Coping with the environmental catastrophe in Bangladesh and possible
assistance from Harvard University
Department of Physics, Harvard University, USA
We have identified three approaches that must be started simultaneously
to cope with the problem. First and foremost pure water must be made available
to the people of Bangladesh.
Secondly, all data on the catastrophe must be recorded and shared with
other coping with the problem and throughout the world to ensure a rapid
solution and prevent a repetition of the catastrophe.
Thirdly, epidemiological studies must be undertaken to ensure that we
understand exactly what the problem of arsenic poisoning is.
Even the first item has two aspects -- short term remediation and long
term water management.
So far we (Richard Wilson and Tania Hakim) have begun to address the
second by means of a web site (http://phys4.harvard.edu/~wilson/arsenic.html).
We ask any and all to look at it and to tell us what we should add, particularly
any data that are available and any useful links to other sites.
We (Ford and Yu) have plans together with MIT scientists (Harvey and
Hemond) to try to understand the geochemistry of the problem to help in
the long-term solution.
We are associated with Dr Nicholaidis of the University of Connecticut
who has one of several suggested re mediation methods.
Finally we have plans to work on an epidemiological study using biomarkers.
We hope in all of this to help to improve the scientific and technical
infrastructure for coping with these problems indigenously in Bangladesh.