Arsenic Research and Global Sustainability

Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment (As2016), June 19-23, 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

by Prosun Bhattacharya, Marie Vahter, Jerker Jarsjö, Jurate Kumpiene, Arslan Ahmad, Charlotte Sparrenbom, Gunnar Jacks, Marinus Eric Donselaar, Jochen Bundschuh,

The Congress "Arsenic in the Environment" offers an international, multi- and interdisciplinary discussion platform for research and innovation aimed towards a holistic solution to the problem posed by the environmental toxin arsenic, with considerable societal impact. The congress has focused on cutting edge and breakthrough research in physical, chemical, toxicological, medical, agricultural and other specific issues on arsenic across a broader environmental realm. The Congress "Arsenic in the Environment" was first organized in Mexico City (As2006) followed by As2008 in Valencia, Spain, As2010 in Tainan, Taiwan, As2012 in Cairns, Australia and As2014 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 6th International Congress As2016 was held June 19-23, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden and was entitled Arsenic Research and Global Sustainability.

The Congress addressed the broader context of arsenic research along the following themes:
Theme 1: Arsenic in Environmental Matrices and Interactions (Air, Water, Soil and Biological Matrices)
Theme 2: Arsenic in Food Chain
Theme 3: Arsenic and Health
Theme 4: Clean Water Technology for Control of Arsenic
Theme 5: Societal issues, Policy Studies, Mitigation and Management

Long term exposure to low-to-medium levels of arsenic via contaminated food and drinking water can have a serious impact on human health and globally, more than 100 million people are at risk. Since the end of the 20th century, arsenic in drinking water (mainly groundwater) has emerged as a global health concern. In the past decade, the presence of arsenic in plant foods – especially rice – has gained increasing attention. In the Nordic countries in particular, the use of water-soluble inorganic arsenic chemicals (e.g. chromated copper arsenate, CCA) as wood preservatives and the mining of sulfidic ores have been flagged as health concern. The issue has been accentuated by discoveries of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater, primarily in the private wells, in parts of the Fennoscandian Shield and in sedimentary formations, with potentially detrimental effects on public health. Sweden has been at the forefront of research on the health effects of arsenic, technological solutions for arsenic removal, and sustainable mitigation measures for developing countries. Hosting this Congress in Sweden was also relevant because historically Sweden has been one of the leading producer of As2O3 and its emission from the smelting industries in northern Sweden and has successfully implemented actions to reduce the industrial emissions of arsenic as well as minimizing the use of materials and products containing arsenic in since 1977. The Congress has gathered professionals involved in different segments of interdisciplinary research in an open forum, and strengthened relations between academia, industry, research laboratories, government agencies and the private sector to share an optimal atmosphere for exchange of knowledge, discoveries and discussions about the problem of arsenic in the environment and catalyze the knowledge generation and innovations at a policy context to achieve the goals for post 2015 Sustainable Development.  

  • CRC Press; June 2016
  • ISBN 9781315629438
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Arsenic Research and Global Sustainability
  • Author: Prosun Bhattacharya (ed.); Marie Vahter (ed.); Jerker Jarsjö (ed.); Jurate Kumpiene (ed.); Arslan Ahmad (ed.); Charlotte Sparrenbom (ed.); Gunnar Jacks (ed.); Marinus Eric Donselaar (ed.); Jochen Bundschuh (ed.); Ravi Naidu (ed.)
  • Imprint: CRC Press

About The Author

Prosun Bhattacharya (1962) holds a PhD in Sedimentary Geochemistry from the University of Delhi, India (1990). He is a Professor of Groundwater Chemistry and Coordinator of the KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, at the Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He is engaged with research on groundwater contamination in sedimentary aquifers in different parts of the world, especially focusing on geogenic contaminants – arsenic and fluoride. He has collaborative research engagements with universities and research organizations in India, Bangladesh, China, Australia, Argentina, Ghana, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Tanzania, Turkey and USA. He is coordinating the prestigious Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency supported action research and implementation project "Sustainable Arsenic Mitigation-SASMIT" Community driven initiatives to target arsenic safe groundwater as sustainable mitigation strategy in Bangladesh (2007-2016). He has authored/co-authored over 300 international publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, cited more than 5600 times (Google Scholar and Google h-index 35) and i10-index 87. He has organized several international workshops on natural arsenic in groundwater and sustainable mitigation and edited 9 books on diverse aspects of natural arsenic in groundwater and groundwater for sustainable development until 2014. He is the Editor in Chief of the newly incepted Journal Groundwater for Sustainable Development published by Elsevier and the Frontiers in Environmental Sciences: Specialty Section on Groundwater Resources and Management and Associate Editor of the two reputed journals Journal of Hydrology and Environment International. Based on his global engagements in the field of arsenic research he has been honored as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in April, 2012. Since 2011, he is also responsible for Developing Nations Coordination of the IWA Specialist Group Metals and Related Substances in Drinking Water.

