Better Life Laboratories, Inc. is a nonprofit organization. It conducts scientific research and provides technical expertise, equipment, and training to help needy people around the world.
Our Achievements in Bangladesh
Scientists from Better Life Laboratories worked on the problem of metal-affected drinking water in Bangladesh with the Bangladesh Association for Needy Peoples Improvement,
Green Mountain Laboratories, The Hospital for Sick Children, the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, The Johnson Company, the Université de
Bordeaux 1, and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. We are credited with the following achievements:
- We helped make the first national-scale map of arsenic concentration in Bangladesh’s drinking (tubewell) water. This map showed that over 50,000,000 Bangladeshis are
drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic.
- In addition to arsenic, we helped map a total of 35 other inorganic chemicals on a national-scale and discovered that tens of millions of Bangladeshis are drinking water that
exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) health-based guidelines for manganese, lead, nickel, or chromium.
- We supplied the first evidence that Bangladeshis are exposed to arsenic from eating rice (their main staple) and possibly other foods.
- We helped plan and implement the first assessment of exposure to arsenic and other elements from Bangladesh’s drinking water, rice, and soil.
- We helped plan and implement the first evaluation of multimetal synergistic health affects in Bangladesh. This showed the severity of chronic arsenic poisoning in
Bangladesh might be magnified by exposure to antimony.
- We helped plan and implement the first evaluation of multimetal inhibitory health affects in Bangladesh. This showed the severity of chronic arsenic poisoning in
Bangladesh might be magnified by a lack of selenium, a lack of zinc, or a lack of both selenium and zinc.
- We were the first to reject the widely accepted hypothesis that "pyrite oxidation" is the major source of arsenic in Bangladesh’s tubewell water. This is highly
significant because advocates of "pyrite oxidation" used the popular press to advance the untested idea of restricting irrigation to prevent the release of arsenic into
groundwater. Their proposal to restrict irrigation in a famine-prone country of over 120,000,000 was a very serious matter. Fortunately, the WHO currently considers another
source hypothesis, partly based on our work, to be more likely than "pyrite oxidation".
- In addition to identifying these problems, we provided tangible solutions:
- We helped the Government of Bangladesh obtain a $32.4 million World Bank loan to battle this catastrophe.
- We helped show that testing could rapidly and inexpensively provide water with safe levels of arsenic to 85% of the over 120,000,000 people in Bangladesh.
- We helped develop a 3-step testing program for providing safe drinking water to western Bangladesh, and possibly the entire country.
- We developed the only accurate, precise, and safe way to measure arsenic to less than the 10-µg/L WHO drinking water guideline without expensive or highly
specialized laboratory equipment.
- For the remaining 15% that cannot find water with safe levels of arsenic in their villages, we helped show that drilling deeper tubewells could supply water with safe levels of
arsenic approximately 30% of the time.
- We helped demonstrate successful bench-scale and pilot-scale water treatment options for arsenic removal.
Last updated November 26, 2008
- E-mail the President of Better Life Laboratories, Seth H. Frisbie, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Write us at Better Life Laboratories, 293 George Rd., East Calais, VT 05650, USA.
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