Naturally occurring arsenic in private wells threatens people in many U.S. states and parts of Canada, according to a package of a dozen scientific papers to be published next week. The studies, focused mainly on New England but applicable elsewhere, say private wells present continuing risks due to almost nonexistent regulation in most states, homeowner inaction and inadequate mitigation measures. The reports also shed new light on the geologic mechanisms behind the contamination. The studies come amid new evidence that even low doses of arsenic may reduce IQ in children, in addition to well documented risks of heart disease, cancer and reduced lung function. The reports comprise a special section in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
|Name||Title||Fields of interest|
|Md. Rajib Mozumder||Graduate Student||hydrogeology, groundwater geochemistry, groundwater resources management|
|Amelia Paukert||Graduate Student||Carbon sequestration, hydrogeology, aqueous geochemistry, water-rock interaction|
|Alexander Van Geen||Lamont Research Professor||Geochemistry|
|Ronny Friedrich||Senior Staff Associate||Noble gases, groundwater, paleoclimate, mass spectrometry, vacuum, cryogenic physics, data acquisition, database design, software development (LabView)|
January 30, 2015
October 10, 2011
Study has shown that deep sediments can grab the arsenic and take it out of circulation—a finding that may help to keep wells safe elsewhere, including in the United States. The study, led by researchers at Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, appears in the current online edition of the journal.
January 05, 2005
Well diggers in Araihazar, Bangladesh will soon be able to take advantage of a cell phone-based data system, developed at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory with support from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, to target safe groundwater aquifers for installing new wells that are not tainted with arsenic. Using a new needle-sampler (also developed at the Earth Institute), they will also be able to test whether the water is safe during drilling and before a well is actually installed.