Ganga-Meghna Brahmaputra || West Bengal || Bangladesh || Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar || Uttarpradesh
Jharkhand || North-East Hilly States || Rajnandgaon, Chattisgarh || Behala, Kolkata, WB || As toxicity- Homeopathic Treatment
Effectiveness & Reliability - As Field Testing Kits || Utility Of Treatment Plant
Causes, Effects & Remedies - Groundwater As Calamity || References

Arsenic Poisoning in West Bengal : Field Testing Kits for Arsenic

FIELD TESTING KITS FOR ARSENIC: HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE MILLION-DOLLAR PROJECTS?

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Opinion on Arsenic Field Kit Efficiency > 200 µg/l in Field samples.

WHO-NEERI 1998 Reports:

"During Field Testing, the Field-Kit was 99% reliable in identifying groundwater samples containing 200 ppb arsenic or more."

[Source: Assessment of Arsenic Field Testing Kits, Final Report, NEERI and WHO, June, 1998].

All three samples having arsenic above 200 µg/l measured by Arsenetor where reliably identified to be arsenic contaminated by NIPSOM.
[Source: Action Research Report UNICEF/DPHE/BRACK Arsenic Testing of newly installed tubewells; Quality control on Field Kit analysis March, 1999, Appendix Data, page-9, Annexure-3]

COMMENTS ON TWO FIELD REPORTS USED FOR ARSENIC ANALYSIS BY FIELD-KITS

ASSESSMENT OF ARSENIC FIELD TESTING KITSFinal Report - June 1998National Environmental World Health OrganisationEngineering Research Institute Regional Office for Sout-East AsiaNehru Marg, Nagpur 440 020 New Delhi


Action Research Report UNICEF/DPHE/BRAC Arsenic Testing of Newly Installed TubewellsQuality Control on Field Kit AnalysesMarch, 1999

COMMENTS ON THE REPORT

ASSESSMENT OF ARSENIC FIELD TESTING KITSFinal Report - June 1998 National Environmental World Health Organisation Engineering Research Institute Regional Office for Sout-East AsiaNehru Marg, Nagpur 440 020 New Delhi

Comment-1

According to the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the report, page-2, No. 2.1(iv), it is stated - "for each kit, carry out arsenic analysis repeatedly at the village level first by the NEERI scientists followed by a community member after training".

This is very important to gauge the efficiency of field kits, as the field kits are expected be used by community members . However, from the 'REPORT' I could not find anything about the field workers’ experience regarding field kits at the field level. Instead, it is stated in the report for Bangladesh,

" The water samples could not be tested on the spot for arsenic as sufficient facility was not available at the sampling sites for concurrent testing of the field kits and hence the samples were brought to the DPHE laboratory at Chandpur for testing. It is observed that the results of arsenic in the acidified samples analysed using ICP are always higher than the results of arsenic obtained in the unacidified samples tested using the field kits (Table-2). This can be explained by the fact that all the water samples collected in Bangladesh contain high concentration of iron (4.1 to 8.9 µg), and by the time the water samples were brought to the DPHE laboratory at Chandpur for testing some of the arsenic might have co-precipitated with iron resulting in low values of arsenic."

And also, for West Bengal, the Report says:
" - It was not possible to test the water samples on the spot as sufficient facility was not available at the sampling sites for simultaneous testing of the five field kits and hence the samples were brought to the PHED laboratory at Barasat for testing. It is observed that the results of arsenic in the acidified samples analysed using the ICP technique are always higher compared to the results obtained in the unacidified samples tested with the field kits. This is due to the fact that all the water samples collected in West Bengal also contained high iron (0.09 to 7.5 µg/l), and by the time the water samples were brought to the PHED laboratories at Barasat and Kalyani for arsenic testing with the field kits some of the arsenic might have co-precipitated with iron resulting in low values of arsenic."

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