In the News Archives

April 1 2012

NIEHS Research Brief 208: A Flurry of Arsenic Findings

Several Columbia SRP scientists, including Habib Ahsan, Marie Argos, Mary Gamble, Yu Chen, and Karrie Radloff, along with their expert research and laboratory teams have made significant contributions to our scientific understanding of the human health impacts and pathways of exposure to arsenic. As part of CU SRP research in Bangladesh, genetic screening technologies have been used to identify genetic changes that make some individuals more susceptible to arsenic-induced skin lesions (see Hot Off the Presses). Another study demonstrates that folic acid supplementation facilitates arsenic methylation and elimination, thus lowering blood arsenic concentrations. Two other epidemiological studies provide new evidence of health effects from arsenic even at low and moderate levels of exposure. In terms of limiting exposures to arsenic, our geoscientists have shown that populations with high levels of arsenic in their drinking water should use deep wells with low arsenic concentrations and prevent increases in arsenic levels by limiting the amount of water pumped. Please click below for the full NIEHS Research Brief(pdf).

PDF icon NIEHS Research Brief 208522.13 KB

December 1 2011

Consumer Reports on Arsenic in your Juice cites CU SRP Director

The January 2012 Consumer Reports Magazine cites Columbia's SRP Director Joseph Graziano in its article, "Arsenic in your juice: How much is too much? Federal limits do not exist". Dr. Graziano suggests a comprehensive approach to reducing exposures to arsenic: "We tackled every source (of lead), from gasoline to paint to solder in food cans, and we should be just as vigilant in preventing arsenic from entering our food and water because the consequences of exposure are enormous for adults as well as children." Please click here for the article. Test results for arsenic and lead in apple juice and grape juice are also available through the link below.

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November 9 2011

SRP selects Columbia Project to Highlight for Monthly Research Brief #203

The NIEHS SRP Research Brief #203: "Research Shows Arsenic Attaches to Sediments, Protects Human Health" is part of the Columbia SRP project on Mitigation of Arsenic Mobilization in Groundwater which Alexander van Geen heads. CU PhD graduate, Kathleen Radloff, led the team of scientists investigating a key research question: Could the use of deep-water wells cause arsenic-laden water from shallower aquifers to contaminate aquifers tapped by deeper wells?

November 4 2011

Webinar: "Poison in the Well: Exposure, Consequences and Remediation of Arsenic in Bangladesh"

CU SRP Director Dr. Joseph Graziano presented a webinar for the Northeastern SRP on November 4th entitled, "Poison in the Well: Exposure, Consequences and Remediation of Arsenic in Bangladesh".

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October 9 2011

Columbia SRP paper in Nature Geoscience studies influence of adsorption and water demand on Arsenic migration to deep aquifers.

The Nature Geoscience paper, "Arsenic migration to deep groundwater in Bangladesh influenced by adsorption and water demand" is now released for advance online publication (9 October 2011). Kathleen Radloff, NIEHS 2009 Wetterhahn Award recipient and former Columbia SRP graduate student, is the lead author. Dr. Radloff is currently with Gradient Corporation in Cambridge, Ma. Other CU SRP authors include Yan Zheng, Martin Stute, Ben Bostick, Ivan Mihajlov, Peter Schlosser, and Alexander van Geen. Columbia's scientists worked closely on this study with their partners from Bangladesh, led by Dr. Kazi Matin Ahmed.

The paper focuses on whether deep aquifers are at risk of arsenic contamination due to high levels of arsenic in the groundwater above. The SRP-funded study injects arsenic-bearing groundwater into a deep aquifer in Bangladesh and monitors the reduction in arsenic levels over time following the withdrawal of the water. Within 24 hours, the level of arsenic was reduced by 70% in the deep aquifer zone, due to adsorption on sediments. Experimentally determined adsorption properties of sands in the deep aquifer zone and present and future scenarios of water demands were then incorporated in to a groundwater flow and transport model for the Bengal Basin by Dr. Holly Michael of the University of Delaware. Simulations show that arsenic adsorption significantly retards the transport, resulting in a lower risk of arsenic contamination in deep groundwater. The authors point out that some areas are still vulnerable to arsenic intrusion and should be monitored. To view/download the paper go online to Nature Geoscience, click here

January 1 2011

SRP selects Columbia Project to Highlight for Monthly Research Brief #193

The NIEHS SRP Research Brief #193: "Accelerating Pump-and-Treat Remediation at Arsenic-Contaminated Sites" is part of the Columbia SRP project on Mobilization of Anthropogenic Arsenic in Groundwater which Steve Chillrud heads. Other SRP scientists working on this project include Martin Stute, Brian Mailloux, and former CU graduate student, Karen Wovkulich.

If you would like to receive the Research Brief as a podcast, you can subscribe via iTunes (search Superfund Research Program), or download this one from the SRP Research Brief webpage (

January 1 2011

Columbia SRP paper selected for "NIEHS Papers of the Year" award.

The paper, "Arsenic exposure from drinking water, and all-cause chronic-disease mortalities in Bangladesh (HEALS): a prospective cohort study" appeared in The Lancet, 24-30 July. Its authors include Columbia SRP scientists: Marie Argos, Yu Chen, Faruque Parvez, Vesna Slavkovich, Alexander van Geen, Joseph Graziano, and Habibul Ahsan.

The paper is based on the SRP funded study of whether chronic and recent changes in arsenic exposure through drinking water are associated with all-cause and chronic disease mortalities in a Bangladesh population. The authors note significant associations between mortality rates and arsenic exposure through drinking water. A total of twenty-one papers were selected from across all of NIEHS for this honor.

May 21 2010

Thesis defense, "Hydrology & arsenic contamination in shallow aquifers of Bangladesh"

Zahid Aziz (C), Columbia SRP Director Joseph Graziano (R) and Associate Director Lex van Geen (L)

Zahid Aziz, Columbia SRP doctoral student and recipient of the NIH Fogarty International Center training grant, was congratulated by Columbia SRP Director Joseph Graziano and Associate Director Lex van Geen. Zahid's thesis defense, "Hydrology & arsenic contamination in shallow aquifers of Bangladesh", took place on 21 May 2010 at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.


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