Talk:Arsenic contamination of groundwater

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Role of bacterial reduction[edit]

Bacterial reduction and high arsenic levels in groundwater is interesting, describing how bacteria can reduce adsorption (on metal oxides in the soil) and increase solubility of arsenic. However, I'm not sure if it's notable, and accepted, or speculative, so I won't put it in unless there's more info about this (citations elsewhere, other articles/pages...). --Singkong2005 09:49, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the site you have is based on: Islam, FS, Gault, AG, Boothman, C, Polya, DA, Charnock, JM, Chatterjee, D, Lloyd, JR, Role of Metal-reducing Bacteria in Arsenic Release from Bengal Delta Sediments, Nature 430 (6995), p68-71, 2004. This paper has been cited 86 times in the web of science. it is apparent that quite few studies are being done now, reaching the conclusion that microbiological effects are significant.

Testing arsenic levels?[edit]

Is there a practical low cost way to test water for arsenic? See also where the question is posed at Appropedia:Category:Water#Testing for arsenic? --Chriswaterguy talk 02:08, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

The most effective way is the colorimetric tests such as the Wagtech Arsenator. They use something like zinc powder or sodium borohydride to reduce the arsenic in water to arsine, which is volatile. The arsine gas is reacted on a mercuric bromide strip which changes colour. If a spectrometer is used to measure the colour change, the kit is quantitiative down to 2 - 5 ppb. The kit is quite expensive costing $ 1800 in 2004, which apparently left some people sceptical about its use in the third world ( The kit was reviewed by a group commission by UNICEF: it was given almost top marks, i.e. they reckon it works very well ( accessed 2008).

Research efforts are being pursued for electrochemical technique. Although it is cheap to implement and high sensitive (<0.1 ppb in some cases) some aspects need to be improved. With electrochemical techniques the electrode sensor needs to be carefully maintained to keep good performance. Which may involve some esoteric procedures which most people would find difficult. MTI produces the PVD6000 which detects arsenic and other metals, but it is large and more expensive than the Arsenator. (

Effects of contamination[edit]

This section was misnamed and poorly written. If I were an English teacher, I would give the student an F.

  • The story of the arsenic contamination of the groundwater in Bangladesh is a tragic one. Diarrheal diseases have long plagued the developing world as a major cause of death, especially in children. Prior to the 1970s, Bangladesh had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.

This section begins by saying there was a lot of suffering. Then it will go on to say that they dug wells, which was good (!) but then arsenic was found in the water.

It does not say how many people died or got sick as a result of the arsenic contamination. It only says that one mortality rate went down. Does this mean arsenic is good? I don't think that was the point. --Uncle Ed (talk) 02:15, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Appears to be contradictory[edit]

"In West Bengal, water is mostly supplied from rivers. Groundwater comes from deep tubewells, which are few in number. Because of the low quantity of deep tubewells, the risk of arsenic patients in West Bengal is comparatively less.[11] " The section just above this mentions more than 8 million wells. It seems as if this is a new region, or there are two versions of the same section that have not been integrated into each other. As it reads, the section does not identify which well enough. Someone who knows needs to fix this.... On rereading I see my problem....The location is not assigned to India in its first mention, but somewhere in the middle of the paragraph. It should be assigned on the first mention of West Bengal. Never assume the reader has started at the first line of the section...making appropriate edits....OK... now I read the second section well. It is too stylistically different from the first one to imagine that they are talking about the same things. It seems to have a different purpose in mind. I question its usefulness the way it is written. It needs to be written so both sections work together.

This last paragraph appears to be a point of view. It does not contain any useful information about the topic. I suggest that it be removed...the paragraph above it is a nonsequitor to the section above it...

"One solution is “By using surface water and instituting effective withdrawal regulation. West Bengal and Bangladesh are flooded with surface water. We should first regulate proper watershed management. Treat and use available surface water, rain-water, and others. The way we're doing [it] at present is not advisable."[11]"

Avram Primack (talk) 04:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Dubious Citations[edit]

The statement, "In addition, mining techniques such as hydraulic fracturing mobilize arsenic in groundwater and aquifers due to enhanced methane transportation and resulting changes in redox conditions,[1]" contains an inaccurate citation. The Brown et. al. 2010 paper deals with the mobilization of arsenic in the presence of petroleum hydrocarbon groundwater contamination. It does not reference or refer to hydraulic fracturing activities.

The statement, ". . . and inject fluid containing additional arsenic.[2]" is also a dubious citation. The database associated with that publication does not list hydraulic fracture injection fluids as the source of any contamination.[A] Also the website, does not contain any arsenic compounds on the list of common fracture stimulation fluids.[B]

Additionally if any of these statements can be verified with other sources, this information would be more appropriately placed in Section 2 "Contamination specific nations and regions".


[B] In-Fact-uation (talk) 23:08, 30 July 2013 (UTC) In-Fact-uation

Agree that the article had some comments that seemed inappropriate and unsubstantiated. I just removed a lot of them. The article was also tilted toward the US, whereas the issue is decidedly non-US. You further comments or contributions would be welcome since this topic is of global importance.--Smokefoot (talk) 01:51, 31 July 2013 (UTC)