Local arsenic testkit developed
A local pharmaceutical company has developed a
cost-effective, user-friendly arsenic field test kit. This was claimed by
the manufacturer of the kit, General Pharmaceutical Ltd (GPL), at a press
conference in the city yesterday.
The kit, containing various reagents, chemicals and outfit
for testing the presence of arsenic concentration in tubewell water or any
sample of drinking water, is the first of its kind developed using local
"It is simple, easy to use and has no hazard and it has
been developed completely using local technology," claimed Dr Momenul
Haq, managing director of GPL.
The kit, an improved version of its older model, has been
recently developed and can test one hundred samples on the site wherever the
tubewell is located and the result is instantly given.
"The lowest range of arsenic, the kit can test, is10
parts per billion (ppb) and the highest is 3,000 ppb and each test will
roughly cost Tk 22 to 25," said Mir Zaki Azam Chowdhury, marketing
manager of GPL.
He said each kit will cost around Tk 2,300 compared to
imported portable kits whose cost range is Tk 2,800 and above."
"As part of our research and accuracy we have conducted
2,500 sample tests which were more or less accurate and to verify our
results we had sent samples to Atomic Energy Commission for validation. The
results were satisfactory," said Chowdhury.
"The kit provides an easy method of screening water for
arsenic right at home or in the field. You can get instant results. By
identifying arsenic in water, you can avoid the risks of lung and skin
cancer," said Dr Haq.
The company will introduce the kit, which is comparable to
any portable arsenic kit in the world, in the market on commercial basis in
about three months' time, the manufacturers claimed.
It can be used nearly anywhere - in natural waters,
groundwater, and drinking water. Using prepared reagents and indicator test
strips, the new arsenic test kit allows to screen water for arsenic
concentration without the delay of sending samples to laboratory.
The test takes just 20 minutes, using a pretreated cotton
wool to overcome any sulfide interference. Exposure to chemical reaction is
Operators can visually compare the kit's reacted test strip
against various colour- standard steps from 10 to 3000 ppb.
"The advantage of the kit is that it has only two steps
for testing water samples and unlike the previous model where liquid acid
was used, the new kit has solid acid to avoid any risk of spillage or damage
to skin while testing," said Dr Haq. (The Daily Star)
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