Subsurface Investigation of Arsenic (As) in Bangladesh using
Geographic Information System

Research Proposal

Proposed by:         EngConsult Limited
                               21 Queen Street East, Suite 201
                                Brampton, Ontario
                                L6W 3P1, Canada

Research Scope

Both soil and underground water of a vast area of the north and southern Bangladesh has already been threatened with arsenic contamination affecting health of millions of people. Arsenic content in soil and underground water has identified higher contamination. The experts at Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) found the highest contamination 14 mg/l of shallow tube well water in Pabna, a northern district and 220 mg/kg of soil in Sylhet area of Bangladesh.  The World Health Organization (WHO) standard for arsenic is in between 0.01 and 0.05 mg/l. It is still unresolved the reason of such high contamination of arsenic in the subsurface of Bangladesh.

Inorganic arsenic has been recognized as a human poison  since ancient times and large doses can produce death. One of the major difficulties with groundwater contamination is that it occurs underground, out of sight. The pollution sources are not easily observed nor are their effects  often seen until damage has occurred. The tangible effects of groundwater contamination usually come to light long after the incident causing the contamination has occurred. Therefore, it has become increasingly important  to map out the stratigraphic occurrence of arsenic in subsurface and then install the wells in such a manner to avoid it or take essential measures prior to drink the well water.

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