An independent leadership think-tank for researchers, developers, industries, and policy makers for innovative ideas and best practices addressing global water challenges within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The UNESCO Chair on Groundwater Arsenic

Our UNESCO Chair, based at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Australia, opens its umbrella for everybody from academia to industry including agriculture and mining, in collaboration with other institutions around the world. All sectors are concerned with searching for solutions to problems associated with arsenic of geogenic origin, in both small communities with decentralized water supply to large water industries and food sectors fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes communities, manufacturers and consultants as well as a diversity of stakeholders and professionals from governmental and non-governmental organizations, international agencies for funding and technical cooperation, public health agencies, policy makers, regulators and other relevant institutions.

Jochen Bundschuh

Chairholder, University of Southern Queensland


Arsenic in Environmental Media


Arsenic and Food

Nuevas Esperanzas San Pedro Nuevo water project

Arsenic and Health

Drinking Water Arsenic and Remediation


Restoration and Mitigation of As-contaminated Site


Social, Political & Regulatory Issues

The Purpose of The UNESCO Chair

Mitigation is Inadequate

In particular, integrated approaches are rare, with uncertainty surrounding the impacts of chronic arsenic exposure on humans. Highly conflictive and possibly inadequate regulations are a result of allowing drinking water at low levels and ignoring the differing toxicity levels of individual elemental inorganic arsenic species in food.

Photo: H.-J. Mosler ©Eawag


Arsenic - A Global Problem

Arsenic contamination from mostly geogenic sources is a global issue and over 200 million people (so far known from over 105 developing/industrialized countries) are at risk due to ingestion of arsenic-contaminated drinking water and food in which arsenic has accumulated through the irrigation of crops with arsenic-rich water. While the effects of arsenic contaminated food consumption are not fully understood, the poor are at the highest risk of arsenic poisoning through both food and water.

Modified from Podgorski & Berg, Science 386 (2020)
Original map on (hosted by ©EAWAG,

Insufficient Research

Arsenic research on geological/geochemical, technical, environmental, biological and social aspects and awareness of population and stakeholders is still largely inadequate. Currently, research on problems caused by arsenic, is in most cases, simply focused on cutting-edge and breakthrough research in an individual physical, chemical, technological, toxicological or medical aspect.

As 2021

The 8th International Congress & Exhibition on Arsenic in the Environment (As 2021) will take place in the city of Wageningen, The Netherlands, from 7th – 10th June 2021.


 20th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment will be held from 25-29th October 2020 at Korea University, Seoul, Korea

Journal of Hazardous Materials

Special Issue: Managing arsenic in the environment: From source to sink

Submissions Closed

Our Values


Integrating Arsenic into the SDGs


Human Development living with Arsenic


Integrating Arsenic into the SDGs

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