Marie Vahter (1950) holds a PhD from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and is since 1987 Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet . Her research concerns mainly toxic metals and human health in a wide sense; from exposure and related health effects, to the underlying toxic mechanisms and various susceptibility factors. Currently the research focuses on the health effects of early-life exposure and involves several mother-child cohorts. Professor Vahter is a highly productive (more than 300 publications and 11000 citations) and internationally recognized researcher of associations between exposure and the impact of metals on human health on a global level. She has participated in several risk assessments of toxic metals. Among other things, she has contributed to a reduction of limit values for arsenic in drinking water for the majority of countries in the world.

Jerker Jarsjö (1969) has a PhD in Water Resources Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology -KTH, Stockholm (1998), and is Associate Professor of Hydrology and Hydrogeology and Deputy Head of the Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University (SU). He leads the Hydrosphere, Cryosphere and Climate research area at the Bolin Centre for Climate Research at SU, and is principal investigator of international research projects on impacts of metal and metalloid spreading in groundwater and surface water systems under the influence of climate change and other anthropogenic pressures, for instance financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), and the EU. He has 55 publications indexed in Web of Science and will in 2016 also guest edit a special issue of Environmental Earth Sciences on Sustainable Water Resources Management in Central Asia.

Jurate Kumpiene (1974) is a Professor in Waste Science and Technology at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. She has been developing remediation techniques for contaminated soils, waste and groundwater, with a particular focus on trace element, including arsenic, mobilization /stabilisation in soil. Remediation methods for arsenic contaminated soil developed under the scientific leadership of Prof. Kumpiene are being applied by the waste management industry in Sweden and some of them have been patented. She has over 40 publications indexed in Web of Science and is an Associate Editor of the journal Waste Management. Prof. Kumpiene is an active participant and the Board Member (2010-2014) of the national stakeholder network "Clean Soil", a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of International Waste Working Group and the Executive Board Member of the International Society of Biogeochemists.

Arslan Ahmad (1986) is a leading Research Scientist at KWR Water Cycle Research Institute of the Netherlands, with particular focus on the removal of metals and related substances from drinking water. Part of his work is also focused on resource recovery from water, wastewater and residuals generated from the treatment processes. More recently, Arslan Ahmad has been engaged in the development of innovative solutions for managing low arsenic and chromate concentrations in public drinking water supply in the Netherlands. Arslan Ahmad is the Exhibition Chair and Member of the Scientific Committee of 6th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment (As2016). Arslan Ahmad is Guest Editor of CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Book Series "Sustainable Water Developments". Amongst his other international associations, KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group (KTH-GARG) and the International Society of Groundwater for Sustainable Development (ISGSD) can be highlighted here.

Charlotte Sparrenbom (1971) is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Department of Geology at Lund University. Her research interest mainly focuses on occurrence, fate and behavior of organic and inorganic contaminants in groundwater and sediments within the groundwater system, as well as changes in groundwater quality over time and investigation methods of groundwater conditions. The projects relate to groundwater contamination related to: i) occurrence and behavior of pesticides in groundwater (within the Pegasus project), ii) arsenic contamination of drinking water resources (within the Amonas project), iii) age determination and mixing of groundwater and its relationship to contaminants (within a Region Skåne/SGU-financed project) and iv) Trust-project (Transparent Underground Structures) concerning "Geoelectrical Imaging for Site Investigation of Urban Underground Infrastructure".

Gunnar Jacks (1937) graduated as mining engineer from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 1962. After working with rock stability issues for a couple of years he spent a year with a humanitarian NGO in Turkey where he realized the importance of water for societies and human life. He took a B Sc. degree in Medicine from the Karolinska Institute in 1971. After returning to Sweden and KTH, he studied hydrology and received the PhD in hydrochemistry in 1973. He assisted his professor in a short term groundwater investigation in Tamil Nadu in India, which led to a three year project work within Central Ground Water Board in Coimbatore in India and later on to an engagement in a project in Kerala. Excess fluoride in groundwater was a major interest in his and his Indian colleagues work. While he has throughout years been a faculty member at KTH he has been on missions to Botswana, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. Acid mine drainage has from the mid 1970-s been part of his interest. He was the head of the Groundwater Chemistry Group of the former Division of Land and Water Resources, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the KTH and took active part in the research regarding acid deposition during the 1980-s and 1990-s. The quantitative study of weathering rates became an important issue and he was part of a group that used strontium isotopes for assessments. He has been involved with a number of international research projects since 1990s which include investigation on high fluoride groundwater in Rajasthan (1994-1997). He has been actively involved in research on arsenic in soil and groundwater systems since 1991. During 1996, the his research group at KTH was contacted by Dr. Debashis Chatterjee from Kalyani University in Kolkata, India regarding the arsenic problems in West Bengal. That was the start of a still ongoing work in India, Bangladesh and several other parts of the world with a principal focus on research on the mechanisms of arsenic mobilisation in groundwater environments. Gunnar Jacks has also in recent years been working on zinc deficiency in soils in the Niger inland delta in Mali. He is a guest Professor at Åbo Akademi, the Swedish speaking university in Finland. In 2006, he was elected as the President of the International Society of Groundwater for Sustainable Development (ISGSD).

