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Great Advice from Dr. Bouldin. Take as much math, chemistry, and physics as you can stomach. Dr. Bouldin, Dr. Fay, and I made an instrument for measuring bicarbonate (HCO 3 - ) and carbonate (CO 3 2- ) in waters that could not be titrated.

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Great Advice from Dr. Bouldin

Take as much math, chemistry, and physics as you can stomach.




  • I also helped make the first national-scale map of arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.

  • This map showed that tens of millions of Bangladeshis are at risk of death from skin, bladder, liver, and lung cancers caused by chronic arsenic poisoning.

Keratosis of the feet

Blackfoot disease

Keratosis of the palms

(Photograph by Dhaka Community Hospital and Richard Wilson, 2002)

Map of arsenic

concentration (mg/L)

Melanosis of the chest


More Great Advice from Dr. Bouldin arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.

Just because an instrument gives you a number doesn’t mean that it’s right.


The performance of our laboratory in Bangladesh. arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.

  • At least 27% of the drinking water wells in Bangladesh apparently contain an analytical interference to the 1,10-phenanthroline methods for measuring ferrous iron and total iron.

  • This was the first indication that non-arsenic toxins are widely distributed in Bangladesh’s drinking water.


Map of arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.manganese (Mn) concentration (mg/L).

  • 50% of Bangladesh’s area contains groundwater with Mn concentrations greater than the WHO drinking water guideline.

  • Manganese in drinking water is a potent neurotoxin, associated with violent behaviors and depression. It causes learning disabilities in children and Parkinson's-like symptoms in adults.

  • It causes liver and kidney damage, and is associated with hearing loss.


Map of arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.lead (Pb) concentration (mg/L).

  • 3% of Bangladesh’s area contains groundwater with Pb concentrations greater than the WHO drinking water guideline.

  • Lead is a potent neurotoxin, associated with IQ deficits and learning disabilities in children and dementia in adults.

  • It is also associated with kidney, liver, and heart disease, tooth loss, cataracts, hypertension, diabetes, and bladder cancer.


Map of n arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.ickel (Ni) concentration (mg/L).

  • < 1% of Bangladesh’s area contains groundwater with Ni concentrations greater than the WHO drinking water guideline.

  • Nickel is a potent carcinogen.

  • It is also associated with lung, heart, and kidney disease and can induce spontaneous abortions.


Map of total arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh.chromium (Cr) concentration (mg/L).

  • < 1% of Bangladesh’s area contains groundwater with Cr concentrations greater than the WHO drinking water guideline.

  • Cr(III) is the form most often found in drinking water. Chronic exposure inhibits DNA synthesis and the fidelity of DNA replication.

  • Cr(III) accumulates in the liver; persons with existing liver disease may be exceptionally susceptible to its toxic effects.


Estimated number of Bangladeshis drinking water with metal concentrations above WHO guidelines.

a Assuming Bangladesh has 137,000,000 people and 97% of its population drinks well water.

  • Tens of millions of Bangladeshis are drinking water that exceeds WHO health-based guidelines for As, Mn, Pb, Ni, and Cr.

  • Chronic arsenic poisoning is the most significant health risk.

  • Multimetal health effects are possible.


Even More Great Advice from Dr. Bouldin concentrations above WHO guidelines.

Others paid for your graduate education. Repay the debt. Use science to solve problems.


Testing Can Provide Safe Water to Millions concentrations above WHO guidelines.

Map of average arsenic

concentration (mg/L).

Map of minimum arsenic concentration (mg/L).

  • 45% of Bangladesh’s neighborhoods contain groundwater with average arsenic concentrations greater than the 50-µg/L national standard.

  • 15% of Bangladesh’s neighborhoods contain groundwater with minimum arsenic concentrations greater than this standard.

  • Therefore, 85% of Bangladesh’s neighborhoods have at least 1 tubewell that does not require treatment for arsenic removal prior to drinking.


Testing Can Provide Safe Water to Millions concentrations above WHO guidelines.

  • As a result of this discovery, groundwater testing has become a major component of an overall strategy for providing safe drinking water to the people of Bangladesh.

  • Tubewells are considered safe and marked with green paint if the arsenic concentration is less than or equal to the 50-µg/L national standard.

  • Conversely, tubewells are considered unsafe and marked with red paint if the arsenic concentration is greater than 50 µg/L.

(Photograph by The World Bank Group, 2005)


Testing Can Provide Safe Water to Millions concentrations above WHO guidelines.

  • Bangladesh has limited access to sophisticated instruments for measuring As and must use a less protective 50-µg/L drinking water standard.

  • Over 120,000 cancer deaths would be prevented if Bangladesh could use the more protective 10-µg/L WHO drinking water guideline.

  • Our team developed the only method that can accurately, precisely, and safely measure As to less than the 10-µg/L WHO drinking water guideline without expensive or highly specialized equipment.


Thank you Dr. Bouldin! concentrations above WHO guidelines.

Thank you Dr. Bouldin!

Thank you Dr. Bouldin!

Thank you Dr. Bouldin!


Dr. Bouldin’s Legacy Continues concentrations above WHO guidelines.

Take as much math, chemistry, and physics as you can stomach.


Sources concentrations above WHO guidelines.

  • Primary:

  • Frisbie, S.H., D.M. Maynard, and B.A. Hoque. 1999. The nature and extent of arsenic-affected drinking water in Bangladesh. In Metals and Genetics. Ed. by B. Sarkar. Plenum Publishing Company. New York, NY. Pp. 67-85.

  • Frisbie, S.H., R. Ortega, D.M. Maynard, and B. Sarkar. 2002. The concentrations of arsenic and other toxic elements in Bangladesh’s drinking water. Environmental Health Perspectives. 110(11):1147-1153.

  • Frisbie, S.H., E.J. Mitchell, A.Z. Yusuf, M.Y. Siddiq, R.E. Sanchez, R. Ortega, D.M. Maynard, and B. Sarkar. 2005. The development and use of an innovative laboratory method for measuring arsenic in drinking water from western Bangladesh. Environmental Health Perspectives. 113(9):1196-1204.

  • Secondary:

  • Dhaka Community Hospital, and R. Wilson. Pictures of Sufferers (Chronic Arsenic Poisoning). Available: http://phys4.harvard.edu/~wilson/arsenic_project_pictures2.html [cited 7 September 2002].

  • The World Bank Group, 2005. Available: http://wbln1018.worldbank.org [cited 22 February 2005].


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