Alexander van Geen | Ideas for India

Alexander van Geen
Columbia University
Alexander van Geen is a geochemist by training and joined Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1994, after completing his Ph.D. (1989) from the MIT/WHO Joint Program in Oceanography and post-doctoral fellowships in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and the Water Resources Division of the US Geological Survey. His research interests span the reconstruction of past climate change from ocean sediment cores to the health effects on children of exposure to lead from mine tailings in Peru. He coordinates earth-science and mitigation efforts under Columbia’s Superfund Research Program on the health effects and geochemistry of arsenic contained in US and Bangladesh groundwater. Van Geen has initiated complementary studies of behavioral constraints on arsenic mitigation in Bangladesh and the contamination of groundwater with microbial pathogens. He is a firm believer in the more widespread use of field kits by non-specialists to reduce exposure to environmental toxins, particularly in developing countries. He holds a Lamont Research Professor appointment and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers.

Articles By Alexander van Geen
Demand for environmental quality information and household response to information: Evidence from Bihar
Posted On: 20 Feb 2017

Topics:   Environment , Health

Groundwater contaminated with arsenic is a serious public health threat in rural India. This column presents results from a field experiment conducted in Bihar to assess the demand for fee-based testing of wells for arsenic, and to study the behavioural responses of households to well-specific arsenic information.
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Reducing poisoning by arsenic in tubewell water
Posted On: 11 Mar 2013

Topics:   Health , Environment

Millions of tubewells across the Indo-Gangetic plain supply drinking water that is relatively free of microbial contaminants. However, many of these tubewells tap groundwater that is high in arsenic and should be used only for washing. This column explores a new approach to field testing in order to distinguish safe from unsafe wells, and suggests that people are willing to pay for tubewell testing.
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