Marinus Eric Donselaar (1952) has a Doctor of Science Degree from the Delft University of Technology and currently is Associate Professor in Sedimentology at the same University. He has been instrumental in establishing the research in geological reservoir characterization at TU Delft. The focus of his current research and publications are in the field of the modeling of fluvial reservoirs, with applications in the fields of flow modelling of arsenic pollution, geothermal energy production, CO2 storage, and oil and gas production. He has co-supervised 16 PhD theses, and authored/co-authored 120 international publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, cited more than 200 times (Google Scholar and Google h-index 8 and i10-index 7). Rick Donselaar has led numerous field trips for oil companies and academia. He is a professional member of the IAS, SEPM, EAGE and KNGMG. He was national correspondent for the IAS and President of the Dutch Petroleum Geological Circle (PGK), and is Editor of the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences.

Jochen Bundschuh (1960) finished his PhD on numerical modeling of heat transport in aquifers from the University of Tübingen in 1990. He is working in geothermics, subsurface and surface hydrology and integrated water resources management, and related disciplines. From 1993 to1999, he served as an expert for the German Agency of Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and as a long-term professor for the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in Argentine. From2001 to 2008 he worked within the framework of the German governmental cooperation (Integrated Expert Program of CIM; GTZ/BA) as adviser in mission to Costa Rica at the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and engaged in evaluation and development of its huge low-enthalpy geothermal resources for power generation. Since 2005, he is an Affiliate Professor of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. In 2006, he was elected Vice-President of the International Society of Groundwater for Sustainable Development ISGSD. Between 2009 and 2011, he was visiting professor at the Department of Earth Sciences at the National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Since 2012, Dr. Bundschuh is a professor in hydrogeology at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia working on the wide field of water resources and low/middle enthalpy geothermal resources, water and wastewater treatment and sustainable and renewable energy resources. In November 2012, Prof. Bundschuh was appointed as president of the newly established Australian Chapter of the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA). Dr. Bundschuh is author of the books "Low-Enthalpy Geothermal Resources for Power Generation" (2008) (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press) and "Introduction to the Numerical Modeling of Groundwater and Geothermal Systems: Fundamentals of Mass, Energy and Solute Transport in Poroelastic Rocks". He is editor of 16 books and editor of the book series "Multiphysics Modeling", "Arsenic in the Environment", "Sustainable Energy Developments" and the recently established series "Sustainable Water Developments" (all CRC Press/Taylor & Francis). Since 2015, he is an editor in chief of the Elsevier journal "Groundwater for Sustainable Development".

Ravi Naidu is the CEO and Managing Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE), Professor and Global Innovation Chair and Director of the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Prof. Naidu’s work focuses on the remediation of contaminated soil, water and air, and the potential impacts of contaminants upon environmental and human health at local, national and global levels. Prof. Naidu been a global leader in the move to the now widely accepted ‘risk-based’ approach to managing contaminated sites. He has also been a leader in the shift to in situ remediation – cleaning up contamination where it lies, rather than the traditional ‘dig and dump’ approach. Together, these approaches potentially save industry millions, if not billions, of dollars annually and make clean-up far more feasible and effective. Prof. Naidu received his PhD in environmental science from Massey University, New Zealand. He is an elected Fellow of the Soil Science Societies of America (2000) and New Zealand (2004), and the America Society of Agronomy (2006), and was the founding director of the University of South Australia’s Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation. In 2013 was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is Chair of the International Committee on Bioavailability and Risk Assessment, former Chair of the International Union of Soil Sciences Commission for Soil Degradation Control, Remediation and Reclamation (2002-10), and former President of the International Society on Trace Element Biogeochemistry (2005-07). He has authored or co-authored over 420 journal articles and 80 technical publications as well as seven patents, and co-edited 11 books and over 66 book chapters in the field of soil and environmental sciences. He has also supervised over 30 PhD completions. In 2013, Professor Naidu received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for "outstanding contributions to agriculture", and won the Richard Pratt – Banksia CEO Award at the Banksia Sustainability Awards, recognizing his contributions towards environmental sustainability.