Contamination of Drinking-Water by Arsenic in Bangladesh

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There are metal substances which have mixed up with the river water of Bangladesh. The substance is known as Arsenic in Bangladesh. It was first found in the West Bengal ten years ago (1995-96). Arsenic is both toxic and carcinogenic. It is in inorganic forms, dissolved in drinking water which is the most significant forms of natural exposure. Organic forms of arsenic that may be present in food are much less toxic to humans. Clinical manifestations of arsenic poisoning begin with various forms of skin diseases, which lead to damage of internal organs, ultimately to cancer and death.

Cause of Arsenic:

This toxic element is found in tub-well water. People are affected by it only when they drink it arsenic is detected in water in many parts of our country. The primary sours of arsenic in the natural environment is arsenic bearing minerals, most areas bearing sulfide alone with copper, nickel, lead, cobalt and other metals. Arsenic in soils manly deprived from its parents rock materials. The mixture of arsenic is not desirable in drinking water but is practically unavoidable. A concentration in excess of permissible limil 0.05 ppm in per liter of water increases the risk of arsenic poisoning.

Water quality testing lab

Over the past few years, access to safe water has become increasingly difficult due to changes in the quality and quantity of ground and surface water. Gradual declining of and arsenic poising in ground water, and saline intrusion have posed a great threat to the availability of potable drinking water. This issue has been further complicated by the absence of adequate number of well-equipped laboratory for regular water quality testing. Regular testing of water quality has become crucial to ensure the standard of drinking water quality.

In order to address the pressing need for laboratory, NGO Forum established an advanced Water Quality Testing Laboratory (WQTL) in 2000 with the financial assistance from Danida. The School of Environmental Studies of Jadavpur University in West Bengal, India extended the technical assistance in setting up the laboratory. Objective

Provide sustainable access to quality testing facilities for both drinking and wastewater to sectoral stakeholders ranging from the community to government and non-government organisations, international agencies and private sector actors at a competitive price.

Parameters of Water Quality
The following water quality parameters are being tested in the WQTL: S/LParameterS/LParameterS/LParameter
5Calcium18Zinc31R Chloride
6Chromium19Total dissolved solids (TDS)32Sulphate
7Cobalt20Total suspended solids (TSS)33Phosphate
8Copper21Total solids (TS)34Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) 9Iron22Turbidity35Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
10Lead23Salinity36Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
11Magnesium24Conductivity37Total coliform (TC)
12Manganese 25pH38Faecal Coliform (FC)

Quality Control & Quality Assurance:
The WQTL is equipped with modern and sophisticated equipment (Spectrophotometer, Atomic Absorption Septrophotometer – AAS) , and it is also staffed with well-trained and efficient technical personnel having wide experience in water quality analysis. The laboratory has designed, developed and documented its policies, systems, procedures and instructions in a way that assures the quality of tests and calibration results. The WQTL follows a standard quality control procedure to monitor the validity of its tests and calibration. Taking into account the outcome data appropriate statistical techniques are applied to understand the trend and validity of its analysis. The test results are also crosschecked by comparative analysis with different national and international reference...
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