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka Thursday dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in their World Cup squad.Chandimal, who was one-day captain until last October, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga were all ...

Cricket »

Senior players need to take the responsibility: Faruk Ahmed


Former chief selector Faruk Ahmed insisted on the performance of the senior players, stating that they need to take the onus if Bangladesh want to do well in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.According to Faruk, the condition should give Bangladesh a confidence, given that they stormed into the semifinal ...

Entertainment »

Mehazabien’s Boishakhi works create viewers’ attention


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :For the last few years, Mehazabien Chowdhury established her strong position in media by virtue of her acting quality and skill. She is now getting positive response for acting in two Boishakhi plays. Afran Nisho was her co-actor in these two plays - Tom & Jerry and ...

International »

Turkish opposition takes control of Istanbul, re-run appeal still pending


Reuters, Istanbul :Turkey's main opposition candidate took office as Istanbul mayor on Wednesday after a stunning victory over President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party, but the new head of the country's largest city still faces an appeal for the vote to be re-run.The final result of the March 31 local elections ...

Editorial »

Power politics in Egypt


A HUGE majority of Egypt's MPs on April 16 approved constitutional amendments to allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030. The amendments were initially introduced in February, however after lengthy debates and discussions favouring the Egyptian society it was updated earlier this week. "The president's current term shall expire ...

Football »

Iniesta's J-League club Kobe part ways with coach Lillo


AFP, Tokyo :Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta's Vissel Kobe have terminated the contract of manager Juan Manuel Lillo following a poor run of results, the Japanese club said on Wednesday.The 53-year-old former Real Sociedad and Zaragoza boss won just two of six games since taking charge last October as star-studded Vissel ...

International »

US waging 'financial war' against Palestinians


AP, Ramallah, West Bank :The new Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday accused the United States of declaring "financial war" on his people and said an American peace plan purported to be in the works will be "born dead."In his first interview with international media since taking office over the weekend, ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news