Earth & Environmental Science Journalism

Case Study: Arsenic in the Groundwater of Bangladesh - A Catastrophe of Good Intentions.

Questions to Ponder and Discuss


Background information:

Columbia Gazetteer, date unknown, (November 8, 2001), description of Bangladesh.

Arsenic Crisis Information Center, Probability of Arsenic Exceeding 0.05mg/l, date unknown, (October 30, 2001).

World Health Organization, Arsenic in Drinking Water, May 2001, (November 7, 2001).

United Nations Foundation, Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh and West Bengal: A U.N. Foundation Report, October, 1999, 20 pp.

Technical Articles: Arsenic in Groundwater.

Tseng, W. P., H. M. Chu, S. W. How, J. M. Fong, C. S. Lin, and S. Yeh, 1968, Prevalence of skin cancer in an endemic area of chronic arsenicism in Taiwan, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 40(3): 453-463.

Garai, R., A. D. Chakraborty, S. B. Dey, D. C. Saha, 1984, Chronic Arsenic Poisoning from Tube-Well Water, Journal of Indian Medical Association, 82: 34-35.

Nickson, R., J. McArthur, W. Burgess, K. M. Ahmed, P. Ravenscroft, M. Rahman, 1998, Arsenic Poisoning of Bangladesh Groundwater, Nature, 395:338.

Nickson, R. T., J. M. McArthur, P. Ravenscroft, W. G. Burgess, K. M. Ahmed, 2000, Mechanism of Arsenic Release to Groundwater, Bangladesh and West Bengal, Applied Geochemistry, 15(2000): 403-413.

Popular Articles: Arsenic in Groundwater.

Bradley, David, Drinking the Water of Death, The Guardian, January 5, 1995, T16.

Bearak, Barry, Death by Arsenic, New York Times, November 10, 1998, A1+.

Bearak, Barry, Wells Expose Millions to Poisonous Arsenic, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (New York Times News Service), November 11, 1998, A10.

Arsenic in Baitale, Bangladesh, Groundwater is Threatening the Lives of Millions, Morning Edition, Host Bob Edwards, National Public Radio, December 29, 1998.

Marshall, Andrew, Poisoned Wells, Slow Death, World Press Review, December, 1998, 45(12):35-36 (Originally appeared in South China Morning Post, August 8, 1998).

Anonymous, Wells of Despond, U.N. Chronicle, January, 1999, 36(1): 34.

Mahmud, Arshad and Peter Capella, Poisoned Villagers to Sue UNICEF, The Guardian, July 22, 1999, 14.

Popham, Peter, Unseen and Untold: The Mass Poisoning of an Entire Nation, The Independent (London), October 11, 2000, 1.

Masibay, Kimberly, Drinking without Harm, Scientific American, September, 2000, 283(3): 22.

Pearce, Fred, Bangladesh's Arsenic Poisoning: Who is to Blame, The Unesco Courier, January, 2001, 54(1): 10-13.

Eilperin, Juliet, A Provision on Arsenic in Water - in Bangladesh, The Washington Post, May 21, 2001, A17.

Barlow, Thomas, There's the Evidence, But What Does it Say?, The Financial Times, June 2, 2001, 2.

Chinni, Dante, Arsenic Flat and 'Sound Science,' The Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2001, 1+.

Ahmad, Khabir, Report Highlights Widespread Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh, The Lancet, July 14, 2001, 34:133.

Spiller, Sarah, Scientists Sued Over 'Poisoning,' The Guardian, September 30, 2001, 24.